The Cootie Catcher script went through a number of revisions before shooting. Here’s the before and after:
BEFORE: WAL MART MEETS ACDC
Weena: Hey Erna, wanna see what advertising executives get excited about?
Erna: Not really. I imagine they get excited about things like the next American Idol and the new iPhone, just like everyone else.
Weena: Well, I thought they’d get excited about the coolest, latest stuff, right? They live in New York, they work on Madison Avenue, it’s glamorous. So what is this gal excited about?
PR director of WalMart: “We were really excited, because ACDC… is at the top of our catalog sales every year.”
Weena: She’s excited because they make WalMart money. She’s not excited to meet them.
Erna: So what. You wouldn’t be either.
Weena: Of course not, they were big in the 70s, and those chords are way too macho for me.
Erna: I like them on Rock Band.
Weena: Yeah, they were OK on Rock Band, but that’s for Rock Band, until you get songs you like more.
Erna: Right. So, who cares? I mean, ACDC and WalMart — they’re perfect for each other. Totally boring.
Weena: But ACDC doesn’t want you to think about them that way. And judging by how excited she is, you’d bet ACDC fans are really excited too, right?
(Fan confession: “I don’t actually like wal mart it creeps me out, the clothes are cheap”) 2:42
Erna: I don’t know if this guy counts as a fan. He’s a washed-up Fuse TV DJ
Weena: Well, he appears to be excited.
Fan: 3:23 “ACDC everywhere they even show you how to do a RockOut symbol”
Erna: Uh, I thought the guy who founded Wal-Mart was big into Christian causes.
Weena: Yeah, um… wasn’t this the symbol the founder of the Church of Satan used?
Erna: I don’t think a lot of Christians are into that.
Fan: “I’m not gonna lie that (hand sign) is pretty accurate.”
Weena: He’s not complaining about cheap clothes anymore.
Fan: (at 4:51 “ACDC exploded over every wal mart Wal mart has never looked better”)
Weena: Isn’t that what they meant when they were talking about “lipstick on a pig”? The clothes are still cheap, they just have the name of a band you like on them.
Erna: So they sold the album in all different colors.
Weena: And they refused to sell it online.
Erna: That’s totally hip and now and with it, man.
Weena: So I’m going to go home and rip the CD to iTunes and then what. I have a box. Maybe a bunch of different colored boxes. I know, let’s be more fashionable by making a lot of garbage and getting our music the same way we would have in the seventies.
Erna: Weena, obviously ACDC just wasn’t even cool. to begin with. Why do you bother?
Weena: I bother because advertising is the lucrative business of making things cool. I object BECAUSE it’s lucrative, and they’re getting paid money for this crap. WalMart was spending $570 MILLION on advertising each year as of 2006. WalMart employees have to go on welfare and food stamps, and the store advertising doesn’t even work because fans still think their clothes are “cheap.” And meanwhile their head of PR gets a budget of millions to say shit like this:
PR rep: “that billboard is interactive! it’s THREEE DEEEE”
Erna blows up: She said WHAT
Weena: Uh huh.
Erna: OK, lesson, people. A LIGHTSWITCH is INTERACTIVE. Let me SHOW you. ON OFF ON OFF ON OFF ON OFF. INTERACTIVE. Let’s go down to Times Square and look at how INTERACTIVE that billboard is. (The billboard is at the corner of 42nd St and 8th Ave.)
(Erna tries to turn off the billboard WITH HER MIND.)
AFTER: STRANGE BEDFELLOWS/COOTIE CATCHER
This script is in our three-column format, which allows us to specify cinematography, equipment, and props. Some of the comments from other staff members appear in the left-hand column.
|STRANGE BEDFELLOWS/COOTIE CATCHER
|(Erna and Weena are playing with a large paper cootie-catcher of the sort young girls make)
Erna flips the cootie catcher, perhaps under the table
image of each — say a pic of Wal-Mart and one of the AC/DC logo — and superimpose some sort of heart image between them, kind of like something they’d do on an E! True Hollywood Story, not that I would know anything about that -Nicola McEldowney 3/20/09 11:35 PM (video) and then have them ram into each other and have the heart explode with blood everywhere because that relationship ended badly -Pravin Sathe 4/1/09
(visual of Phil Knight)
dita von teese and evan rachel wood — cross them out or stab them or something
(as camera fades out)
|Cootie catcher, SHOTGUN MIC
|Erna: Hey Weena, come help me out with this.
Weena: Oh cool, a cootie catcher! I haven’t seen one of those since elementary school. Who are you in love with?
Erna: No no, this one’s about celebrities, brands, stuff like that.
Weena: Huh, ok. So who is Dane Cook in love with?
Erna: Dane Cook is in love with… The Economist Magazine.
Erna: Gimme another name.
Weena: Oooookeeeyyy, um… Who is Miley Cyrus in love with?
Erna: She’s in love with… Olde English malt liquor!
Weena: I don’t get it. How’d you come up with this?
Erna: Well, from all that Advertising Age stuff you’ve been looking at, I noticed that sometimes brands and celebrities hook up in WEEEIIIRD ways. Like how excited Wal Mart and ACDC were to have an exclusive contract with each other.
Weena: How did that happen? Wal Mart is super-Christian and family-oriented. And yet they did this whole display about how to throw the horns.
Erna: Weird. So who do you think would be most likely to produce the movie Coraline?
Weena: I dunno.
Erna: How about an shoe manufacturer popular with jocks?
Erna: Don’t ask me, it happened. Phil Knight produced the whole movie.
Weena: That’s pretty weird! So, I’m guessing this turned you off to Coraline.
Erna: What are you, kidding? I am a staunch supporter of all things Neil Gaiman. (taps herself on chest, throws fist) Fangirl fo’ life, yo.
Weena: Didn’t the sweaty gym shoe smell on the movie bother you?
Erna: No. If he didn’t have all that Nike money to promote it, maybe we wouldn’t have heard about it. Or it might not have been in 3D.
Weena: Or maybe it wouldn’t have been so boring.
Erna: That’s a personal opinion!
Weena: Whatevs. Let’s ask the cootie catcher who Marilyn Manson likes.
Erna: I don’t think Marilyn Manson likes *anyone.*
Weena: (checks) No, look! It says he’s in love with The Oxygen Network!
Erna: Ohhhh. How about Amy Winehouse? Who does she like?
Weena: Let me see…. Oh! She’s in love with Easy Spirit Shoes!
Erna: I thought she was in love with Coke.
Weena: A Cola?
Erna: Or heroine?