Monday Rewrite: Jonah, Balaam & Samson Movie Pitches

Jonah Movie Pitch

Imagine a film pitch where a filmmaker (F) is pitching his idea to a producer (P).

F. So I’ve got this great film pitch for you. It’s a movie about this guy called Jonah.
P. Great, what’s it about?
F. This guy called Jonah. He got a message from God to go to a place called Nineveh.
P. Sounds cool. Was it for a holiday?
F. No, it was to tell them they were going to be nuked.
P. Wow! So it’s like a disaster movie? What did Jonah do?
F. Got on a ship and went on holiday.
P. He’s the good guy right?
F. Yea, but he doesn’t like Nineveh.
P. So what happens?
F. God sends a storm to stop the boat.
P. And does Jonah pray and stuff?
F. No the sailors on the boat do, Jonah’s having a doze.
P. He’s the good guy right?
F. Sure, but he can sleep through anything.
P. Well that’s handy. And does he wake up and head for Nineveh?
F. Not really, he tells the sailors to throw him overboard.
P. Isn’t that dangerous? He might get eaten by a shark.
F. Not really, fortunately there are no sharks.
P. I bet he was pleased.
F. Not really, he got eaten by a whale instead.
P. Oh! Unfortunate. So it’s a really gruesome big final scene then.
F. Not really. He talked to God inside the whale.
P. Unexpected! And does he says he’s really sorry?
F. Not really. He says lot of other stuff about sinking in water and seaweed wrapping round his head.
P. Is that the end then?
F. Not really. The whale gets sick of him and throws him up. Then he goes to Nineveh after all and tells everyone the bad news.
P. Are they like – furious and stuff?
F. Not really. They decide to change their bad ways.
P. Jonah must be pleased.
F. Not really. He’s as mad as a whale with a prophet in his belly.
P. Does he live happily ever after?
F. Not really, he sits on a hill and tells God he’s so fed up he wants to be nuked instead.
P. So does he get nuked?
F. Not really. God wants him to talk about his anger, and be honest about his frustrations and stuff.
P. And then does he get nuked?
F. Not really. God tells him he cares about everything. And that’s the big finish.
P. And then does Nineveh get nuked?
F. No! This isn’t a disaster movie. It’s a forgiveness movie.
P. Oh! Unexpected! We’ll let you know. Next!

– – –

Balaam Movie Pitch

Imagine a film pitch where a filmmaker (F) is pitching his idea to a producer (P).

F. So I’ve got another movie pitch for you. It’s about a guy called Balaam.
P. Baa-lamb?
F. No Balaam.
P. Oh right, sounds… different.
F. Yea he was a prophet.
P. Cool. Is he the good guy?
F. Yes, and some bad guys come and ask him to help them out.
P. What does he do? Kick their butts and send them packing?
F. No. He prays about what to do.
P. Oh and then he kicks their butts?
F. No. But he says there is no way on earth he’s ever going to go with them.
P. Cool. So then he kicks their butts and sends them packing for sure, right?
F. No.
P. Oh. Why not?
F. They offer him a lot of money to do the bad thing.
P. But he turns it down, right?
F. No. He goes with them.
P. Unexpected!
F. Yea! But it’s okay cause he takes his donkey.
P. Oh! Does he give it a carrot and pat it nicely?
F. No. He starts beating it up.
P. This Baa-lamb is the good guy, right?
F. Sure. And it’s Balaam. But his donkey could see things.
P. Well, that’s good. Otherwise it might ride off a cliff or something.
F. Yea and it actually stops him doing the wrong thing.
P. Oh right. So does the donkey say hee-haw and dig its heels in?
F. No, it starts talking.
P. Talking!
F. Yea.
P. Unexpected! Does it tell him to go home?
F. No, it tells him there’s an angel waiting up ahead to hack Balaam to little bits.
P. Why does he say that?
F. Because there’s an angel waiting up ahead to hack Balaam to little bits.
P. Ouch! So does the angel get all hacky and chop him up?
F. No, that’s the twist. He tells Balaam that the donkey is cleverer than he is.
P. And does he send him home?
F. No, that’s the twist.
P. I thought the other bit was the twist.
F. Yea it was. It’s like a double twisty twist. The angel tells Balaam to go with the bad guys, but to do the right thing. And guess what?
P. He met a talking frog?
F. No! Another twist! The bad guys want him to bless their bad guy army, but he blesses the Israelite army instead.
P. Oops! Unexpected.
F. Yea, so what do you think?
P. Could we add a talking frog somewhere?
F. No.
P. We could pay you more money?
F. No.
P. Lots more money.
F. No.
P. We’ll let you know. Next!

– – –

Samson Movie Pitch

Imagine a film pitch where a filmmaker (F) is pitching his idea to a producer (P).

F. So I’ve got this idea for a cool biblical hero, he’s got super strength and he beats people up a lot.
P. Er… right… is that a holy thing to do though?
F. Not really, but hey, he’s Samson – a spoiled brat who gives his parents a hard time.
P. And that’s good because… why?
F. Who knows? Anyway, one day on the way to a date a lion jumps out and attacks him.
P. Oh no!
F. Oh yes, but it’s okay because he’s a judge.
P. A judge? Oh! Does he wear one of those wigs?
F. No, he’s a judge with long flowing beautiful hair.
P. Well okay then… so what? Does he give the lion a suspended sentence?
F. No!
P. What then? 6 months community service, picking up litter and that?
F. No. He rips it to shreds.
P. Oh! That’s… shocking.
F. Yes, but it’s okay because Samson and his mum and dad can then go off to his wedding and later it means he can have some honey.
P. At the wedding?
F. No. Out of the lion, bees make a nest in there and so he has their honey.
P. Doesn’t he get stung?
F. No, cause he’s Samson.
P. Oh, well, yes that makes sense.
F. Yes, and it then gives him a riddle he can tell.
P. The bees give him a riddle? Are they like talking bees?
F. No. That would be silly.
P. Of course, does he use the riddle to entertain his friends?
F. No. To trick them. So he can get clothes off them.
P. Oh! What’s the riddle?
F. ‘Out of the eater came something to eat, out of the strong came something sweet.’ What is it?
P. It’s a lion with bees in, you just told me.
F. Yea, but they didn’t know that.
P. Did they have fun working it out?
F. No! They got angry and threatened to kill his new wife horribly.
P. Ugh.
F. Yea, so she tricked Samson into telling her.
P. And he fell for it?
F. Yea. He does that a lot, he’s gonna fall big time when Delilah tricks him in the same way.
P. Oh dear, so he lost the bet about new clothes.
F. Not really, he just killed some other people and used their clothes to pay the guys who tricked him.
P. This is quite a story. Does it have a Hollywood ending?
F. Sort of.
P. Everybody lives happily?
F. No… everybody dies unhappily when Samson brings the house down.
P. Oh. Sounds exciting but when does it get into all the love, joy, peace stuff?
F. Er… not sure… maybe just before Samson has his eyes gouged out or something?
P. Or maybe after?
F. Sure! Maybe 930 pages after.
P. Hmm, the Bible’s quite unexpected at times, isn’t it?
F. Oh yea. You can say that again.
P. The Bible’s quite unexpected at ti…
F. I didn’t mean that literally.
P. No. Right. Sure. Fancy some lion on toast… I mean honey! Honey on toast?
F. Yea! Why not!


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