Saturday, October 3, 2015

Playing Fantasy Movie Producer



After years of resisting the temptation, this NFL season I am playing fantasy football for the first time. In the past I've chosen not to participate because I wanted to keep my football rooting interests pure. That meant primarily rooting for the NYJets, against the Patriots/Dolphins/Bills, and when watching a game involving none of these teams and in which the result did not affect playoff seeding, rooting exclusively for an entertaining game.  I pulled for acrobatic catches of deeply thrown spiral passes; long serpentine plays on the ground leaving would be tacklers grasping at thin air; bone crunching tackles; blind side sacks; gravity defying exhibitions of physical theatrics to dazzle my scarcely believing eyes.  This seemed like enough, more than enough. I was not interested in cheering for individual players on teams spread throughout the league to pile up fantasy friendly statistics. I did not want to face the dilemma of pulling for one team to win while also wanting a player on the opposing team to have a great game. These interests would be in opposition to each other. I had no desire to complicate what previously was a simple thing, love of a game, passion for my hometown team.  Victory or misery with no points given for style...or fantasy.

But this year against my instincts I went in, and since my league’s draft night I've sunk deeper and deeper.  Scarcely an hour goes by before I feel the urge to review and inevitably tinker with my line-up in anticipation of the upcoming slate of match-ups.  I have taken to the task of being an armchair general manager of a theoretical football team like a fish to water. A fish who enjoys the hell out of swimming.

The other evening thoughts of hopefully improving the record of my team (the Underdogs) to 3-1 were replaced by thoughts about my novel, Matters of Convenience.  I found myself imagining a movie adaptation and gave myself the role of producer. As a fantasy movie producer, with every Hollywood actor to choose from, who would I cast in the pivotal roles?

I dove into the project with gusto. Rather than relying on statistical analysis I mostly went with my gut. Certain roles were quickly filled with an actor who immediately emerged as the perfect fit. Considerably more contemplation and google searching was done regarding other roles where a clear lead candidate did not jump to mind. I found myself rejecting actors for being too old, or too young, or not quite fitting the look I had in my head.  A mental flip of a coin was needed in a couple instances to conclude casting. 

Below are the stars of the hypothetical movie adaptation of Matters of Convenience, directed and produced in fantasy by Roy L. Pickering Jr. – screenplay by Roy L. Pickering Jr. based on the novel by Roy L. Pickering Jr. I hope you read the book someday.  I hope you see the movie someday. I doubt I’ll be the one to produce and direct it (which is for the best since I only have movie making experience in fantasy), but fingers are crossed that my dream cast eventually ends up as the reality cast.

Unfortunately I don’t have a trailer to present for the film I have dreamed up (so here's one for the new Star Wars movie to tide you over).  Technically my chosen actors are not on board with this project - yet. So to get the flavor of the story I suggest checking out these snippets from Matters of Convenience that I put up on Pinterest, listening to the reading I recorded for it at A Line a Day, and reading the brief excerpt posted on my blog.  Do you think I did a good job of casting the film? Hopefully you do because I have already started the first draft of my Academy Award acceptance speech.



Without further delay I invite you to grab a box of popcorn and check out the virtual cast of my dream scenario film adaptation of Matters of Convenience.







Playing the role of Audrey (narrowly edging out Sanna Lathan), the lovely Kerry Washington:




Playing the role of James (since he isn't busy being James Bond) - Idris Elba:





It was a toss up between him and David Oyelowo. To play the role of Marshall I went with Chiwetel Ejiofor:







For the role of Gwen I initially had Regina King in mind but ultimately went with Anika Noni Rose:






And to play the role of Sarah I mulled several candidates before deciding to go with Essence Atkins:



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