Movie Pitch - The Unfortunates

Cassy McClay had been training for the lemonade derby since she was four years old. Every Saturday she went down to the hardware shop, out back to the little shed where the Foxgaiters let her store her racer. It barely fit in the little space with the sheet on top, so she'd drag it out into the yard to make her changes. A new feature here. A new toggle there. She doted on that boxcar and she gave it all of her time. She spent years growing into the perfect soapbox champion, building just the right machine, practicing driving, timing her trials, and most importantly: focusing her mind, mentally preparing herself for a success of true value. Unbeknownst to her, posters go up down on the city hall notice board. These are copied and circulated, walked and stapled down the path of the city, and four days before Cassy's first eligible event, she reads one. It says:


(Muffin Parade in the works)

Cassy had not been aware of the lemonade billionare, who was dragged away for tax evasion earlier that week. She did not care about the talks between the city and Mabel's Sweet Muffins, LLC, who were hastily planning the derby's successor event. Cassy hated muffins. She was set on racing. Every fiber in her was ready for the derby, which suddenly did not exist. 


If you've never seen a flying fish in the wild, you'll have little idea what Pryce Gideon feels while counting his pogs. Eyes closed, it's the same skipping and leaping wonder exactly. Pryce even feels the wind rushing past his cheeks. Even when there is no wind. Pryce just loves his pogs that much. He sleeps with several under his pillow at home. Then, when he goes camping and does not want to expose his treasures to the muddy outdoors, he uses rocks to replicate the comforting lumps. If left alone in a room with Pryce, you would not be able to coax much conversation from him. Unless, that is, you were to indicate an interest in his pog collection. If you did, you might regret the choice. Pryce would describe in detail the slammers, the coppers, the grutes, the trimmers, the pit and the holographics, to start. If you made it through his views on width versus height dimensions, and somehow remained awake after his derailment into the conjoining sensation of 80's power cartoons, then, and only then might Pryce reveal how he had come to hold his own individual collection, with each fascinating and mesmerizing pog piece. 

When Pryce got out from school one day, his mom was there to pick him up instead of his dad. She took him to a different house in a different town. He had not been told, and so he had not packed a bag. He screamed at the top of his lungs all the way there, and for much time after:



Heights were Jeffria Winthrup's thing. If she could be anywhere, she'd choose to be up. And because Jeffria lived in a home with loving and secure parents, she didn't need to run away and join the circus to find a way to stay up. She was able to sign up for a circus acrobat's program at a local training center instead. Jeffria had all kinds of moves in her head. She could picture the graceful arcs and curls, twisting into complex forms that she would paint with herself in the air. She just couldn't seem to get her mental image to reflect in her body. Dedication wasn't her issue. She went to lessons three times a week, and because she also had financially blessed parents, she was able to keep going at that rate for many years. More years than her parents thought necessary. But they could see how much she wanted it, and so, how could they not support her? Jeffria went to classes, she read the acrobatics books, she practiced forms in her own time and practiced moves in her private mind. Despite all of this, toward any of these purposes, Jeffria's limbs were useless. They tried their best, and still lacked the reaction time and the smooth gestures necessary. She would never be a real acrobat. Neither was Jeffria a stupid girl, and so she realized this, and yet kept plugging away as long as she could, shouting over and over in her mind:



And then: there weren't any contests, or tokens, or places, or habits of joy for Helga Swindston at all. Her lot was even worse. 

She didn't particularly want anything, and she hadn't for a long time, but what she certainly didn't want was to play shepherd to a bunch of entitled failures. It was a mild summer, though. A climate perfect for schemes and grudges. No groggy thoughts were melted by excessive heat. Instead, three devious and outraged children would focus a laser-sharp plan, one perfectly orchestrated to accomplish the new passion of each young heart -- until Helga came along to dismantle it. 

This is the story of summer. It's a story of hope, fear, wisdom, and figuring out what matters most. It's about kicking the system and making your own. 

It's The Unfortunates, coming soon to a theater near you.