Buried screenwriter Chris Sparling recently sent an email directly to Academy members urging them to nominate his script for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar — a violation of Academy rules, which expressly state that “Mailings that extol the merits of a film, an achievement or an individual are not permitted.” Amazingly, Sparling’s email does all of that and more, WITH ONLY A SINGLE LOCATION!
Under the heading FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION “BURIED” BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY, Sparling writes:
Here’s your writing prompt.
You are to write a feature-length screenplay with only one on-screen character. This character is to remain in only one location for the entire duration of the film, and that one location must be a 2′ x 7′ wooden box. You cannot use flashbacks, cut-aways, or any other narrative device that would take the action outside that box.
The film based on your screenplay must be met by incredibly high critical praise. Roger Ebert must give it 3 1/2 out of 4 stars and give it two thumbs up; Variety must remark that the film is “…an ingenious exercise in sustained tension that would have made Alfred Hitchcock proud;” Jeffrey Lyons must describe the film you wrote as “Mesmerizing;” and you must be awarded Best Original Screenplay of 2010 by the National Board of Review.
Sound impossible? It’s not. In fact, all this exactly describes the film BURIED.”
In addition to being a clear violation of Academy rules, Sparling broke, nay, TRAMPLED, rules 12 through 17 of Not Being a Huge Douche.
“Every second of the film described above takes place inside the aforementioned 2′ x 7′ wooden box. Again, not a single cutaway or flashback occurs; we are complete [sic] immersed in this world from Fade In to Fade Out. This year has seen many great films hit theaters, many of which were based on original material; however, no film this year — or ever — has done so much with so little.
If you have not yet seen BURIED, I respectfully ask that you at least read the screenplay before casting your Academy Award vote for Best Original Screenplay. And while BURIED might not end up being your first choice (or even second or third), please consider it for fourth or fifth. This project represents the hard work of so many people — people who were willing to take a chance on my so called “impossible” script, and I speak for all of them when I say we would be honored to land on your ballot for Best Original Screenplay.
Thank you so very much.
Screenwriter of BURIED”
UPDATE: MPRM president Marc Pogachevsky is apologizing for the letter, saying that Sparling didn’t know it was against the rules and explaining that in the pre-holiday rush, the letter was not properly vetted by Sparling’s reps. [EntertainmentWeekly]
Christ, what a d*ckweed. Look, I won’t be sending out any braggy emails about it, but the main reason I hated Buried was this exact sense of self-satisfaction. But I’m not here to tell you how awesome *I* am. Doing that would be super lame. No, I’m here to deliver a challenge.
Dear Dump Takers: Here’s your dumping prompt. You are to take one toilet-length dump and text it to Chris Sparling. Your dump must be a dump Peter Travers will describe as “mesmerizing.” It will be a dump Christy LeMire awards four golden corn stalks, and Pete Hammond calls “literally mouth-watering.”
Your dump will speak seven languages. It will cure a black child of inoperable cancer and prove the existence of unicorns. Sound impossible? It’s not. I’ve seen such a dump. I’ve smelt it with mine own nostrils, and felt its grit between my fingers.
Yours in Christ,