Monday, 30 August 2010

Hollywood Comes to the Lab?

I was just listening to an interesting program on Radio 4, Scientists Go to Hollywood (not available on Listen Again, sadly), about scientists who consult for Hollywood films, and it gave me an idea.

Why is it always a one-way street?

Why not the other way around?

Why not get a Hollywood director into the lab? How helpful might that be? I think it could be fantastic.
"Ok," says Hollywood Director (HD), "Who's the good guy here?"
"Umm," says PhD student, "Well, we think this protein plays a major role in wound healing."
"Great!" says HD. "So, so in Act 1 we see your protein doing his job, healing wounds, and then there's the Inciting Incident: he gets a bump on the head and he's knocked clean out."
"OK!" says the PhD student, getting excited. "So, he can't do his job. So no wounds get healed at all. And then there's the bad guy..."
"The villain, very important," says HD, who is looking around the lab and seeing dollar signs and record-breaking first weekend's takings.
"Who is wounding and wounding, and it looks like none if it will ever get healed..." shouts the PhD student, pounding a fist on the bench. "And there's only 24 hours to save the world!"
"Ok, pal, slow down," says HD. "Where's the love interest? There's gotta be attraction..."
 "Oh yes," says the PhD student. "There are the immune cells, they head for the wound..."
"Ok, ok, and one of them falls in love with our good guy..." says HD, gazing across the microscope and seeing golden statuettes.
"Um, well, I'm not sure..." says the PhD student.
"That's all we need so far, kid" says HD, putting an arm around the student's shoulders. "Now let's talk budget".  
You see where I'm going with this, right? I think this is a winning combination! Scientist is helped with plot development, Hollywood funds life-saving research in exchange for exclusivity on the story... everyone benefits! Writer-in-residence, move over, Hollywood-director-in-residence applications open soon.

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