Sun 10 Aug 2008
(David Atkins, Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, sits in his office watching the Opening Ceremonies in Beijing. His production assistant sits beside him.)
(Massive fireworks display above the “Bird’s Nest” concludes show. Atkins switches off television.)
Atkins: Fuck. Me.
Atkins: Wow? Is that all you can say? WOW? Did you see that?
PA: It was very impressive.
Atkins: Impressive? IMPRESSIVE? Son of a BITCH! We’re fucked!
PA: Now, calm down, sir, it’s not that bad.
Atkins: Are you kidding me? How am I supposed to compete with that? All those fireworks! The-the-the living Great Wall of China with the flowers growing out of it! The gravity defying globe runners!
PA: It looked expensive.
Atkins: It cost one hundred million dollars! What’s our latest budget?
PA: $58,000. Plus $200…no, $300 in Canadian tire money.
Atkins: GAAAAAHHHH!!! (paces around room, pulling hair) I should have never taken this job.
Atkins: I mean, I’m Australian for Christ’s sake! What the hell am I even doing here…
PA: We’ll just have to make due.
Atkins: …and that whole “Chinese invention” theme! Gunpowder! Paper! Compasses! We can’t even feature the telephone, or those hotheaded Italians will boycott. God damn Meucci.
PA: Why don’t we focus on the other Canadian inventions?
Atkins: What are we going to do, have people inject each other with insulin? A tribute to the Wonderbra? Hand out free Blackberries?
PA: You could do something about basketball?
Atkins: (slaps PA) At the Winter Olympics?
PA: (rubs face) Fair point.
Atkins: They even had that adorable little girl out there to sing. Tell me, who is booked for the National Anthem?
PA: (checks notebook) Ryan Malcolm.
Atkins: Who the hell is he?
PA: Former winner of Canadian Idol.
Atkins: What? How did that happen?
PA: He called in a favour.
Atkins: Damnit! (kicks garbage can across the room) Alright, alright…think, Atkins. (leans on desk) Here is what we are going to do – we’re scrapping everything and starting from scratch.
Atkins: The whole kit and caboodle.
PA: The syrup-drinking contest?
Atkins: Cancel it.
PA: The giant ice sculptures of the Hart wrestling family?
Atkins: Melt them.
PA: What about the 1000 beavers you ordered?
Atkins: What was that for again?
PA: You wanted them to re-enact the War of 1812.
Atkins: Set them free.
PA: In downtown Vancouver?
Atkins: JUST GET RID OF THEM!
PA: Very well.
Atkins: (stares out window, sighs) I was hoping it would never come to this. (turns to PA) Get David Cronenberg on the phone.
Atkins: (removes bottle from desk, takes swig) You heard me.
PA: But sir! This is the Olympics! The ultimate family event!
Atkins: Oh, I’m sorry to offend your delicate sensibilities, Justin. Tell you what, go ahead and call that other famous Canadian director who can put something together on a budget of less than 100K. What’s his name? Steven Spielberg?
PA: (deep breath) Sir, I can’t in good conscience…
Atkins: (throws bottle at PA; it smashes against the wall) DO AS I SAY!
PA: (scuttles out of room)
Atkins: (puts in DVD of ‘The Brood’.) Hmmm. You know, maybe this could work out okay…(baby-licking scene)
Atkins: … (picks up phone) Hello, David Atkins here. One ticket to Sydney, please. No, just the one way…