Step 5: Wake Up In Alternate Universe
December 27, 2019 6:07 PM   Subscribe

Skywatch is a slickly produced short film about two teens who-- holy shit, is that Jude Law? Wait, how do you get Jude Law for your short film? (via
posted by Etrigan (9 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
Have told this story before, am telling it again -

I saw this show in New York's Fringe festival some years back by a young writer and comedian who was riffing on the fact that he shared a name with the actor Josh Holloway, who played Sawyer on Lost - which caused him all kinds of mayhem when that show was popular. He did a brilliant one-act play riffing on that.

And at some point in the play there was a "dream sequence" his "character" is having he had pre-taped on video and then screened as part of the show. The dream featured him lying down on a psychiatrist's couch and talking about this issues with an unseen psychiatrist who had a strangely familiar voice. At the end of the dream, the camera pans over to reveal that the psychiatrist is actually Lost bad guy Ben Linus - and he had actually gotten Michael Emerson to play Ben Linus in that video sequence.

I was so impressed I tracked him down after the show to congratulate him (I was reviewing the show so he was eager to speak). After my comments, I finally asked, "Okay, I gotta know - how the hell did you get Michael Emerson?"

He just gave me a sheepish shrug and said, "I just....wrote him a letter and asked."

Sometimes, asking is all it takes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:53 PM on December 27, 2019 [24 favorites]

That was good! Gripping! Dystopian but believable! And JUDE LAW! (With eerie eye effects.) Give me more, please!
posted by suburbanbeatnik at 9:30 PM on December 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best Black Mirror episode this season!
posted by acidnova at 10:20 PM on December 27, 2019

I want to see the rest of the movie.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 12:59 AM on December 28, 2019 [3 favorites]

Never mind Jude Law, Zach Callison !!! Steven Universe himself!!
posted by Pendragon at 2:08 AM on December 28, 2019 [5 favorites]

This is totally cool. I loved the story of how Jude Law got involved. And I’ve also got a “just write a letter and ask” story.

In my sophomore year in high school each student had to do a large, year-long project of their choosing - that was worth the majority of our grade. My best friend decided to plan a benefit concert for her project. She spent months writing the plan on how to book artists, the venue, event promotion, etc. Then she mailed this plan to Jackson Browne and asked him if he’d like to headline it. This was the 90s, and all of our parents loooved his music.

Jackson responded fairly quickly saying Yes, and that he’d do it for free. The plan became a reality, and the concert ended up raising $300k for our public school district. And she got an A+ on her project.

It was such a wonderful way to learn that famous people are still people, and sometimes all it takes is a good plan and the panache to ask.
posted by chuntered inelegantly from a sedentary position at 10:13 AM on December 28, 2019 [10 favorites]

So with the caveat that before you write your letter, you better be damned sure you’ve done your homework, here is my “write a letter” story.

I’m 17 going on 18 and super into Mars exploitation. Someone in a mailing list I’m on suggests it’d be a good idea if we spread the word via the TED conference, which in 2000 was not at all well-known, although it still had its usual complement of celebrity attendees.

That particular TED was about youth and age. “I’m youth,” I thought, “why shouldn’t I go?” So I email the organiser of TED (a thing you could do in 2000) explaining why I should speak at his conference. Shortly after the email, I decide I should do a bit more research on the conference and discover it’s not the sort of thing you apply to - they call you, etc. So I feel appropriately embarrassed.

A week later, I get an email: what’s your address? I provide it. A day later, by DHL global express, a set of plane tickets arrive on the front door. “You’re in.”

This tactic worked precisely one more time for me, when I emailed Stewart Brand about something. It is a powerful tactic indeed but one that should be used sparingly.
posted by adrianhon at 7:54 PM on December 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

And then the professor said, "Whoever did write this doesn't know the first thing about Kurt Vonnegut!"
posted by Literaryhero at 3:36 AM on December 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

Many years ago, I read an article (may have been in Readers Digest or some other dated magazine), where a lecturer gave each a student a small amount of money had challenged them to travel as far as possible using only that money, within the next 24 hours.

From memory, the article mentioned students taking buses and trains. But one student used the money to call the US Air Force. Within 24 hours he was in a fighter jet zooming across continents.

All based on a phone call.

Of course, it all could have been made up, but who knows.
posted by greenhornet at 2:02 AM on December 30, 2019

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