FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
20 February 2003
J. Scott Iverson
JSI Creative Announces Completion of “ROADSHOW!” Script
J. Scott Iverson, writer, producer and owner of JSI Creative, today announced the completion of his latest, LDS-themed, full-length motion picture screenplay, ROADSHOW!
The storyline follows members of the Yorgason family during the production of the "Gilmer Park Ward" roadshow in the summer of 1965 -- a time of war, personal turmoil and new assaults on family values, which arose during that decade. The screenplay celebrates the LDS roadshow genre and creative process, which draws from events in people's lives and weaves them into works of art: sometimes simple, sometimes profound; always impactful on the lives of those who participated in the act of creation. ROADSHOW! contains both dramatic and comedic elements that will appeal to a broad range of moviegoers.
"We were able to weave excerpts of an actual roadshow from the era into the script, which give it a much more authentic feel," said Iverson. "And while the roadshow production is important to the story, the central theme is how each of us must endure the hardships life throws at us to gain our own personal testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
The film is currently in the financing and development stage.
Iverson, perhaps best known for his story credit on the ever-popular LDS film, Mr. Krueger's Christmas, starring Jimmy Stewart, as well as his Emmy and Iris Award-winning kids' TV series, ZiNj-TV, recently served as Vice President of Acquisitions, Development and Productions for Bonneville Worldwide Entertainment. More information on JSI Creative is available at www.jsicreative.com.
STATUS UPDATE AS OF: 03/24/03
There is, at present, no funding in place. Please direct script requests and business inquiries to:
J. Scott Iverson, email@example.com
>From a marketing standpoint, "ROADSHOW!" is a slam-dunk! First of all, it is a title that will draw Church members in-and-of-itself. Roadshows were one of the most popular summer pastimes within the Church and people to this day lament their demise. With their adapted lyrics, their song and dance, they were a uniquely Mormon art form and "ROADSHOW!" provides a great opportunity for a walk down memory lane. Inherent within the script is also the marketing hook that the show contains scenes taken from an actual roadshow of the era. The original Garden Park Ward roadshow, written by Jeri Jarvis and excerpted with her permission, fits perfectly with the fictional events in the lives of the main characters, operating within the Vietnam War era in Salt Lake City, circa 1965. Furthermore, the ironies of the serio-comic battles between the "Gilmerites" and "Gadiantons," along with the battles themselves, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam era, will provide great camera fodder for the movie trailer.
It is 1965 in Salt Lake City, Utah -- which means, by worldly standards, it is still the Fifties. It is also, however, a time of impending change and upheaval. As we eavesdrop on the Gilmer Park Ward Council meeting, several things are immediately apparent beyond the petty, sometimes-humorous complaints and gossip that COUNCIL MEMBERS often share with one another. For one thing, the Vietnam War has become a reality for GRANT and MARCELLA YORGASON and their family. To Marcella's great dismay, their son CRAIG's Air Force Fighter Wing has been called-up. Furthermore, as Activities Director, Marcella has a little over two months to put together the Ward Roadshow and re-take the prize from arch-rival, North Forty-fourth Ward.
To the Yorgason's other son, fourteen year-old STAN ("YOGI"), much more critical than the Roadshow are two concerns of utmost importance: 1) whether his gang of friends, known collectively as the GILMERITES, are going to triumph in the upcoming end-of-summer traditional Fruit War with the older, meaner GADIANTONS, and 2) whether or not he is ever going to get the opportunity to kiss FRANKIE MILLS, let alone make-out with her. Frankie is much more interested in BURT STALEY, who has both a car and his driver's license.
The Yorgason's see Craig off at Hill Field. As Craig takes-off in his F-100 jet, he turns and makes a very low pass over his family, dipping his wing. Yogi returns the salute and holds it, as tears of pride for a brother, whom he worships, sting his eyes.
Meanwhile, the Gilmerites, specifically GREG BREWER ("BRUISER"), the Bishop's son, STEVE WARREN ("MOUSE") and DAN SWINTON ("SWEDE"), are busy being teen-aged boys during the "only true season" -- summer. Bruiser is always getting himself -- and often his buddies -- into one kind of scrape or another; like their encounter with a skunk in The Gully when Bruiser convinces his friends that if you hold down a skunk's tail, you can't get sprayed.
Craig's departure puts Marcella into a funk. She argues with Grant over both the war and marital roles and accuses him of acting like a military general in the home. Grant suggests a role reversal. Marcella stomps off. Slouched in the study, watching their old black and white TV, she has a flash of inspiration, sits down at the typewriter and types "The Battle of Camp Polka-Dot."
Tryouts for the Roadshow are sheer chaos. Because they are Marcella's family, Grant and Yogi are expected to participate. Grant gets the role of "General." Yogi is assigned to run the spotlight, along with MIKE TURINE, the most unpopular, smelliest, closest-to-juvenile-delinquent boy in the Ward. During tryouts, Mike's older sister, PATTY, the Ward Vixen, sets her sights on the younger and more innocent Yogi.
Because he wants to learn about girls and cars, Yogi starts hanging-out with the older, worldlier Mike. Yogi has been taking guitar lessons. One afternoon at Mike's house, Mike explains what a great tool the guitar is for getting girls. He also teaches Yogi how to show a girl the Milky Way.
Tensions are building between the Gilmerites and Gadiantons. One afternoon, while filling-in for Mouse on his paper route, Yogi is "pantsed" by JOHN KOSTAS and some of the Gadiantons. This leads to an escalating round of hilarious dirty tricks between the two groups.
Rehearsals, meanwhile, continue chaotically and one wonders if the show will ever be ready to go on. One evening, after Mutual, Yogi wanders the dark ward grounds brooding over Frankie. He meets Patty and before he knows what's happening, they are making-out. Word arrives that very night that Craig's plane has been shot down and he's M.I.A. -- Missing In Action.
Craig's loss has a profoundly negative effect on both Marcella and Yogi. Marcella withdraws from everything, including the Roadshow. Yogi becomes more and more alienated from everyone except Mike and Patty. Mike tempts him more and more with things he knows he shouldn't do. And, things are getting way too serious with Patty.
Grant and Marcella realize that they are losing their other son. They mend their own feelings and pray for the help they need to keep the family together. OTTO SCHWARTZ, the Ward janitor who once lost his brother in war, catches Yogi and Patty making-out. He calls Yogi to repentance and challenges him to put the Lord to the test. On Yogi's way home, Mike shows up and tries to lure him back to his house to be with Patty. Yogi refuses and Mike becomes angry. Yogi goes home and searches his soul for the truth -- about his life, his testimony, and his brother. In a series of FLASHBACKS, he has a VISION of Craig, running in a jungle stream.
All the events are now coming together. Yogi re-joins the Gilmerites and helps with final preparation for the Fruit War. Marcella rejoins the Roadshow during the final week of rehearsals.
The day of the Fruit War arrives. Mike has switched sides and brings a load of evil-looking horse chestnuts in their spiny shells for Kostas and the Gadiantons to use as ammo. The Fruit War is a Grand Melee with lots of great action. Kostas wants to take it over the top, however, and is just about to do serious damage to Swede with a knife, when his mom calls him home. Meanwhile, it appears that the Gadiantons have won, but the Gilmerites lure them into a trap at their Gully Hideout. Yogi, however, has had enough of war and its escalation. He gives an impassioned speech that both groups are not enemies and may actually have to fight alongside each other in the real war one of these days. A much friendlier mudfight ensues. They are boys, after-all. On the way home, Frankie rushes up to tell Yogi that Craig has been found alive.
The Roadshow itself is a MONTAGE of performances at several different wards INTERCUT WITH the arrival of a military plane at Hill Field and the approach of a military vehicle. We recognize in "The Battle of Camp Polka-dot" some of the lessons learned by the cast members. At the final performance in Gilmer Park Ward, as Marcella and the cast are taking their bows, Craig is wheeled onstage and presents his mom with a bouquet of roses.
ADULT STAN, the narrator who begins and ends the story, notes that, for the life of him, he can't remember who won the prize that year. He also notes that if this were a Hollywood film, he and Frankie would have lived happily ever after. In truth, they never dated but remained fast friends. She married a jeweler and had about a zillion kids and Stan met his helpmeet and the love of his life while in the missionfield. But that's another story...