' ' Cinema Romantico: Guest Post: An Open Letter To Meryl Streep

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Guest Post: An Open Letter To Meryl Streep

Dear Meryl Streep,

First of all, may I say what an honor it is to be communicating with you. You are truly a living legend, an artistic barometer against whom actors for generations will be measured. The fact that you are reading this letter (or, alternatively and more realistically, that it is being summarized to you by an under-paid personal assistant) means more to me than you can know.

If I may, I would like to begin by introducing myself. My name is Daryl A. Moon, a comedian, filmmaker, and screenwriter in Chicago. Obviously, you have not heard of me. I would like to think it is because Hollywood’s insular nature has caused it to ignore any creativity from the “fly-over zone,” but in actuality it is because my career has been spectacularly unobservable by the world around it. That’s not to say I haven’t had accomplishments. In 1999, I won the Funniest Person in Iowa stand-up comedy contest (prestigious, I know), and in 2009 I won the People’s Pilot Screenwriting Contest (my TV pilot screenplay featured Billy Zane playing himself in a sort of faux-real surrealist sitcom, and it is as daring as it is unlikely to ever be made, especially considering where I live). During the intervening decade, I discovered filmmaking, and that’s the crux of this letter.

Let’s be honest – at this point, there is almost no one stupid enough to doubt your absolute dominance of the screen. You’re so preposterously good that people barely bother to judge your work anymore. For the love of God, you won for “The Iron Lady,” which, without you, would have been relegated to being a Lifetime original movie. (I do not mean to disparage LOMs – I would freaking love to have a screenplay filmed as one, but I’m trying to point out how unbelievable you are). Your prowess is so widely acclaimed, if you just stared at the camera for two hours without saying anything, people would practically throw gold statues at you.

And that’s where I come in. I am not a very good film director. My first movie, “In The House of Water and Light,” is nearly unwatchable. I filmed it with little to no camera movement, and the shots are almost universally at a flat angle. In my defense, it was the first thing I had ever filmed, and I never took any classes. So that means that for my first ever project, I filmed a full-length feature (which I had co-written) with a cast of 26 people, and none of my friends whom I recruited to help produce this gem had any film experience either. It was, to quote my father, “technically a movie, I guess.” If you doubt the awesome terribleness of the movie, please watch the preview, which actually makes the movie look much better than it is.

I later went on to film a documentary (“Road Dogs: The Grassroots Comedy Tour”) which is quite watchable but which was very non-ambitious. Orson Welles took on Hearst; I filmed comedians telling dick jokes in small towns. Nonetheless, it’s fun to watch, but don’t let that fool you. It is roughly edited, the structure is stilted, and the DVD menus are "cool" Apple default menus from DVD Studio Pro. 

Since that time I have filmed a couple of short films. On my most recent film, I had to scrap hours worth of takes because I WAS HOLDING MY FINGER OVER THE CAMERA’S BUILT-IN MICROPHONE, WHICH I WAS USING FOR MY SOUND. The point is, I’m not very good at this. (Wow, weird thing just happened - while I was writing this letter I just received notice that this film was accepted to a film festival. It's the first festival I've ever been accepted to. Which sort of belies the point of this missive, since it makes me seem competent, but let's wait to rush to judgment until we see what other movies they've accepted, too. I guess I just wanted you to know.)

And therein lies your challenge. Everyone knows you could win an Oscar for just about anything. I’m offering you the opportunity to test the bounds of that “just about.” Let me film you in a movie. I have a few scripts (and great script ideas I’ve been too lazy and procrastination-prone to finish writing) that might work for you. Want to be on a wacky pirate ship in a historically-muddled time? Care to be an evil super-genius taking on a bumbling office worker who doesn’t realize he works for a CIA front company? How about the commander of a space station on Mars dealing with the Zombie Apocalypse ravishing Earth? Or hell, do you have an idea so stupid you didn’t want to tell anyone for fear of getting laughed at? I WILL FILM ANYTHING! NOW’S YOUR CHANCE!

I cannot stress enough how this is not a joke. I quite sincerely and truly want to give you this opportunity to prove you are the greatest actor alive. Think about it – if you can win with me, then you can clearly do anything. I await word from you.

Daryl Moon


(P.S. – lest you think I am not enough of an actor to truly understand the performer’s plight, please enjoy this forty-second glimpse into the acting prowess of Mr. Daryl A. Moon. Cheers!)

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