I was out carousing around my fave blogs today, looking for something interesting to write about (hey, it's a slow news day) when I came across this post over on Mike Jones's The Circuit blog on Variety about a guy trapped in an elevator for 41 hours.
The New Yorker website has a time-lapse video up of this poor dude who went for a smoke break and then got stuck in the damn elevator. The video is kind of harrowing if you, like me, are prone to claustrophobia and already have an irrational fear of elevators. A commenter on The Circuit noted that the video is better than most of the shorts he'd juried recently for fests, which got me thinking ...
There are all kinds of movies you could make about a guy getting stuck in an elevator. Add a girl -- someone the guy likes but who's always seemed out of reach, and you have a rom-com. Or stick him in there with his asshole boss, or the annoying guy from the next cubicle over, and you could make an Office Space-ish comedy (side note: why is there always an annoying guy in the next cubicle? Every cubicle-farm job I've had, there's always been some ultra-annoying guy in a nearby cube).
Charlie Kaufman might take the idea and leave the guy in there alone for two or three days, but then populate the elevator with lots of quirky, imaginery characters to keep the guy company, and have him hallucinate all kinds of weirdness. M. Night Shyamalan would have the elevator full of other people, create a movie about the conflicts that arise among all these poor schmucks trapped together, and then have a startling reveal at the end where -- surprise! -- all those people were really ghosts of people who had died in the elevator.
Check out the video for yourself, then let us know your best trapped-in-an-elevator screenplay ideas. I bet our readers have better screenplay ideas than half the folks drawing big studio checks in Hollywood.