The scene: Enter10ment, Inc., headquarters.  An impromptu, drop-in brainstorming meeting has been scheduled, with a very rigid attendee list, and a precisely defined agenda.  The event takes place “noonish”, with anyone arriving before or after noon subject to a “BRSP” (or Behavior Repair Strategic Plan).  The location is officially designated MR342, but casually called “Benito’s Break Room”.

Pat Majors, III (PMIII): “Thank you all for attending today, non-gender specific honorifics.  By saying thank you, no recognition of extra-regular duty is suggested or implied.  You are here voluntarily, of your own free will, and with no anticipation that attending or not attending in any way affects your performance evaluations.  Please use your right thumb on the identify verification pad which is being circulated, and sign the sign-in sheet with your name, employee number, cost center, and manager’s name and phone number.  We will be collecting said sign-in sheet in three minutes, and copies will be circulated to all of your managers, both in soft and hard copy, to be placed in your personnel file.

You now have one minute to review the agenda displayed on the screen.  As always, Enter10ment, Inc., welcomes free expression and spontaneous thought.  Please hold all questions or comments about the agenda until the first non-scheduled bio-break, which will occur in 27 minutes for a period of thirteen minutes.

At this time, Seht would like you to turn off all mobile communication devices and close your computers.  All pens and pencils and other mechanical data recording devices should be put away.  Seht expects your full and undivided attention.

We are a forward-looking company, so we will dispense with any old business.  The topic for today is Proactive Optimization of Profit through Innovation.  POPI is a strategic initiative to make sure we are cutting edge.

Cecil, your movie division report, please.”

Cecil: “We have recently developed a new technique that promises to cut our remake production costs immensely.  We now operate under the assumption that all of our movies will be released as remakes at some time in the future.  Therefore, we simply shoot two versions at the same time: same script, same sets, but different actors.  That way, we can release the remake in five years time at very little cost.”

Seht (by phone): “That’s stupid.  How do you know what actors will be popular five years from now?  Here, do this.  Digital recordings of all the sets and set-ups.  That way, we can insert whoever the flavor of the week is whenever we want to do that.”

PMIII: “Cecil, do you have any movies you have already started to make with two casts?”

Cecil: “27, currently.”

Seht: “Scrap ’em.  Digitize it.  When are you going to have photorealistic CGI?  I hate having to rely on actors.”

Cecil: “There have been complications in our contracts with the Actors Union.  They won’t voice the characters if we don’t hire some face actors.”

Seht: “I hate actors, and I hate contracts.  Figure out a way to digitize the voices, too.  H*ll, I’ll provide the emotions: how hard can it be?” 

Cecil: “On it, Seht.”

Seht: “Pat, who’s next?”

PMIII: “Alex, your report on books.”

Alex: “Ahem.  Well, we think we’ve developed something really new, something really exciting…I don’t think it’s been done in books before.”

Seht: “And that is?”

Alex: “Well, we were looking at the other divisions, seeing where their successes were, and so on.  I met with Cecil.  As you no doubt know, sequels and remakes are big business in movies.”

Seht: “I’m not an idiot.”

Alex: “We have the sequel thing all down.  Most of our books are parts of series.  That goes back a long way.  What we haven’t been doing is remakes.  Thank you for putting up my slide, Pat.  As you can see, we call this proposal, ‘Rebooks’.  Here’s the idea.  We take a successful book, one still under copyright and where we own those rights, and have some other author rewrite it.”

Seht: “And release it how?  With a different title?”

Alex: “No, that wouldn’t be honest…and we wouldn’t need another writer for that.  We already do that: we change covers and titles all the time, so we can sell the same books over and over again.  No, this would take a famous book, use the exact same plot and characters, and just have some other author rewrite it.  Then, we release it under the same title…but with the different author.”

Seht: ‘So, Gone with the Wind…by John Grisham?”

Alex: “Exactly!  Move it to Ford Country.  You see, the plot doesn’t have to be exactly the same…I misspoke earlier.  Grisham can do what he wants with it…as long as it’s called Gone with the Wind and has Rhett and Scarlett, we’re golden.  We’re also thinking a lot more modern than that…once the initial sales cycle has played out, we bring out a new version.  Sure, we could do To Kill a Mockingbird by Scott Turow, but what about Interview with the Vampire by Stephenie Meyer?”

Seht: “I like where you are going with it, but those big name authors on the rewrite are going to cost money.  How about this?  We use up-and-comers to do the rebooks.  Maybe somebody who’s only done one book.  Or…we could combine this with TV!  We could do a reality show to find an author to rewrite, let’s say, The Stand!  A bunch of wannabe horror writers…we could find some real oddballs there.  I think we could synergize all ten divisions!  A TV series to find the author, we make a movie of the new version, we get some bozo alternative bands to write music about it, we do a kid’s version, stage musical, graphic novel, toys!  I like it!  Get to work on it right away!”

Hali: “We don’t have the rights to The Stand…or the other books mentioned.”

Seht: “That was just an example…you folks in Legal never get d*mned hypotheticals.  I don’t care what the h*ll book you use.  Alex, pick our bestseller from ten years ago…we’ll do one a year until we see how this works out.  One good idea a meeting is more than I expect from this team.  Pat, wrap it up.”

PMIII: “Any further discussion will be taken offline.  Seht appreciates your involvement and attendance.  Enjoy the rest of your lunch.”

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

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