Sunday, 24 December 2017


Since first discovering the Maximum Fun network of podcasters about a year ago, I’ve been very pleased with all the series and shows that I’ve ended up subscribing to and have found myself especially enchanted with the wit and wisdom and pop-culture reach of one of the newer offerings, Story Break. Three professional Hollywood script writers get to take a break from the usual industry fare of the safe, sellable or filmable and spend an hour brainstorming, developing and finally pitching a movie based on a pastiche of odd premises, like the Kellogg’s Cinematic Universe with breakfast cereal mascots receiving the Marvel superhero treatment.
If you find yourself already exhausted with the existing holiday special line-up and can summon your imagination to limn out the festive scenario the crew is given, you will definitely want to check out their latest pre-production piece, Sleighrunner. The original arc of narrative began with a hegemonial on-line retailor kidnapping Santa Claus, first to take out the last vestige of competition and then to harness Kris Kringle’s unrivalled, perfect logistics and distribution set-up, which the company’s fleet of delivery drones and virtual omnipresence cannot match. Conceding, however, that the corporation already dominates the holiday, the writers take a different angle and have the online retailor not satisfied with capturing the commercial side of the holiday season but also aspiring to make Christmas magic real for all by raising a drone army of Santa’s Helpers capable delivering their presents in person at the appointed hour, arriving in reindeer drawn flying sleighs. A glitch happens however during the first test-flight and the prototype, sentient robot Santa crashes to Earth and no longer can access his original programming not realise that he’s a replicant (tagline: Naughty or Nice – They All Run). Hunted down by a legion of drone Santas and accompanied by a young child who found the castaway robot who believes him to be the real Saint Nicholas, our malfunctioning robot learns about commercialism and the true meaning of Christmas and in some sense does become the real Santa. Or something—nonetheless, it’s a movie I’d watch.