Executive Compensation

 


Overview: Based on the 15th century play Clizia by the Florentine Niccolo Machiavelli, author of “The Prince.” Translation by Don Sices. Feature.


Summary/Synopsis:


Conniving characters in commedia dell’arta costume scheme and snoop in downtown Wall Street right in the middle of our modern work day illustrating for all that the fundamental things still apply as time goes by. The chief executive officer, a Pantalone, wishes to steal the wedding night of his adopted daughter, but he is craftily and hilariously thwarted by his world-worn weary wary with-it song writing wife, Sofronia.


Meanwhile, on Fire Island surprise terrorists are guilefully outfoxed by the residents.


If you like seeing the Bernie Madoff’s of the world get theirs and get it old style, this Bud’s for you. Think of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”


Adaptation by T. D. White


Genre: Feature Comedy (commedia erudita)


Budget: 2,000,000


Share/Units: $2,500


Opening Scenes:


MUSIC.  “Time,” by The Chambers Brothers. “As Time Goes By,” Brian Ferry maybe?


EXT. - THE “LAW” BUILDING ON MADISON AVENUE AND 25TH STREET - DAY 


Ten people in professional business dress along with press people loiter about the steps in front of the building, chatting either to each other or on cel phones  The scene should look like the end of a “Law and Order” episode.


Among them is a smug, smiling, well-dressed, white-haired executive in his sixties who descends the steps toward a limousine or cab.  A blond young female whose face we do not see waits in the back seat.  Two men ENTER FRAME with a uniformed police officer.  The officer cuffs him. The car takes off. One of the detectives waves for a police car to pull up.


INT. - A PRISON CELL - DAY


The executive is placed into the cell by the police.  PAN to a huge smiling goon, prosaically, say, licking his chops.


SMILING GOON

You’ll do just fine ....


END MUSIC.


EXT.- UNION SQUARE NYC FARMER’S MARKET - DAY


PAN about a busy, bustling crowd of shoppers and workers passing through.  Standing out amidst them are all the characters in Niccolo Macchiavelli’s “Clizia” who are costumed commedia dell’arte Renaissance Florentine circa 1520.


CLEANDRO (Pulcinella, perhaps) and PALAMEDE back into each other as comedically as Harpo and Chico.  PALAMEDE (type as Coviello), like a tourist, takes pictures with a cel phone and CLEANDRO juggles apples and oranges.


PALAMEDE

Why are you leaving your house so early in the morning?


CLEANDRO

Where are you coming from so early in the morning?


PALAMEDE

I have been taking care of some business.


CLEANDRO

And I am on my way to take care of some, or to be more precise, to try to, for I have no assurance whatsoever that I shall be able to do it.


PALAMEDE

Is it something you can talk about?


CLEANDRO

I don’t know, but I do know that it is something that will be hard to manage.


PALAMEDE

All right, I had better get going, because I can see you’re in no mood for company.  That is why I have been avoiding you, since I always find you ill-humored and distracted. 


CLEANDRO

I am not distracted, I am in love.