Not too long after the announcement that Denison would be a stop along this year’s RAGBRAI route, a friend of mine suggested I should make a movie for the event.
She had helped promote the Halloween film festival we put on at the Donna Reed Theater last October and has been pushing me to do more.
The gist of her idea is that it would be a short film that plays on a loop at the Donna Reed Theater. Bicyclists could wander in and check it out as they tour the town.
I imagine the Donna Reed Theater Foundation Board already has some ideas of their own about what will be taking place at the theater while the cyclists are in town.
The film could simply play on a large television in some public place if the theater is unavailable.
I haven’t done much of anything with the idea to this point because I quite honestly have no idea what the film would be about.
Anything worth spending the time to make would have to be something the bicyclists would talk about later on RAGBRAI and then long after the ride is over.
It would have to be entertaining and memorable.
I would not be interested in doing some dry movie with local leaders talking about why Denison is a great town. I don’t want to make that film and I’m pretty sure nobody wants to watch it.
RAGBRAI riders want to have fun in the towns where they stop for the night.
The film would have to be part of the entertainment.
It would also have to be something that did not take away from any of the other planned events going on around town.
It would just be a little thing off to the side.
The first idea that popped into my head was to do a fake history of Denison; the tornado that took out the odd-numbered streets in 1954, the old 150-foot tall rocketship that used to sit at Washington Park, how the courthouse was moved to town by a team of horses, the other famous actress from Denison.
Silly stuff like that.
Another idea was to do something about “RAGBRAI babies” that are born nine months after the ride. I have to admit the only reason I thought about that as an idea was because I know someone with a RAGBRAI baby.
I don’t know that either of those ideas is the right idea – they’re just what I have so far.
We have enough time to make something, assuming a good idea presents itself.
I would gauge RAGBRAI riders’ attention spans for this kind of thing to be about four minutes maximum, so we wouldn’t be looking at something that would take six weeks to shoot.
I invited anyone interested in the Halloween movie to come help make it happen – and that project worked out pretty well. We spent two weekends shooting it and the showing made few hundred dollars for the Donna Reed Foundation.
I’ll put out the same invitation for this project.
If we make a film, we’ll have almost five months to do it. That’s far better than the four weeks we had to make the Halloween film.
The people who were interested showed up for a meeting and we were out scouting for locations about an hour later. Six days later we shot the first scene. Eight days after that we were done shooting.
We have an opportunity to spend a lot more time cooking up something clever for RAGBRAI.
If brainstorming or writing is your thing or if you think you’re funny but you’ve never had the chance to prove it, here’s your big chance.
Contact me here at the newspaper at 712-263-2122 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.