How to Make a Blockbuster Smash

from by Thadra Sheridan

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Memo: from the Corporate American Film Commission, regarding standard practices for successful blockbuster film

The commission has issued the following guidelines and specifications to assist prospective filmmakers in creating a

Villains are encouraged to be vaguely foreign, with some unplaceable accent, or representing past enemies or known violent groups, like Germany, or the Irish Republican Army.
Be cautious not to offend anyone specific.
Be creative; try a radical faction of a militant organization.
Or, if all else fails, use a Middle Eastern bad guy.
This is always acceptable.

Corporate injustice, and corrupt politicians may be addressed only after
a fifteen year statute of limitations has expired.
This implies that things like that don’t happen any more.
Civil Rights violations postdating 1969 are discouraged for the same above reason,

although current foreign attrocities are always a cheery boost for the American public.

Any film using any form of homosexual male affection
will be labelled Lavendar Screen, which implies,

Any film using a Native American protagonist must be
* a period piece, or
* depict this character as a trusty faithful sidekick.

When addressing other “ethnic” principles, adhere to the following guidelines:
Asian: Martial Arts related, or exotic female love interest.
Latino: Loveable comic relief, or smoldering male love interest.

Any ethnic group not represented in the preceding list is not recognized by the Corporate American Film Commission.

All male principle characters must have a devoted wife or girlfriend, or find one within the parameters of the film.
Even if he is
* extremely overworked
* occupied with matters of profound national importance
* a heavy drug user or criminal
She must forgive him, and wait eagerly for his affection.
Wives and girlfriends are forbidden to leave sympathetic male characters, unless they are immediately replaced with
younger, hotter, more understanding women.

We encourage
* Machine gunfire to accompany extreme distruction of property, and massive death tolls.
* Gigantic explosions as backgrounds to sillhouetted characters;
- running in slow motion towards the camera or
- walking, if they’re really cool
* Graphic depiction of serial murder and rape

We discourage
* smart women who don’t show their boobs
* male frontal nudity, and
* criticism of Christianity

Animated films are most successful when presenting
* A tragic work of literature
* Historic event, or
* Common mythology
Severely altered to include:
* The above specified love interest, and
* A happy ending

* Corporate product plugs
* All-nude strip joints
* Women as trophy sex accessories to
* Super Villains, and
* National Lampoon jocks

* male prostitutes
* abortion
* bestiality
* acne
* main characters who smoke, and
* overweight women under 35

Failure to adhere to the above specifications will earn your film the moniker of “Independant,” or “Alternative.”
It will experience a limited screening in
small movie houses, college campuses, and art galleries, or


from Poems My Rat Didn't Eat, released June 23, 2014



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Thadra Sheridan Minneapolis, Minnesota

Writer, Performer, Humorist, Teacher Thadra Sheridan has performed her works on stages from HBO's Def Poetry Jam to San Quentin Penitentiary. She writes a regular column on, and tries very hard to avoid waiting tables. Her recent film, "Waiting" recently went viral when it was picked up by Upworthy. ... more

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