September 26, 2006

F Troop:  the movie?

A message from Bobby Logan:My producing partner, Alan Hall, and I have purchased the rights to turn "F Troop" into a feature film. As writer/director of four previous feature films (including the Leslie Nielsen Exorcist spoof "Repossessed" and "Meatballs 4" starring Corey Feldman), I've completed a screenplay for the "F Troop" movie. We are now in the process of finding the financing for the film, since I prefer to produce the movie as an independent feature (as opposed to having the studios finance it). My reasoning is that I want more control over casting--thus allowing me to cast Native American actors in the lead roles of the Hekawis without any interference from the studios.

Matter of fact, one idea I have is to assemble a group of Native America tribes who are doing well in the gaming industry to finance the project. Helping us to spread the word would be most beneficial to us all. Here's where I'm hoping you can help, Robert.

If you'd like much more info, please feel free to call me and I would be more than willing to answer any of your questions.

Best,

Bobby Logan
http://www.bobbyworks.com

18 comments:

Carole said...

Hokay. Now I think I've heard it all. I mean, come on...F TROOP??? Yeesh. This show was childish and dumb even by the standards of 60's sitcoms. I mean, I thought it was funny....but then again, in the the 1960's I WAS childish and dumb. Though I had good reason. I was a child and...

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
F TROOP in its day was a moderately funny spoof and fair in its depictions because EVERYBODY was stupid. I was in a similar kind of spoof, KING OF THE AMAZONS (also titled FREDDIE OF THE JUNGLE and GORILAS A TODO RITMO) which was my first movie appearance, playing a Native guide leading an African safari (no lie!).
I happen to love spoofs (GET SMART! and POLICE SQUAD! and AIRPLANE!) because they do not take themselves seriously and neither should the viewing audience. Of course, people who don't get it as far as spoofs are concerned, always will find things wrong with them.
And now I am reminded that I keep leaving GHOSTBUSTERS from Filmation out of my TV resume`. It was yet another Forrest Tucker/Larry Storch comedy duo, wherein two parapsychologist detectives and a gorilla hunt for ghosts and capture them. The movie GHOSTBUSTERS acknowledges the little Saturday morning TV show and even credits the concept to Filmation.
It was harmless enough in its own way and only ivory tower purists would claim it was anything else by a satire. But one man's satire is another person's bitter herbs.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Carole said...

Must be a guy thing. My husband loves Mel Brooks, Naked Gun, Airport, Get Smart, and the Three Stooges.

Guess we women are just more evolved ;)

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Yes, it is a guy thing because men's minds do not demand that EVERYTHING make logical sense all the time, every time. If anything, illogicality and even syllogisms genuinely can be entertaining for men as distraction from the deadly seriousness foisted on them by careers, families, and society in general. Taking joy from stupidity really can be rather liberating. I can't wait for Mel Brooks to finish the Broadway play he is crafting from his horror spoof, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. And the special place in men's hearts reserved for The Monty Python troupe further proves the point. It does not always have to make sense to make its own kind of sense.
All Best
Rus Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

I'm looking forward to seeing Get Smart when it comes out on DVD. But I find most "spoofs" terribly unfunny. Give me a Woody Allen, Larry Gelbart, or Norman Lear any day.

I've seen a lot of people claim that one show or another spoofs everyone equally. It's almost never that way in reality. If the spoof involves a minority such as Indians, the minority usually comes off worse.

Rob said...

The track record of people doing film versions of TV shows hasn't been good. The Wild Wild West, The Avengers, Starsky and Hutch, Bewitched...none of these captured the charm of the original.

Now someone's going to do a film version of F Troop, which is a slight concept to begin with? Like Carole, I have my doubts.

I'd say the odds of this being one of the few spinoffs that's better than the original are slim. And if it isn't better than the original, it could be very bad indeed.

Not a Sioux said...

There are plenty of bad "TV into movies", but there are some great ones as well. "The Fugitive" and "The Untouchables" first come to mind. I enjoyed the first "Addams Family" film more than I ever enjoyed the show. The "Maverick" film (Mel Gibson again, and also good ol Graham Greene) was well regarded (but I've never seen either the film or the TV show. I did like the first "Mission Impossible" movie. "Quatermass and the Pit" (Five Million Miles from Earth) apparently is an example of this (a wonderful British science fiction film), made off a TV show.

Bobby Logan said...

Because I am the filmmaker who will be turning "F Troop" into a feature film, I must take issue with something that Rob said:

"...I'd say the odds of this being one of the few spinoffs that's better than the original are slim."

With respect, Rob, how can you possible make such a comment when:

a) You haven't even read the screenplay?

b) You have no clue who will star in the film? And...

c) ...YOU HAVEN'T EVEN SEEN THE MOVIE?

Obviously anyone can have an opinion about anything in the world. However, when they are backed by knowledge of the subject matter they are usually taken more seriously.

Comments like yours are on a par with someone saying "...I hate the food in that restaurant" when that person hasn't even eaten there before.

But, then again, that's just MY opinion.

Bobby Logan

Rob said...

Bobby, I was specifically talking about the "odds" facing any movie spinoff, not about your particular movie. I judged these odds based on the long history of movie spinoffs, which is readily apparent to anyone, not on your particular circumstances. I sincerely hope your movie will be an exception to the rule.

Anyway, thanks for posting your thoughts. Feel free to tell us more about your plans.

Not a Sioux said...

Mr. Logan: Are you planning to give Rob at look at the screenplay?

(I guess I'm pretty much of a blank slate on this one, having never really heard of "F Troop" before. I really don't have any preconceptions on it.

Rob said...

Think of my comments as a preview of the skepticism you'll face when pitching a spoof of Indians (and cowboys) to gaming tribes and the Native community in general. If I were you, I'd address people's concerns in advance so they become supporters instead of skeptics.

Not a Sioux said...

Go to imdb.com (login required for this part) and you will actually find a sort of "what if?" discussion about the F-Troop movie. The participants appear unaware that one is on the works. The Native issues are discussed in it:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058800/board/nest/16372286

Bobby Logan said...

Rob,

Thank you for clarifying your comments. Also, I appreciate the opportunity to express my views here at your blog. Truly.

Regarding the "odds" of movie spinoffs, the fact is that slightly over 100 TV series have been turned into movies. That's a lot. Why? Because, your odds aside, they mostly do very well at the box office. Especially in the ancillary markets (DVDs, pay-per-view, international markets) after the theatrical run.

Believe me, Hollywood is all about making money. Period. And if these "TV series turned into movies" were not successful, Hollywood would stop making them in a minute. The odds are definitely in their favor -- not against.

Bobby

Bobby Logan said...

Rob,

Regarding the perceived "skepticism" you're suggesting I may receive in pitching a spoof of Indians (and cowboys), I can tell you that I've already been approached by the Oneidas of New York (in particular by Ray Halbritter) expressing his interest in the movie project.

I am most award of the sensitivity involved here -- and this is why I am pushing, so very hard, to have nothing less than a 100% Native American cast in place with this film. And, further, that the storyline features the Indians as being "heroes" in the end, helping to save the troopers from disaster.

FWIW.

Bobby

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
TO THE ATTN OF MR. LOGAN...
writerfella urges caution on all counts, but the one about which he urges the most caution is dealing with the Oneida Tribe of New York. Earlier this decade, the Oneidas, in tandem with the NBC television network and a major university, held an ostensible 'talent search' for singers, dancers, actors, comedians, and writers of Native origin. The segment for writers was separate from the other competitions, which held finals in scattered areas of the country, with semi-finals and finals held in New York. The writers competition solicited entry response from Native writers by publishing ads in Native newspapers and in mainstream newspapers in native areas. And I, writerfella, in response downloaded the entry materials, sent several examples of my writing including short stories, teleplay and screenplay excerpts, a copy of my Kiowa CDIB, a head shot, and a short bio piece. These were dispatched to the Oneida address, where they then reportedly would be sent to their educator panel at a major university, and the 'winners' would have their material sent to NBC for evaluation.
Came time for the contest to end, no announcements ever were made. I inquired and was told the competition was extended. Some months later, I inquired again and was told the competition was ended, I was not among the selected 'winners', as my material had been evaluated by NBC and 'found wanting', and that my materials would be returned to me forthwith. What happened to the educator panel at a major university? They never answered the question.
After a year's time and with nothing returned to me, I queried once again and was told that my materials had been damaged and then become lost. Since one of their secretaries had told me her exclusive duty was to make copies of all materials submitted, the explanation of damage and loss made no sense whatsoever.
Then, on their website, I found that the winners from the first year of their writing 'competition' either were Oneida people or they were from tribes in the same Native Confederation, with the exception of a short poem from a Wyoming teenage girl.
At no time were 'winners' named from the competition I entered and I did not have to aim my nose at Denmark to know that something was amiss.
I contacted NBC and, though I was told byn the Oneidas that NBC had seen my material, the executive who was the Oneida liaison told me quite plainly that he never had seen my materials at all. Armed with this and the NBC man's instructions to inform the Oneidas he wished to see my writing, I approached them once again and was told flatly that the competition was over and they didn't have any materials of mine to send, either to NBC or to me.
To this day, they deny any impropriety, Ray Halbritter said that the Oneidas cannot be sued because they are a sovereign nation (which is NOT true, especially in matters of copyright infringement and false appropriation of intellectual property), and that the matter was closed. It is not closed, as I am going after them through the auspices of the Oklahoma Congressional delegation (both OK Senators are on the Indian Affairs Commission) and the office of Sen Hillary Clinton and the US Department of Justice. To my credit, I accomplished a duplicate set of documents and enclosed both by Certified Mail on the same day, one to the Oneidas and one to be stored in the Registry service at the Writers Guild of America, west.
Here is where the matter takes on 'conspiracy theory' tones and indications: I have been a film and television writer since 1969, a Native writer trained by the WGAw Open Door for minority writers, who was the very first industry trainee to sell to a major network TV series. I hold one Emmy, have won a Peabody Award and a Newberry medal, a Melies Prize, among others, and somehow still my writing was 'found wanting.'
All of the above is FYI and words to the wise. At this point, I am appealing to the National Indian Gaming Commission that they uphold and ratify their proposed regulations to return all Indian Gaming back to Bingo-based operations only, using my experience at the hands of the Oneida Tribe as my reasoning. In time, there may not be the kind of funding you are seeking.
Just thought you should know...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Bobby Logan said...

Russ,

Sorry (truly) to hear what you went through back then. FYI, I have yet to strike a deal with anyone regarding the financing of "F Troop," including Ray and the Oneidas. I will certainly keep your warning in mind.

Thanks.

Bobby

Rob said...

I was thinking more of the critical reaction than the box-office receipts. I know that many movies break even, at least, when you include the ancillary markets. Even if no one likes them very much.

As "not a sioux" said, see the IMDB.com discussions under "F Troop" for more on this subject.

GuyNemeth said...

You know how I know this probably won't be good? Because it doesn't have the same actors as the show. The terrific acting and comic genius of the actors is what made the show great. Also, you keep talking about finding real Native Americans to play the Hekawis. Have you forgotten that Chief Wild Eagle was an Italian? It was a SPOOF, it's not supposed to be authentic that's why it was funny. Honestly trying to go that authentic could kill it.