J. Bear Savo

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Pitches for auction-themed movies

BEHIND THE BLOCK: Pitches for auction-themed movies
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Oddly enough, there is a lack of auction-themed motion pictures in the vast library of cinema. Sure, there are plenty of movies in which auctions occur, but there aren’t any feature films that concentrate on auctions and/or auctioneers. Perhaps Hollywood producers don’t think that the auction world is intriguing or sexy enough for the silver screen, or maybe no one has emerged with an idea worthy of being produced. Assuming that the latter is true (because the auction world is definitely intriguing and sexy), I have compiled a few of my own ideas for auction-themed movies.

Gavel of Gore (Horror): Art lovers in Philadelphia are forced to collect clandestinely and in constant fear when a new street gang, the Phillystines, publicly vow to destroy all works of art within the city. When the thugs break into the Franklin Institute and bend all the bottle caps in the museum’s “Pop Cap Art Collection,” the city cries for justice.

One auctioneer, Henry Hartman, decides to take the law into his own hands. He sets a trap for the Phillystines by advertising that a collection of Ron Howard napkin art is on display at his gallery. The Phillystines take the bait. Henry Hartman is waiting for them when they break in. In the ensuing gun battle, Henry is killed. The brave auctioneer is laid to rest with an oversized steel gavel, a modern sculpture made for him by his welder wife. However, Henry’s determination to destroy the Phillystines persists beyond his death. He rises from the grave to bloodily crush each member of the Phillystines beneath his giant gavel.

The Enchanter (Drama): Soon after Vera Mephobnoxious opens her own auction house, she quickly becomes the most successful auctioneer in the United States. Antique experts are baffled as to why Vera’s auctions are the most attended in the country and why the estate merchandise she offers achieves at least 1,000 percent more than it should. Neither can anyone explain why all the men who attend Vera’s auctions lustily throw themselves at her without shame or self-control.

Exhausted from her hectic selling schedule, Vera decides to take a vacation and visit her grandparents in Greece where a family secret is revealed to her. Vera learns that she is a direct descendant of the Sirens, those mythical creatures whose irresistible songs steered ancient sailors to their doom. Vera realizes that her auction chant is tainted with this power. Now she must decide whether to abandon the career she loves so much or continue to exploit her power. If she continues to use her enchanted chant, can she ever trust that her success is real? Will she ever be able to find true love amidst the throng of men who throw themselves at her? What will Vera do?

Auctionette’s (Dark Comedy): After 30 years as an auctioneer, Jack Foster’s chant has crept into his day-to-day dialogue. He answers the phone, orders food, and talks to his family and friends with a sing-song, rhythmic, repetitive dialect. Eventually his condition worsens and Jack starts carrying his gavel everywhere he goes, using it during conversations to end his sentences by striking it against walls, furniture, or whatever is nearby.

Knowing that his wife is becoming more and more frustrated with his peculiarity, Jack visits a jewelry store to buy her a gift. He’s arrested when he ends a lyrical question to a salesperson by shattering a showcase with his gavel. While in jail, Jack is evaluated and diagnosed with Auctionette’s Syndrome, a rare form of Tourette’s that affects auctioneers. With no known cure, Jack must find a way to live a normal life while enduring this disease.

So there… three perfectly viable films about auctions and auctioneers. If any producers reading this post are interested, feel free to contact me. I can start writing the screenplays as soon as I receive an advance.

Photo courtesy of Carlo Savo, photographed for Savo Auctioneers, LLC

There’s far more to being a professional auctioneer than merely marketing merchandise. Each Wednesday, Behind the Block explores the precise methods, the elemental madness, and the intrinsic humanity of the auction industry.