Tarzan's Tripes Forever, and Other Feghoots

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The Movie Epic

Category: Rated G, Shaggy Dogs, Shaggydog listserv

This version was posted on the ShaggyDog listserv. It features Steven Spielberg, but it is much older than that. I first heard it in high school about a Cecil B. DeMille epic movie — with Charlton Heston, of course.


Steven Spielberg was filming his latest movie in the heart of the Amazon rain forest.

The costs involved in transporting tons of movie making equipment into the heart of the jungle were enormous. He literally had a cast of thousands to feed and clothe. It was his most expensive production yet and he sank his entire personal fortune into the project.

The biggest expense was building a faithful replica of an Ancient city in the middle of the jungle. No expense was spared to make the city authentic.

The climax of the movie was to be the complete destruction of the city in a dramatic fire. As Spielberg planned to actually burn the city to the ground there was only one chance to film it.

He set up four cameras. “OK, camera one, I want you up in the helicopter to get an over head shot of the whole scene.”

“OK, boss”

“Camera two, I’d like you at the edge of the clearing for a medium range shot.

“OK, boss”

“Camera three, we’ve built a special fireproof hut in the center of the city. You can poke the camera through a hole in the side and get a close up view from the heart of the fire”

“OK, boss”

“Camera four, I need you at the top of that hill over there to get a long range shot”

“OK, boss”

Once the cameras and actors were all in place, Spielberg himself lit the match to start the fire.

It was an amazing sight, the fire raged and roared for over an hour as the entire multi-million dollar set was completely destroyed and reduced to a smoking pile of ash.

Spielberg radioed the helicopter, “Camera one, how did it go?”

“Sorry, boss, but the smoke was so thick I couldn’t see a thing. Then the smoke got into the engine of the chopper and we were forced to land. I didn’t get anything.”

“Damn!” thought Spielberg, “well I guess I can just use the footage from the other three cameras.”

“Camera two, how did it go?”

“Sorry, boss, but the down draft from the chopper blades fanned the flames and started the bush all around us on fire. We had to run for safety and the camera was burned to a crisp.”

“Crap!, I guess I’ll have to make two with two cameras”

“Camera three, please tell me you got the shot”

“Sorry, boss, the fireproof hut worked fine, but the lens of the camera couldn’t take the heat and it melted. I got nothing”

“I can’t believe this!” cried Spielberg. “Thank god I sent that last camera up on the hill. The smoke didn’t blow that way, there was no brush fire or heat to worry about.”

He walks towards the hill, cups his hands to his mouth and yells…

“CAMERA FOUR!!”

And the cameraman yells back…

“READY WHEN YOU ARE!”


Alan,

When I heard this one from my grandmother in 1941 when I was just seven, the director was D. W. Griffith. Good ones just don’t die!

Jim Ryan

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