Magic Cinema – Aarongarry Aaron Ross

AaronGarry Aaron Ross
A. B. C.

Welcome to the next in the Magic Cinema series. Tonight’s feature will include the movie scene that a majority of you might have seen on YouTube, but haven’t even seen the whole movie. That’s ok, we live in a world where all you need to see about a movie can be summed up in one scene.

This movie is a little closer to my heart since in a round about way, this is kinda what I do for a living (you know, when I’m not writing Magic blogs): real estate. When I tell people I work in real estate, they always ask about this movie and ask if it’s like that. I say “Oh yes, exactly like that, especially now with the economy the way it is,” except I swear every other word because everyone does that in real estate according to writer David Mamet. That’s right ladies and gentlemen, this is a NSFW post for language. Some people get offended by it, but this is too good of a scene not to parody.

If you can’t see the actor’s names on the poster, let me tell them to you: Al Pachino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey. If you’ve heard of any of those actors, you need to see this movie. This all when they were in their prime, and some have said this has been Alec Baldwin’s best performance (Though I’ve always loved his comedic performances). If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s worth a shot.

Anyway, let’s get to it.

Aarongarry Aaron Ross

A little known fact about Wizards of the Coast is that not all of their card designs come from “The Pit” (A collection of Magic R&D, Design, and other Magic related employees), but are outsourced to various design houses in the Seattle area. Within these offices, people sit at decks like a normal job and try and create cards on commission to be released in the new sets. Most of the time it’s older men who used to be in gaming, such as the guy who created Boggle and invented the joystick, who do the designing.

At one of the offices, the cards have been slowly trickling down both in quality and quantity (the only card of theirs that made it into Zendikar was Mindless Null). This has been happening for the past few sets so Wizards decided to send someone down to talk to them: Aaron Forsythe, Director of R&D (@mtgaaron). So on a regular rainy night in Seattle, the office manager, Randy Buehler (@rbuehler) calls a staff meeting so that Aaron can speak to them.

INT – DESIGN OFFICE – NIGHT

The rain slams against the windows as the employees shake off their umbrellas and rain coats. AARON is standing at the front of the office wearing a nice suit and tie talking to RANDY. The old men, BEN, BLAKE and JASON start to get comfortable in their seats. AARON stands up and opens his suitcase towards him and walks over to the blackboard on the side of the room. During his speech, he wonders back and forth across the front of the room with his hands in his pockets.

AARON
Let me have your attention for a moment! So you’re talking about what? You’re talking about…
(beat)
…bitching about that card you shot, somebody that doesn’t want what you’re creating, some broad you’re trying to screw and so forth. Let’s talk about something important.
(To Randy)
Are they all here?

RANDY
All but one.

AARON
(To Randy)
Well, I’m going anyway.

BEN stands up from his desk and walks to the back of the room to the coffee maker. He starts to pour himself some of the leftover “rocket fuel” coffee that was brewed this morning.

AARON
(continuing)
Let’s talk about something important!
(To Ben, sternly)
Put that coffee down!

BEN stops mid-pour and looks at AARON confused. AARON strolls between the desks toward BEN.

AARON
(continuing)
Coffee’s for designers only.

BEN scoffs. He can’t believe that someone that young is talking to him in that tone of voice.

AARON
(continuing)
Do you think I’m fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I’m here from Renton. I’m here from Wizards of the Coast. And I’m here on a mission of mercy.
(beat)
Your name’s Ben?

BEN
Yeah.

AARON looks him up and down, sizing him up.

AARON
You call yourself a designer, you son of a bitch?

The old men get nervous. BEN sets down the coffee pot getting ready to defend his honor. JASON gets up from his desk and start to put on his rain drenched coat.

JASON
I don’t have to listen to this shit.

AARON
You certainly don’t pal. ‘Cause the good news is: you’re fired.

AARON strolls to the front of the room passing the other two old designers, not even looking at them. Meanwhile BEN walks back to his desk and sits down.

AARON
(continuing)
The bad news is you’ve got, all you got, just one week to regain your jobs, starting tonight. Starting with tonight’s chat.

He whips around to face them now.

AARON
(continuing)
Oh, have I got your attention now?

He pans the room and everyone is silent, staring at him. The only noise is the rain pounding on the office windows. JASON finally sits down.

AARON
(continuing)
Good. ‘Cause we’re adding a little something to this months sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a case of Zendikar. Anyone want to see second prize?

Reaching into his suitcase, AARON produces four cards.

AARON
(continuing)
Second prize’s a playset of Pro Tour Umezawa’s Jittes. Third prize is you’re fired.
(beat)
You get the picture? You laughing now? You got mechanics; Wizards of the Coast paid good money. Use their ideas to design cards! You can’t design the mechanics you’re given, you can’t design shit, you ARE shit, hit the bricks pal and beat it ’cause you are going out!

Finally, someone speaks up.

BEN
The mechanics are weak.

AARON
(Flabbergasted)
“The mechanics are weak.” Fuckin’ mechanics are weak?
(To Ben sternly)
You’re weak. I’ve been in this business fifteen years.

JASON
(To Aaron)
What’s your name?

AARON
(To Jason)
FUCK YOU, that’s my name!

JASON laughs as AARON strolls over to his desk. Leaning in, AARON gets close to JASON’S face.

AARON
(continuing)
You know why, Mister? ‘Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove a eighty thousand dollar BMW. That’s my name!

JASON waves him off in disgust and AARON turns toward BEN.

AARON
(continuing to Ben)
And your name is “You’re Wanting.” And you can’t play in a man’s game. You can’t design them.
(almost whispering to Ben)
And you go home and tell your wife your troubles.

AARON walks to the front of the room and next to the blackboard.

AARON
(continuing to everyone)
Because only one thing counts in this life! Get them to accept the cards that are yours! You hear me, you fucking idiots?

Flipping over the blackboard, AARON has written two sets of letters on it: ABC and AIDA. He points to the letters as he talks about them.

AARON
A. B. C. A: always. B: be. C: creating. Always be creating! ALWAYS BE CREATING!
(beat)
A. I. D. A. Attention, interest, design, action. Attention: do I have your attention? Interest: are you interested? I know you are because it’s fuck or walk. You design or you hit the bricks! Design: have you made your design?! And action.
(beat)
A.I.D.A.: get working! You got the developers comin’ in. You think they came in to get out of the rain? Guy doesn’t want to come in here unless he wants your cards. They’re sitting out there waiting to give you money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it?

JASON starts to laugh again and AARON walks over.

AARON
(To Jason)
What’s the problem pal? You. Jason.

JASON
You’re such a hero, you’re so rich. Why you coming down here and waste your time on a bunch of bums?

AARON
You see this watch?

Smirking, AARON sit across from JASON, takes off his gold watch, and casually tosses it on the deck.

AARON
(continued)
You see this watch?

JASON
Yeah.

AARON
That watch cost more than your car. I made 970,000 cards last year. How many did you make?

JASON looks out the window, avoiding eye contact.

AARON
(continued)
You see, pal, that’s who I am. And you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids.

Standing up, AARON starts pacing around the room again.

AARON
(continued)
You wanna work here? CREATE!

He walks up behind Brian, who’s been silent the whole time and currently staring at the rain hitting the window.

AARON
(continued to Brian)
You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can’t take this; how can you take the abuse you get from The Pit? You don’t like it, leave.

AARON slowly stands up and continues his stroll.

AARON
(continued)
I can go out there tonight with the materials you got, make myself fifteen thousand cards! Tonight! In two hours!
(Pointing to Ben)
Can you?
(Pointing to Jason)
Can you? Go and do likewise! A.I.D.A!! Get mad, you sons of bitches! GET MAD! You know what it takes to design Magic cards?

AARON walks behind his briefcase and pulls out two Chaos Orbs on strings and holds them in front of his pants so everyone can see.

AARON
It takes Chaos Orbs to design Magic Cards.

After a brief pause, he drops them in his briefcase.

AARON
(continued)
Go and do likewise, gents. The ideas are out there, you pick it up, it’s yours. You don’t, I have no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on design bender tonight and create, create, it’s yours. If not you’re going to be shining my shoes. Bunch of losers sitting around in a bar.
(mocking, mimic drinking)
“Oh yeah, I used to be a card design, it’s a tough racket.”

Reaching into his briefcase, AARON pulls out a stack of red index cards all tied together with a little bow on top. The men all sit up and look like they’re ready to beg like dogs.

AARON
(continued)
These are the new mechanics. These are the “Shake” mechanics. And to you, they’re gold. And you don’t get them. Because to give them to you is just throwing them away.

AARON hands the stack to RANDY, who starts to thumb through them.

AARON
(continued)
They’re for designers.

Shutting his suitcase, AARON walks over to Jason.

AARON
(continued)
I’d wish you good luck but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it.

He grabs his watch from JASON’S Desk and puts it on.

AARON
(continued to Jason)
And to answer your question, pal: why am I here? I came here because Mark Rosewater asked me to. He asked me for a favor. I said, the real favor, follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.

Staring at JASON for a second, AARON walks back and picks up his suitcase. RANDY and him enter RANDY’S office and shuts the door behind them.

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