Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bite my shiny metal....

When I was in Yellowknife, I picked up a copy of the new Futurama DVD "Bender's Big Score." In the extras, there is a commercial for Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" which got me thinking.

There is also some Inuit content in the movie. Not to spoil too much, but Fry ends up searching the Arctic for his lost friend the narwhal. He is joined by two Inuit guys, named Anatarjuat and Bapu.

Captain: We've spotted 208 narwhals, and none of them was yours.
Anatarjuat: But they were all edible, and I'm getting tired of sausage.

Simpsons' and Futurama creator Matt Groening has a soft spot for Inuit people. If you saw the Simpsons Movie, you know that already. When he travels to Alaska, Homer Simpson is guided by an Inuit lady, who throat sings with him and causes him to hallucinate the answer to all his problems. Later, she appears in the Northern Lights, and points the direction he should travel in with her oversized breasts.

Also, Homer ends up in a bar in Alaska called Eski-Moes, which got the biggest laugh of the night when I saw it in the Astro Theatre here in Iqaluit. He is also playing the video game Grand Theft Walrus.

Which brings me back to my "Inconvenient Truth" idea. I'm writing my year ender (Year in review story), which is allowed to be light and comedic, to a point. I want to mention Sheila Watt-Cloutier being dumped from the Nobel Prize ticket -- which Gore eventually won -- but I don't want to be too heavy handed about it.

I wrote to all the Al Gore connected press people I could find, and sent them the following note. I want that Futurama commercial for my year ender. The letter follows, and if I get it, I'll let you know.

I've sent out some strange letters requesting interviews and the like over time, but this is the first one for an animated spokesperson:

My name is Kent Driscoll and I am a reporter for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network in Canada – based in Iqaluit Nunavut, the home of climate change -- and I report on APTN National News. The reason I am contacting you is that I am doing our year end item (a review of all the news that happened here in Nunavut in the last year).

Al Gore getting the Nobel Peace Prize nod drew attention here, because Iqaluit, Nunavut based environmental activist Shelia Watt-Cloutier was originally nominated along with Gore for the prize. Her getting dropped from the ticket was a news story here.

Our year end items are supposed to be light and slightly comedic, and here is what I want to do.

When I introduce the fact that Gore was nominated and Watt-Cloutier was not, I would like to use the commercial for “An Inconvenient Truth” featuring the Futurarama cast (I have it on DVD). We would show the animated version of Gore with Bender, and use a suitably funny clip from Bender.

Then I would voice over, “Watt-Cloutier was much more diplomatic than Bender” and cut to her clip saying “As long as the topic was nominated, everyone wins.”

If you could forward this to the right person, or direct me to them, that would be fantastic. I need to know who controls the rights for that particular commercial. It would allow me to point to Gore winning the nod over an aboriginal person, but the use of humour would show that Watt-Cloutier accepted the snub with dignity and focus on the issue.

Plus, Futurama has two reoccurring Inuit characters, and an Inuit shaman was used as a character in The Simpsons’ Movie (Eski-Moes got the biggest laugh of the night here in Iqaluit). Matt Groening owes us one.

Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you.