THE WALLET Concept
The wallet concept snuck into my brain in the summer of 1974 during a road trip from Milwaukee to San Jose with my friend and mentor Greg Nettisheim. He was an engineer and I, an artist or at least a newly minted art school graduate. He was Gandolf to my Bilbo. Long hair was in so we looked our parts, but younger.
July on the Kansas plains can be brutally hot. The extremely used Ford Cortina I bought for the trip ran fine for the six weeks before our trip, but of course was now overheating every day. We ran the heater to cool the engine and opened all the windows to cool ourselves. Over the wind noise, the conversation drifted to jobs, careers, and work. That led to how not to work which inspired a discussion about to how we could legally get free money.
Greg said he didn't want a lot of money. What he wanted was a magic wallet. The wallet would always be empty, except when he saw something he wanted to buy. Then, the wallet would have exactly the amount of money he needed to buy that thing.
It's such a powerful concept that I'm sure there are other versions of it. For instance, Al Lowe, the guy who created Leisure Suit Larry, sent me a joke he has on his website. Like the game, the joke is a bit blue so I won't recount the whole thing here.
It starts with an Australian bloke walking into a bar with an ostrich and a cat. The bloke keeps buying drinks for them. Towards the end of the story, he admits that he can afford the drinks because of a wish from a genie. He wished that if he needed to pay for anything, he could put his hand in his pocket and the money would be there.
Notice that the story is about this guy's pocket and not about a wallet that anybody can find. So, it's similar, but different in a significant way. Coincidently, I worked with Al as a scene programmer for Larry starting in 1996. Working there got me into writing game designs and led me to writing stories and then screenplays. I finished my first one in 1998.
But I never forgot that trip or that wallet. Years later, after I had written and pitched over a dozen feature length screenplays, I wrote one based on the wallet. Out of all of those screenplays, the wallet concept was the richest, so that's what I developed.
After writing it in many formats, including two full length features, and years of not getting funding to produce it, I finally understood that it is perfect for an online episodic series. I wrote a 20 minute script that didn't fit my budget so I wrote a 10 minute version. I pulled out a chunk of my retirement money to hire a crew and actors. With the help of my wife and friends I produced and directed it.
Read how we made our dream of a dream real.