One of the best films of 2012 so far is the sci-fi romantic comedy Safety Not Guaranteed, a surprise hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. The movie features an intriguing premise based on a real classified ad that was placed in the mid-1990s. When the ad became an Internet fascination and spawned many to wonder whether the ad was a joke or not, it became apparent to screenwriter Derek Connolly (a name you will be hearing more from in the future, perhaps in late 2012), that there was a film idea within this posting, true or not.
It was not the original ad that Connolly saw, though: it was a spoof version that gave Connolly the idea to write the screenplay. The original ad was placed in Backwoods Home Magazine, a bimonthly California and Pacific Northwest publication about living mostly in rural areas. Senior editor John Silveira needed to add some space to the classifieds issue and came up with an ad that caught many people’s attention: “Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.”
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