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This week, we presented our staff with the following miniprompt challenge:

Let’s assume you’re a Hollywood screenwriter or a producer about to launch your next big project.The Mandate is coming soon to a theater near you… or at least has been greenlit by Netflix. Describe the trailer.

Keven Balderas

Gary Oldman’s character sits in his study, his thumb shaking over the “Tweet” button.

“I don’t know if I can do it,” he mumbles, lightly sweating.

The Warner Bros. Pictures icon fades in.

Then the Miramax icon.

Last, the Salesforce icon.

Idris Elba’s character appears in front of the White House Rose Garden, speaking to a camera that transmits to the country on all channels.

“The revolution begins today,” he declares.

The patrons of a busy diner are seeing him speak on the television, including Jennifer Lawrence’s character, who sits at the counter.

“As of 6 P.M.,” Elba’s character continues, “everybody on social media can only post, upload or otherwise create content that is only nice and positive and uplifting…”

The music heretofore in a crescendo stops.

“…under penalty of having all your savings invested in graffiti art NFTs.”

“The Mandate,” the screen reads, “coming soon.”

Sarah Razner

VOICEOVER: In a world where people put on their seatbelts and go through extensive airport security without a thought, a piece of fabric will unravel a nation.

Cut to chaos: People shouting at school board meetings and picketing with signs that read, “MY BODY, MY CHOICE.” A woman equates a mask to tyranny, as people look on, some nodding in agreement, others seeming irritated and calmly putting on their masks.

Cut to a concert: A teen walks towards the doors, a mask in hand, and the attendant asks her to put it on. Suddenly, a man throws himself in front of her, hand outstretched. “Not my daughter,” he says dramatically, tears in his eyes. Red in the face, his daughter sidesteps him, slipping the loops of the mask over her ears, and apologizes to the attendant. “Chill out, Dad!” she yells, and walks in, while her dad falls to his knees.


Jay Heltzer

(British female voice)

The people were angry…

Diverse crowds of adults arguing, yelling, aggressive hand gestures 

The people were overwrought…

A mother and her children, crying in the car, as police in riot gear blocked the entrance to the movie theater

The people were exhausted…

A long line of customers outside a Starbucks, all looking defeated as a teenage barista explained, “We’re out of coffee!”

The people have spoken!

Tonya Pullin (portrayed by Academy Award winning-actress Regina King) walks up behind a podium as an aide removes the seal of the President of the United States, replacing it with the new seal.

“As Commander of the United States, I have been empowered to make decisions for your sorry asses, overthinking, infighting, making shit up as you go along. No more. I’ve declared a MANDATE across the land.”

(Title card)

The Mandate

“In America, it’s my way or the highway, jackasses!”

Jillian Conochan

The poppy xylophone of Gnarls Barkley’s “Gone Daddy Gone” begins as Jay Baruchel walks through the Staten Island Mall. In a long take, we watch young Jay unsuccessfully: 1) hold the door for two women entering the mall, who instead stop and talk to a man in a sports car; 2) gallantly step aside so a woman could board the escalator before him, which she doesn’t notice because she’s on her phone; 3) approach a woman to try to give back the napkin that fluttered off her lunch tray. When he stands up, Pete Davidson’s lanky ass is towering over him. Goofily, Jay turns and barrels directly into Jonah Hill.

This fall

Jay dusts himself off

if Saturdays are for the boys

and gets into an actually pretty cool 3-person handshake with Pete and Jonah

then Sundays are for the mans.

Shot widens as Leslie Mann rises to the top of the escalator, sun illuminating her like the goddamn Christ the Redeemer statue


A Barstool Sports Production

Directed by Judd Apatow

Kelaine Conochan

A wide shot of a sidewalk, where two men walk into frame. We can only see their sneakers and sweatpants, we hear only their footsteps.

“Hey,” says a deep voice.

“Hey,” says a nasal voice.

The camera pans up, revealing Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart next to a park.

“So, about last night,” Hart says, as Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated” begins playing in the background.

Cut to scene of Hart and Johnson with their girlfriends at brunch, finishing each other’s sentences.

Sometimes the love you need

Cut to Johnson accidentally doing a heart tapback on a gym selfie that Hart sent him, freaking out, and then trying to think of something funny to text back while Hart stares at the three dots, waiting for a response.

Is right in front of you

Cut to a night club scene where Johnson defends Hart’s honor from an aggressive meathead who tried to fight his buddy.

Even though you don’t want it.

Cut to Hart and Johnson at an NBA game, accidentally interlocking fingers in their shared popcorn…

This fall, you just can’t say no to

And then winding up on the Kiss Cam.

The Mandate.

Fade out on the chorus, “Why’d ya have to go and make things so complicated!?”

The Prompt Staff

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