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Proper Binge Independent Film Pitch
by Michael Burns
Proper Binge poster
PROPER BINGE explores the life of an alcoholic, Burgess Zwink, striving for sobriety after a drunken mishap threatens his best friend's life – and his family's love for him...
It is in a colorless room used for court-ordered alcohol intervention classes, that we first meet 32-year old Burgess Ulysses Zwink, aka Buzz. An assignment, given to Buzz by the class instructor, Freddie, is the beginning of the darkly comical journey Buzz takes to (dare we hope?) find a way to live without alcohol ruling his life.
The assignment? Find and apologize to everyone he has wronged while intoxicated and capture the progress on video. The small-town atmosphere leads us to believe his assignment should include nearly everyone in town, however, we are introduced to just a few main characters.
His drinking buddies include: his brother, Cliff, a welder and entrepreneurial creator of unique flasks; Jason, a slightly effeminate man wanting badly to quit drinking and Steve, brew master extraordinaire.
Alex, a 16-year old Inupiaq Eskimo living with Steve's family, misses his village and expresses hope in returning soon. He is an amateur videographer and Buzz asks for Alex's help in recording his assignment.
Henrik, a homeless alcoholic con-man, helps show us that Buzz has a heart and it is in the right place.
Lovely Brianna rounds out the cast of main characters. Buzz and Brianna were lovers in years past, but are now step-siblings which slightly dampens the idea of intimacy for Brianna.
Buzz leaves the court-ordered class, meets up with Jason and Steve at the local bar and the wild ride begins. Buzz ultimately crashes his car through his mother's house directly into his own bedroom; gets thrown out of the house; nearly kills Jason with his stepfather's truck; finds Henrik a bed to sleep in; is beaten silly by almost everyone he apologizes to; gives Henrik a proper resting place; realizes Brianna is not for him; and, finally, gets an opportunity to sober up.
In the meantime, Steve and Cliff partner up and sell Steve's creation, “Pistachio Vodka,” in Cliff's custom flasks. They call it STIFF; Brianna and Jason find something in common; Henrik introduces Buzz to a book called "The Art of Drinking Alphabetically"; Alex returns to his village.
A lot happens in five days. From a bar in Wasilla, Alaska, to a 'dry' village in 'the bush' of Alaska. From a bar stool to a blanket toss, Buzz's self-awareness journey doesn't necessarily end ... but it could lead to a new beginning.
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