Three eighth-graders who created a script for an afternoon children's show about a vacation gone wrong will travel to Los Angeles next month to sign a contract with Steven Spielberg.
Renee Carter, Amy Crosby and Sarah Creek created an illustrated 200-page story book for an episode of the show, "Tiny Toon Adventures." It is produced by Spielberg, whose movies include "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "E.T.""It was a miracle our idea was ever accepted," said Crosby. "They told us the studio usually returns unsolicited material without even opening it."
Studio officials said someone at Warner Bros., which syndicates the show, mistakenly opened the manuscript package, liked it and passed it on. The manuscript passed from desk to important desk, impressing all readers, until it arrived in front of Spielberg.
He liked what he saw.
Warner Bros. lawyers were said to have advised against pursuing the script. They said it would create a precedent and that the studio would be swamped with scripts from schoolchildren.
"But Steven wanted it, and you don't say no to Steven Spielberg," said Jean MacCurdy, vice president and general manager of Warner Bros. Animation.
Spielberg sent MacCurdy and Barbara Brogliatti, senior vice president of publicity and promotion, to Waynesboro on Dec. 13 to meet with the students and make an offer.
"They proposed paying us $250 for the episode, which we will split three ways, and to fly us and our parents to Los Angeles for four days," Carter said.
The girls and their parents leave Jan. 18 for Los Angeles. While there, they will tour Universal Studios, Magic Mountain, Warner Bros. Studios, and attend a news conference and story meeting with Spielberg.
Carter said the idea for the story book, a series of drawings and captions detailing the action of an episode, came to her at school one day. She began drawing characters and laying out a story line. The story eventually was titled "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian."
The characters Buster and Babs take a free Hawaiian vacation, which turns out to be a nightmare of lost luggage, inoperable rental cars, bad hotels and a cruise that ends up in a shipwreck.
The two other girls contributed story ideas and artwork. The episode is expected to air next fall on "Tiny Toons Adventures," which is seen on the Fox network.