Rocco Zaccardi, an F-104 enthusiast living in NY, wrote me a few months ago to tell me that he had written a screenplay where the F-104 plays a ‘leading’ role in the story. As he explained: “I have had this story in my head since college, a long time ago!, and I have developed it over the last few years. I have worked with people in ‘Hollywood’ about this story and also met a ‘paisan’ when I was in Italy a few years ago who works for RAI, all to no avail, yet. My plans are to further develop my screenplay, work with a screenplay consultant, and keep trying to sell my story”.
The story, titled “One sweet dream”, deals with a ‘hot shot’ fighter pilot in the Italian Air Force, who in the course of his ‘jet set’ (and not so jet set) life, he finally meets his fate. “It follows a ‘day in the life’, actually several episodes, days apart, of our protagonist as he lives a life that many men would dream of..but that he is not satisfied with. He’s still looking for something more. There are ‘slice of life’ snippets of our hero’s ‘love’ life, his family life-including his extended family-the little old town he’s from in Southern Italy, and his modern professional life as a pilot in the Italian Air Force. Mostly humorous vignettes but filled with depth, substance, reality and earthiness and then blended with darker tones..culminating in a tragic/comic ending”.
The F-104 is the second main ‘character’ in this play, that takes place towards the end of the ’90s. However, all time lines are not chronological and not strictly tied to the actual facts: the plot is set in 1998 or 2000 but the are references to Afghanistan and Irak (where Italy was involved from 2002). Obviously, this isn’t the only “literary convention”: there can be continuity errors and some other things that need to be fixed; however the story was not supervised so please don’t leave comments just to say, for example, that in 1999, the F-104 taking off from Grosseto for training missions would have used the c/s Mission 150, 151, instead of the Dardo one, or that phraseology in radio communications would be sensibly different. Even though it can’t be compared to a Hollywood script, during flying action, is quite more accurate than “Top Gun”…..and it could be improved, revised and corrected, as Rocco explained.
Anyway, here you can find the .pdf file of the script (in case you are an F-104 fan, an aviation enthusiast, a moviemaker or a producer).