Giving it the old ‘College’ try…

Zide looking for true tales for laffer

Remember that crazy prank you pulled off in college?

Warren Zide wants you to go back down memory lane, and he’s convinced there are enough wacky stories to help him make a movie via his FlipZide shingle.

The producer of the “American Pie” and “Final Destination” franchises has an idea that’s simplicity itself: He’s setting up dozens of “It’s Only College” Web sites to solicit ideas. Submissions should be under 500 words, because “some intern has to read all these.”

And the first site, which went up May 17, is explicit that this isn’t a contest: “If we use your story and the film gets made, you get tickets to the premiere, a ‘special thanks’ credit, a DVD of the movie and limited-edition T-shirts.”

For Zide, a 1988 Michigan State graduate, the inspiration came during a few minutes at the gym after wrapping his latest teen comedy, “Parental Guidance Suggested,” a series of vignettes starring Frankie Muniz.

“I was thinking about how hard it was to come up with storylines for that film, so it occurred to me that I should ask people who’d been real students,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘After all, it’s only college.’ Then I thought, ‘This is a franchise.’ ”

Zide’s plan is to hire a screenwriter once he’s assembled enough good stories; pull together financing; and shoot next year.

“It’s one of those ideas where, if you think too much about it, you’ll screw it up,” he says.

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