Mike Fleming

BREAKING: Scribe Maria Maggenti has made an MGM pitch for One Red Paper Clip, based on the nonfiction book by Kyle MacDonald. It’s the true story about a man who wins his girlfriend’s heart by trading up from a red paper clip in hopes of getting a house for them to live in. Through a series of trades, he gets the home and the happy ending. Laurence Mark is producing alongside Motion Theory’s Sean Sorensen and Matthew Cullen. Maggenti separately sold the TV pilot Park And Lex to ABC for DarkFire and Ryan Reynolds to produce. Maggenti is repped by Paradigm and Madhouse.

Canadian Kyle MacDonald used a red paper clip to start a series of Internet trades in the hopes that it would lead to home ownership. He got there, and got the book deal, with a slow building series of trades. The movie has followed the same track. It was set up at DreamWorks back in 2006, when Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald bought rights to MacDonald’s unlikely story. One Red Paper Clip is the name MacDonald gave his Web site in 2005, when the then-unemployed Canadian began his homeowner quest. The object, which held together MacDonald’s resume, was emblematic of how little MacDonald felt he was worth at the time. He traded up quickly.

The paper clip went to two Vancouver women who gave him a fish-shaped pen. He sent that to Seattle for a custom-made doorknob. He shipped that to Massachusetts for a Coleman camp stove. He sent that to California for a generator, and traded that for a neon beer sign and empty keg. Subsequent trades led to a snowmobile, a vacation, a van, a recording contract, a year’s free rent in Phoenix, an afternoon with rocker Alice Cooper, a KISS motorized snow globe. Finally, after Corbin Bernsen acquired that by trading a role in Donna On Demand, a film he was directing, the town of Kipling, Saskatchewan, made MacDonald’s dream a reality, giving him a two-story farmhouse.

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