A Touch Of Realism – Part 1 of 2

Sitting down in his director’s chair Jarrod gave the signal and the camera rolled.

“It’s no use Marion, I know all about the two of you. It’s all been a web of lies! It’s no good, I can’t go on like this!”

“Howard, for the love of god please drop that knife! No! Don’t come any closer!”

A third actor enters stage left just as the knife plunges into Marion’s chest. She screams and faints dead away.

“Cut!” Standing up Jarrod shakes his head and walks away in disgust.

Alex, the director’s assistant, signals for the actors to take five and they walk away. Walking over to Jarrod he puts his hands out.

“What gives?”

“It’s no good, man. Can’t you see it? It’s not believable.”

“I thought they were much better this time, Amy especially, she – “

“No, I mean Ellen. The scream, the fainting, it’s just not happening. She’s acting and you can see it plain as day.”

Alex’s jaw tightened. Ellen was his girlfriend and a damn fine actor.

“Well, hell, what’s she supposed to do? It’s called acting Jarrod.”

Jarrod could hear the tension in Alex’s voice. “Yeah, no, she’s fine, it’s not her, its just…I don’t know. I wish we could get some realism going. This film is over budget as it is. I hate to have to do take after take.

They sat down at a table and neither spoke for several minutes. Jarrod looked around the room and then stood up. “I’ve got it!”

“Got what?”

“An idea, Alex. I said we needed realism, right? Now hear me out, what if we got someone who wasn’t in the film to take over Ellen’s part, just for that scene. We could shoot her from the back, she’d only have to look somewhat like Ellen for it to work.”

Alex narrowed his eyes. He didn’t like the idea of Ellen’s part being shortened. “What are you on about? How would another actor doing the scene make a difference?”

“That’s just it, Alex. Not an actor. Someone who doesn’t know about the film. Someone who doesn’t know what’s going on.”

Seeing the confusion on Alex’s face he elaborated. “We get someone here on some pretext and have them walk through the door just as the murder takes place. We hide the camera behind that blind over there. The sound boom will be overhead; she’ll never see it. It will just be Frank and Amy in the room, acting out the scene.”

“I don’t know, Jarrod, sounds kinda dicey to me.”

“Oh, c’mon! She’ll freak out in a totally natural way. Amy will stand up right away after the stabbing and we come out and explain the whole thing.”

“Jarrod, that’s a mean trick to play on someone, she’d be really angry don’t you think?”

“Look, we explain that she’s going to be in a movie. We offer to pay her. Fame and money will smooth it all over. Think about it.”

Alex said nothing. He couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Jarrod wasn’t impressed.

“You need to get with the program Alex. This is what we need. This scene will take the movie to the next level. Think about it, fame and fortune Alex. Audentes Fortuna Juvat!”

“What the hell does that mean?”

“It’s Latin, Alex. Fortune favours the bold. Now who do we know that looks like Ellen from the back?”

Alex thought for a moment. “Well, she has this friend, Julie. Sometime when I see them walking ahead of me it’s hard to tell them apart.”

“Perfect. Give her a call and tell her you have a surprise for Ellen and you need her to come here. Don’t tell her what’s going on. She doesn’t know where Ellen is working right now, does she?”

“No, Ellen hasn’t seen her since we’ve been shooting, she wouldn’t know anything about this.”

“Great, see if you can get her down here tomorrow. We’ll set everything up and then you can go get her and send her through the door on my signal.”

Alex looked dubious but nodded his agreement.

Part 2 Tomorrow

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