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01 November 2017 @ 08:17 am
_Nowhere Man_ part 3  

Lily eyed Eldon.

"You handled them very cleverly. I'm afraid to ask how you got an invitation!"

"Oh, I just stuck myself on the list when I saw your name on it. I figured I needed an excuse, see?"

"To come to the party?"

"No, to see you again. Especially since it sounded like you were living somewhere else most of the time. I couldn't just ride a horse up to the front door and ask for you."

"So, you do voice imitations and ride horses?" A weedy old man was looking Eldon over. "Do you know any martial arts?"

"In general. I haven't stuck to any one style. And I sword fight. On foot or horseback."

The man nodded. "We need some extras, size large, black, arab or mixed race, for martial arts scenes."

Lily had been around Jack enough to translate that now. "Movies. They need bad guys to beat up in a fancy brawl."

"You're dark enough to pass, even if the hair looks odd." The weedy old man pulled out a small rectangle of stiff paper, and scribbled on it. Signed. "Lot fifteen, Gate B. Tomorrow at noon. The gate guard will tell you where to go." He moved off then, and Lily retreated as agents closed in.

Eldon looked at the card. Some sort of formal name card, with address and four phone numbers. Personalized, apparently to act like a ticket to someplace. What is lot 15, gate B? "Jacob Prentice?"

"Yes. He's a very successful producer, not that you don't know that already. You played him perfectly." The speaker had shark-like teeth, or maybe it was just the underlying personality.

Lilly winced at the predatory attention focused on the poor man. Well, not all of them looked carnivorous. One fellow was downright bright and chirpy. He looked naïve, instead of desperate. Eldon took all the cards that were being thrust at him; Lilly saw him pocket that one separately. "Eldon Brown. I'll call you if anything comes of this."

Well, acting was probably as good a way for an inter-dimensional agent to earn local money as anything else. Was he really selling used Mercedes? She thought about her fenders and nodded to herself. No doubt the cars were being sold after he'd fixed them.

After the main rush of arriving guests had passed, Margo sought her out. "You've just got a couple of weeks of classes left, don't you?"

"Yep. Then I'll be looking for a summer job." Maybe Eldon needs a sales woman?

"Excellent! We're going out on site to shoot all the exteriors. Jack's the lowly assistant to the Professor, when the Hong Kong Kingpin makes arrangements with the locals to run them off the site. I get to be the Older Professor's snotty daughter, and make a couple of rude comments. Anyway, I was wondering if I could hire you. It's . . . there are a lot of assumptions about actresses' morals, not to mention back stabbing because Jack's career is shooting up so fast. It would prevent a whole lot of problems if I just never happened to be walking around alone. See?"

"Wow, all the other actors hit on you?"

"About half of them. Starting with Mr. Superstar himself, G. Gordon Lamar. Honestly! G. was a hunk thirty years ago, and I think he's having a mid-life crisis. At least he takes no for an answer. Now Phillip Magnum, he's the bad guy in the story, and I swear he's trying to live down to the role."

"They're filming out in the desert?"

"Nope, on the beach. Pretending it's an archeological site in Africa."

"Ooo. Is there a lost city and all that?"

"But of course. How could we have an action adventure centered around archeology without one?"

"And who are the bad guys?"

"We've got two sets. The Hong Kong Gang uses the area to stage drug smuggling, and wants us gone. The native Berber tribes fear the spirits of the Old Ones will rise if we dig up their bones, except for the one group of natives that have a hidden motive – they are the Old Ones."

"That ought to be fun. But I have a nasty suspicion the archeologists walk away with nothing but a tall tale."

"Of course. We'll be filming a bit south of San Onofre and pretending it's Morocco."

Lilly grinned. "Did you just say something about wanting to hire me to hang around with you on a beach?"

"Yep. Do you remember Frankie Delong? He's playing the head 'Old One' and also the head of the local village, the sole descendants of long lost Atlantis. When he's all dolled up, he looks a bit like your friend Eldon, but with dark hair and a bit of added slime." She raised up on tip toes, and surveyed the room. "I don't see him. Jacob is going to be pissed if he misses another rehearsal. Jack was hoping he'd show up, sober and contrite, and ready to start."

"And . . . he's being a problem?"

"He's trying. So I need someone to pal around with so nothing happens that could have adverse career affects."

"Like slapping him. Or Jack punching him. Gottcha. This is your big break too, isn't it?"

"Yeah, and I don't want anything to ruin it. And it's so interesting, seeing it come together scene by scene. There are some killer firelight dance and fight scenes. And they've already shot the interior opening sequences, where he's being very Westernized and looks very mixed race."

"In other words, Atlantis?"

"Yep. The Archeologists are digging up these ruins that are in an area of recent uplift, after an earthquake, so they're exposed for the first time since the end of the ice age, when the sea level rose and covered them all."

"So, where did these Atlantians come from?"

"Oh, they retreated inland and skulked about for ten thousand years. They might have had something to do with Carthage, you know, the place the Romans flattened? And Minoan before that, and possibly something to do with the first Egyptian Pharaohs. They cover all the bases." She rolled her eyes. "Anyway, in the end there's another earthquake and it all sinks again."

"That's tidy."

"Yeah, that's the problem with pretending it's all happening in the real world. They have to get rid of the cool stuff at the end. Personally I think they should have a sequel. But as Jack has such a small role . . . maybe 'the Young Archeologist' could do it on his own."

Lily wrinkled her nose. "I don't want to be a wet towel, but do you really want Jack to be a Super Star?"

Margo's lips tucked in wryly. "I know what you mean. But in Hollywood it seems to be skyrocket or sink."

Lily nodded. "But that's when their marriages go to pot." She spotted Eldon chatting with a pair of women, and tromped hard on a spike of jealousy. He's just a friend. Or maybe a very odd acquaintance. Don't even think about falling for the multi-dimensional explorer.

"He's unusual, and very unlike your usual dates. Where'd you find him?"

"Umm, the boring version is, he fixed my car. The medium version is, he snuck up and fixed Sindara's car without being seen. The full blown weird version is, he popped out of Nowhere. He says he's not a Space Alien."

Margo snickered. "I see. A car repairman with a Sci Fi pickup line. Cool."

Lily blushed. "You'll have to give me a report from his audition. I haven't a clue whether he can act or not."

Chapter Four

As the new boy on the set, Eldon caught a lot of cold looks. But he was just doing it for the fun of it, so he tamped down the glow – it wouldn't come through the electronic recording anyway. They were rehearsing a choreographed dance that turned into a fight, today. Since he hadn't been to any of the dance practices, Eldon was handed a spear and stood up in a corner. Two run throughs of the dance were deemed satisfactory. Then the tidy scene was supposed to all fall apart as a small confrontation turned into a brawl . . .

" . . . I'd replace him if we hadn't already shot those interiors. Damn the man. You, new boy! You're now the stand in for the Chief, while everyone else works around you. Have you read the script? Good." At Eldon's nod, the director jumped up onto the stage. "You should have walked on stage while strobe lights were flashing, and ended right here. You will stand here while we practice the dance turns into a free-for-all. Got that?"

Eldon nodded and watched in fascination as Jack and Margo, who had been tied up all this while, were freed by the sneaky actions of the snotty kid star, just as the Moroccan police raided what they'd thought was a drug smuggling operation. The dancers kicked ass on the troops, leaving Jack and the dark skinned cop fellow facing the King and his two bodyguards.

Then they broke off to handle the fights separately. The Kris Randolph fellow playing the Cop got to beat up the two body guards, apparently, while Jack tackled the King. The missing Frankie Delong was apparently some national champion in weaponless fighting and all practiced in some really fancy moves. The martial arts instructor ran through the series of exchanges with Jack. In the final movie they'd be cutting back and forth between the two fights, so all they really needed was a few minutes at a time of dodging around fake stalactites and a few fancy high kick and flips. The old guy couldn't do the flips. "We'll have to get a stunt man, a gymnast in to do this."

"Err, I can." Eldon squirmed. "Yeah, I know, I look too heavy, but it's more a matter of flexibility."

The director called for a break, and Mr. Foo turned to Eldon with a wicked grin. "Let us see what can be done."

Good thing he'd lost weight over the last year. He'd gotten rusty on the jumping around stuff, too. The Auld Wulf had drilled the wizard students on hand-to-hand, and always emphasized speed and balance and flexibility. Eldon had enjoyed the gymnastics, and using them in sparring had been riotous good fun, even though the God had said to keep it simple in a real fight. The elderly Mr. Foo put him through his paces, then walked off and spoke to the director, who walked back and eyed Eldon. "The eye shape is perfect. Without the beard . . . the nose and cheek bones are good. Lighten the complexion just a touch, darken the hair, brown contacts. All right. If Frankie doesn't show, you'll do for the fighting. God knows what we'll do about the speaking parts."

Eldon bit his lip. "Maybe the king has a spokesman? When they finally see him, they are shocked to see that he's one of the workers – and has been watching them from up close?"

"But they saw him in Paris, met the old king's son."

"What did his hair look like? What was he wearing?"

"Good point. By God, I'd like to . . . get me Frankie's contract. I'll go over it tonight. Right now, let's see a complete run through."

It was great fun moving in between the flashes of the strobe while the dancers vaulted around him. Siccing his dancers, male and female, on the troops brought a bit of nostalgia . . . Then he sicced his body guards on the two remaining nuisances, and when one got loose to challenge him, well they fought all over the cave, throwing each other around, punching, dodging; the flips and leaps. Really. It was a blast. Jack was pretty good, but he'd obviously never fought for his life. Eldon concentrated on pulling his punches and kicks.

The Director expressed his pleasure and dismissed them. A lackey whispered something in his ear, and he turned to gesture to the guard at the door. "Let him in." He stalked over to the door, raising his voice. "What can we do for the police? If it's that damned Frankie, he can rot in jail and find someone else to post bail for him."

The policeman, looking amazingly young and unprofessional with the immaculate Kris Randolph there, shook his head. "Takes more than bail to get you out of the County Morgue."
ekuah on November 1st, 2017 04:22 pm (UTC)
Something minor
Honestly, I consider the movie plot seriously confusing.
I'm not sure if you did that intentionally or accidentally.
But on the other hand, most of the current Hollywood blockbusters have an equally confusing plot.
cnmckenney on November 1st, 2017 05:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Something minor
Yeah, Hollyrude is not much on consistency but also you are reading about this in shooting order not chronological order.
ekuah on November 1st, 2017 07:39 pm (UTC)
Re: Something minor
Maybe Pam shows some mercy and let Lily share some of our confusion. Most scripts make much more sense for the writers than for the readers.
matapampamuphoff on November 2nd, 2017 05:11 am (UTC)
Re: Something minor
Lily isn't in this scene, but I can have Eldon reason out that it doesn't work like a play. They can record the scenes in any order and then put them together the right way for the final film that the public will see.
ekuah on November 2nd, 2017 09:22 am (UTC)
Re: Something minor
Sorry, I was talking about the plot description on the dinner party, not the actual movie shooting.

And if I didn't misunderstood the whole story, Lily was there.

'After the main rush of arriving guests had passed, Margo sought her out. "You've just got a couple of weeks of classes left, don't you?"
"Yep. Then I'll be looking for a summer job." Maybe Eldon needs a sales woman?
"Excellent! We're going out on site to shoot all the exteriors...'

That movie plot talking was confusing. But as I said, you kept it pretty real, block buster movie plot can be really confusing.