Bookstore moviemaking

Saturday I saw the filming of a pair of scenes between the movie version of me and Ella at the real-life Bookmark, directed by Ella’s cousin. Her cousin is called Pike, and I neglected to ask if that was a real first name, nickname, middle name, or last name. He’s a least a foot and a half taller than Ella, with light brown hair in a style that called to my mind a New Zealand surfer.

Pike gripped my hand in a strong shake when Ella introduced him. “How you doin’, my man?” he said in a booming voice, “Heard you kicked some serious supernatural ass!” I responded that I did have some help.

For now I’ll provide an abbreviated production diary. I hung around in the background of the shoot, since I felt a little awkward about the prospect of meeting the guy playing me. He didn’t have all that close a physical resemblance to me, which actually made me more comfortable watching the scene. The woman playing Ella was pretty near the source, though, with a similar build, black hair, and a fair complexion. She also had large dark eyes that made her appear as if she had intense interest in whatever the person she was looking at was saying.

Pike told me that Movie Ella has done a lot of improv and a good part of the dialogue I heard wasn’t in the script that Pike shared with me. Some of these exchanges were less usable than others:

ARTHUR

Do you have my biography here? Title is The Erotic Explosion of Sexy.

ELLA

Oo, I don’t know. Did you check the Science Fiction section?

ARTHUR

I suppose some of the stuff in there is pretty tough to believe.

ELLA

Wait, I remember. It’s in the Psychology section. It comes free with a Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders.

ARTHUR

I’ll have you know that hours of research went into that book.

ELLA

Wow, those two-minute increments sure add up.

Pike thought some of the other flirtatious improvisations worked, and was thinking of keeping them in the scene and rewriting later scenes. During a break in the shooting I heard Pike ask Ella if she would be comfortable if the movie versions of her and me got together at the end. She looked around, saw me, turned back to Pike, and gave him a response in a voice that was too low for me to hear.

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