Action scene, cut short

From last post:

“Well guys,” said Pike, “we’ve been through a lot together. And now, it looks like we’re going to have to fight our way through some vampires.” Pike grinned. “Is this not the best movie shoot ever?”

“Are you insane?” snapped Ella.

“We can totally do this!” countered Pike. “Number one, we don’t even know if these are real vampires. Two, we’ve got some extra swords here so we can at least hold them off. Three, we crossed a bridge to get here, right? Vampires hate running water. We get to the bridge and we’re safe!”

Ella groaned and moved to the back of our group. “I’m calling Miriam,” she said. “You’ll keep them distracted, right?”

“Good Plan B, Ella” said Pike. “Stay close and grab a sword, guys.” The trio in front of the amphitheater hadn’t moved from their previous position, and still didn’t move when we picked up swords that were used in the fight scenes recorded earlier. But when we stepped off the stage they started to follow. We walked backward down the path we had come.

“Sorry, gentlemen and lady,” said Pike, “but we’ve got to go.”

“I insist that you stay,” said the man who had spoken to us, with an edge of menace. He and Pike had the following exchange:

Pike: I reject your insistence.

Vampire: Your rejection is futile.

Pike: Your definition of futility is irrelevant.

Vampire: Your concept of relevance is inconsequential.

Pike: Your…inconsequentiality…um….

Second Vampire: Oh, screw this.

The second male vampire lunged at Pike, who responded with an impressive sword strike. “Wow, Pike!” I said. But then I saw that the vampire merely had torn clothes and an affronted look.

“Pike?” said the female vampire. “Hold on.” She looked at the stage, where Pike and his crew had left the equipment. “Are you shooting a movie here?”

“Yeah,” said Pike.

The vampiress looked at us. “Is one of you…Arthur Lewis Ormand?”

I didn’t think it would be a good idea to identify myself and no one else said anything either. The vampiress smirked and widened her eyes. She was looking at me. When she spoke again her voice had a weirdly resonant quality, as if it were causing the strings of a cello to vibrate next to my ear. “Is one of you Arthur…”

“Yeah, that’s me,” I said, with an enthusiasm that surprised me. I half expected a Spartacus moment from my companions, which didn’t materialize. I did hear another groan from Ella, however.

The vampiress moved a little closer to me, though not close enough to be hit by a sword. Her eyes were bright and her full lips were curved in an anticipatory smile that revealed her fangs.

“Omigod!” she said in a normal voice. “I read your blog!”

“Really?” I said.

“Totally!” she responded. “It’s so cool that someone’s writing about the real Detling!”

“Thanks!” I said. I hadn’t met such an enthusiastic a reader before.

“Oh! And I love Ingrid! You should do more stuff with her!”

Ella sighed. “Come on, Arthur, she’s just toying with you.”

The vampiress clapped her hands. “Ooo! You’re Ella, right? That is such an Ella thing to say!”

“Well, yes,” said Ella, a little vexed.

The vampiress turned to her companions. “Aw, we have to let these guys go!”

At that moment a breeze came up. It was strange, because I could hear it and see the vampires’ hair and clothes blowing, but I felt nothing. The breeze quickly escalated to a gale that the vampires had trouble standing against. But I still couldn’t feel anything and it didn’t seem to affect anyone in our group either.

Ella chuckled. “Brilliant, Miriam! Let’s get out of here.”

“But…” I pointed at the vampiress. “I thought we were, you know, connecting.”

“She can post a comment if she likes the blog so much,” Ella said. “Now come on.”

We ran back to our cars and Ella told us to meet at the bookstore. Shortly after I got there, Miriam arrived. She explained that she set up the birdbath in her backyard to show her locations she’s familiar with, kind of like Galadriel’s fountain in The Fellowship of the Ring, I guess. That’s how she knew how to target the wind she created. Upon learning that Miriam couldn’t teleport the movie equipment from the amphitheater, Pike resolved to go there shortly after dawn to retrieve it.

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Return to the amphitheater

Last weekend was another unusually action-packed one. There was the planned action, with Pike shooting some fights for the climax of the movie, and some unplanned action that followed.

Saturday was warm for this time of year and Pike planned to do some shooting at the amphitheater after sundown. I was there to watch and so was Ella, who expressed some discontent that Pike was at that location after dark. I was a little nervous being there too, actually. I heard Ella get Pike to promise not to shoot any nighttime scenes at the amphitheater on the 21st but didn’t hear what was so objectionable about that date.

The fight scenes were pretty fun to watch. The action philosopher character – played by Pike – is apparently also a swordsman. And the movie version of Ingrid is some sort of plainclothes ninja. The actress playing her has Ingrid’s height but Astrid’s build and delivered her lines with a Norwegian accent. Pike kept Ingrid’s dialogue similar to the real-life version’s though, so I heard a lot of “dooode”s. I got to play a minion and have a battle with her.

Ella and I stuck around after most of the filming was done, while Pike and two of his comrades finished up. We were standing on the amphitheater stage when I heard Ella gasp. I looked at her and followed her gaze to the front of the ground in front of the stage, where three figures were standing silently.

“Hey guys,” Pike said, “You have this place reserved or something? We’ll be gone in a few minutes.”

The figure in the center stepped forward. “There is no need for you to leave,” a smooth male voice said. “In fact, we would be pleased if you would remain as our…guests.” The man’s pale face was now illuminated by our lights, and we saw that he had a wolfish leer which exposed unusually long incisor teeth. And some trick of the light made his eyes appear red. His two companions – a man and a woman – stepped forward, and their faces also had those unusual characteristics.

Pike sighed and put his arms around the shoulders of his remaining crew members. One was about Pike’s height with a fairly athletic build, and the other was shorter but had a scar on his forehead that suggested he had some experience getting out of nasty situations.

“Well guys,” said Pike, “we’ve been through a lot together. And now, it looks like we’re going to have to fight our way through some vampires.” Pike grinned. “Is this not the best movie shoot ever?”

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.

Movie time

Earlier this week I got an update from Ella on her filmmaker cousin, who wanted to use the Brand incident as the basis for a short movie. He completed the script, cast actors, assembled a crew, and wants to start filming this weekend. He’s going to shoot his first scene at The Bookmark, and invited me to attend.

Ella had some details of the script. She and I are going to be the protagonists, and her cousin’s action philosopher character is going to take the place of Ted Spindle. The climactic scene will be at the amphitheatre but in addition to me confronting Brand, the action philosopher and Ingrid are going to battle Brand’s minions.