Authors: Russ Cooper
... that was the kind of smile he was smiling now.
"Didn't we agree not to mutter things like that in front of the talent?" he asked, all teeth.
"Huh, the 'talent,'" Mike chuckled derisively.
Jake The Producer's smile didn't dim one megawatt -- just shifted a bit
(you're killin' me, dude!)
then back to "How Life Works"...
"Mike, dude -- you're the director, I respect that. I'm the producer, nobody respects that, but I
that nobody respects that, that's what being a producer is," Jake The Producer said, grinning away. "But The Talent is The Talent, and The Talent is where it's at, so we've both got to respect that, even if they are a bunch of airheads from a community junior college.
"I know, I know, sorry for speaking out loud and all," Mike said, with a sigh.
"Hey, you're an artist, you've got a temperament, I totally dig that about you," Jake the Producer said, showing an almost legit-looking smile. "But those girls, I got to tell you, they're going to need a little coddling, even more than the usual. We're going to all be here snug as bugs for the next 2 weeks, so..."
"I know, I know."
"-- bed bugs, if we're lucky..."
"I know, I know."
"So, you dig? You copacetic?"
"Yeah, I'm just ... yeah. I
I dig already."
"Look, Michael, my man, I know this isn't your idea of, you know, primo moviemaking, but--"
"Really, Jake the P, you don't have to--"
"No, Mike, let's get it out. While the girls, y'know, mark their territory. And set the groundwork for later catfights -- if we're lucky."
grin again. "Anyway, like I said, we've got two weeks, 14 short but sweet days, and, you know, there's not a lot of room for hesitation and second thoughts." His voice got a little more serious than Mike was expecting, which usually meant
Cut the BS, m'man! Time To Listen Up!
So Mike did just that as Jake the Producer continued grinning and spinning. "Look, we'd all like to be working for Steve Spielberg instead of some cheesy direct-to-video 'mockbuster' crap studio specializing in movies that sound suspiciously like more famous real movies -- but what it is is what it is, my man." He threw his arm around Mike's shoulders,
style, in case Mike didn't get it the first two times. "Our destiny has brought you and I to Beddlam Studioz, the home of 'The Dinosaur Code,' 'The Transforminators,' 'Bram Stoker's Aliens Vs Zombie Sherlock Holmes,' 'Snakes on the Titanic,' 'The Day The Earth Hardly Moved' -- slightly familiar-sounding masterpieces that occasionally showcase down on their luck pop stars from the 80's, semi-retired sitcom actors, and the assorted lesbian or two. Or ten. If we're lucky."
He gave Mike a producerly squeeze.
"That, like it or not, is destiny for guys like us," he said, wistfully, all teeth and suspiciously shiny enamel. "Face it, we're misfits, Lucky To Have Any Job Hollywood Misfits." He leaned his grinning face closer. "I mean, we're gettin' real, so let's get realer than reals real here -- we don't need to go into details, do we? Career histories? Our assorted tales of Tinsel Town woe?"
Mike shook his head.
No. We most certainly do not.
"Good," Jake the Producer said, switching to another variation of his almost legit smiles. "Then we're on the same page, then?"
Yes. We most certainly are.
Jake the P was a pain in the everywhere. But you had to give it to him -- he knew how to do the producer dirty work. And smile while he did it to you.
Mike nodded some more.
"Good," Jake the P mega-grinned, message delivered, message received. "Mood switch! You're really going to like this."
Out of one of his many cargo vest producer pockets, he pulled out a very crumpled slip of paper, and let Mike read it. Well, made Mike read it.
~ ~ ~
fresh smokin' hot dish
from the gossip-celeb website
GAWK OF THE TOWN
Street Date -- Next October 31!
Beddlam Studioz is known for many things ...
... 'Mega-Romeo and Juliet-a-gator,' 'Kung Fu Panther Vs Mega-Anaconda,' the multi-jurisdictional 'Star Wars Trek of the Avatar Kind' copyright court case, the unbroken streak of 'Worst Of Everything Ever' Razzie Lifetime Awards -- and who could forget that girl from the Go-Go's catfighting with that girl from that old 'Cars' "You Might Think" video...
But, all that's NOTHING compared to their next "disasterpiece."
Yes, bad movie lovers, Direct-To-DVD will never be the same...
Either this is the most tasteless exploitation movie ever made, or it's a stroke of such demented genius that ...
Oh, who are we kidding, it's the most tasteless exploitation movie ever etc etc.
Though it does have a few "firsts" for the much-mocked "mockbuster" studio. Obviously half the movie is (depending on your point of view) ..."based" ... "inspired" ... "completely ripped-off-from" ... a much more original and already famous movie (in this case the sleeper hit "Paranormal Activity") -- of course, that's the usual Beddlam Moviemakin' M.O. But what's new is the second "inspiration" -- in this case, the actual real-life "shark beast" attacks of a year or so ago, back in the now infamous Parrot's Cove. But -- as said, that was a year ago, and besides, there's already been a vaguely entertaining but exceedingly bland quickie cable movie version of the whole thing. Not exactly timely stuff for Professional Exploitationistas like the Beddlam gang, you might think--
Unless you've got an Internet connection, of course.
One of the biggest recent viral videos is the supposed late night security footage of two horny teenagers making out on Parrot's Cove beach -- and coming to a very grisly (and multi-tentacled) end. One can almost imagine the dollar signs going ping! in the Beddlam head honchos' bulging eyeballs, like something out of a Warner Bros. cartoon, when that clip made its way around the blogosphere. The teens were never found or identified, and that, combined with the unlikelihood that even a beach as notorious and scarily well-known as Parrot's Cove would have those kind of conveniently positioned security cameras, this raised the suspicion that Beddlam themselves might have manufactured the footage as a PR Stunt.
They've denied it.
And to be frank, we believe them.
First of all, this is actually too imaginative a bit for them to have come up themselves -- originality isn't their forte, as everyone knows -- and, more to the point (especially if you've ever had the misfortune to actually have sat through a Beddlam flick) the footage is actually too good and well-composed to be their handiwork. It's even in focus, for goodness sakes!
But stories from supposed "real life" is not all that's new for these cinematic geniuses ...
A typical Beddlam film budget is pretty miserly -- and, believe us, it shows -- which explains why the majority of their work takes place either in the woods or an abandoned warehouse. So it's a bit of a surprise (and a publicity coup), that "SB:PS" is actually being filmed at the actual beach house of one of the actual victims of the actual original shark beast attacks. Actually! Which house is unclear, at least to us, but shame and common decency kept us from asking, let alone printing it even if we did know. (Which, we repeat: we do not.) (And don't want to know.)... That, plus we didn't really want to know who would allow their house to be used for such tasteless exploitational blah blah blah...
But then -- such is the state of cinema these days. Oh well. We can't wait to see how they fit in the kick-boxing lesbians.
So, prepare to accidentally rent this movie come the next scary season when you're reaching for something else.
At least until 'Larry Potter and The Cauldron of Caribbean Mega-Pirates With The Dragon Tattoo' comes out to take its place.
Gawk ya later...
~ ~ ~
"You know the funny part of this," Mike said, handing back the crumpled paper. "You actually think this is complimentary."
"Hey, there's no such thing as bad publicity," Jake the Producer smirked. "Thank goodness, or you and I would be out of a job. Speaking of which ... let's do it to it, shall we?"
"Do what--?" Mike blinked, then sighed. "Oh, yeah, right. 'The Talent.'"
Jake the Producer gave Mike a quick look --
( you're killin' me, dude! )
"No, got ya, I dig, all that," Mike said, with anything but a producer's smile. "Gotta wonder, though, do you really think it's a good idea for cast and crew to be living all together under the same roof here on location -- in the actual
-- for two weeks?"
"Hey," -- all producerly Jake-grins -- "it's camaraderie, we're family, that cinematic spirit of friendly good-fellowship ... besides, it's not exactly a full crew, anyway, is it? Never is, in BeddlamLand, where being a director means you hold your own boom mike. And that's on a
day. Plus, it's either that or we have to pay for hotel rooms, and you know what that'll do to our kickbacks."
Jake the Producer waved his fingers, magician's style, and made a disappearing
Mike, suddenly startled, let his eyes go wide--
"Hey, just between us, I know, I know," Jake said, smiling what seemed suddenly like a "Joker" smile. "But, let's face it, just calling it like it is. We made us a deal -- The Deal -- and I don't want either of us taking that lightly --"
"I'm not, but --"
"But nothing, partner. We made an agreement, you and I, whatever budget money we don't spend, we split, right down the line. That's why we're using this skeleton crew here. That's why we're cutting the costs even after we cut the costs that we already cut again. That's why we got the on-the-fly camera equipment. And that's why we're having this little mano-a-mano chat. Because I'm not putting us through all these hoops 'n hassles to save ourselves primo cash-skim that you're gonna blow if you keep attitudin' The Talent. We got to work together on this, we got to take this stuff seriously -- muy serioso, amigo -- am I right?"
"Yeah, yeah, let's -- not -- talk about it, you know? Out loud, at least?
Not exactly legal
..." Mike muttered, looking over his shoulder.
"Well, don't make me have to talk about it, out loud or otherwise. But when you're standing there, rolling your eyes and mutterin' and mocking the talent -- I mean, The Talent -- makes me think we're not on the same page, and that makes me nervous. And makes me talk loud."
"All right, all right," Mike sighed. "You've made your point. I'll behave. I'll treat this shoot like Citizen humpin' Kane, okay? I'll be a good bad director, from here on. I'll be fake Alfred Hitchcock, and this" -- Mike gestured toward the large beach house -- "will be my 'Psycho.'"
"Ahh, that's more like it," he said, biggest grin yet. "And I'll be the Bridge, and you'll be... my River Kwai."
"You got it, Jake. Uh, the P."
They 'high-fived,' and did an awkward but jubilant "funky" handshake. "Now we're back in showbiz!" Jake the P exclaimed toothily. "The outskirts, at least. Either way, Professionals, once again. Am I right?"
"You're right. Professionals -- that's us."
A super we-all-cool smile, then, after a look of deep contemplation and tepid consideration, Jake the P added, casually:
"Oh, that reminds me. The Goth Girl lesbian twins texted me, they're going to be a couple days late. Apparently, they're in jail for some reason. You want to go bail 'em out, or should we just send Cameraman Bob?"
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
For more mystery, monsters and mayhem
check out these Russ Cooper favorites...
"SHARK BEAST 2: Paranormal Sharkitivity"
"BONFIRE OF THE VAMPIRES"
"GIRL ON A LAPTOP"
"BY ALL MEANS, ROME"
action-packed romance, paranormal thrillers,
and juicy creature features
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
All available from Amazon for your
Kindle, iPhone, or Mac/PC
Available for download today
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Excerpt from "Shark Beast 2: Paranormal Sharkitivity" All Rights Reserved
Copyright 2011 by Russ Cooper
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