DATE: Saturday Evening (approaching dusk)
LOCATION: N’vious Studios
SITUATION: Photo-shoot for motion picture release press junket
“Look Phil, I can’t work like this. I understand you’re the director but I am entitled to an opinion!”
“Okay, okay. I see where you’re trying to go with this Emma Jean; I really do but even as the star of the film you can’t dictate everything. You trusted me to direct this film and I did that for you. Now, just sit back and relax and let me do my job.”
“Phil, sweetheart…you are a superb director and I truly appreciate all the work you have done on the film so far but I cannot shoot this promo with both Graham and Edwin at the same time. Can’t we do separate shots?”
Phil began to rub his balding head frantically, as he typically did when faced with an obstacle he couldn’t see his way around. This movie had been a blessing and a curse. He had wanted to do a film with a major studio for some time now but this was getting to be a bit too much for his liking. First the casting for the film was a nightmare and then midway through filming, his beautiful star decided that it would be best if she began a torrid affair with both of the film’s leading men, and to top it all off, the film was now over-budget and over-schedule. Phil continued to rub his head as he paced back and forth – it’s a wonder he had any hair left up there at all. As he made his way back to his office, Phil bumped into one of his many trusted set assistants.
“Hey…you. Yeah you. Do me a favor and get Ms. Barkley off the set for a while. Take her for coffee, tea, dinner…hell just get her off my set while I work through something!”
“Um, yes sir. Do you want me to keep her off set for a specified amount of time?”
“Yes, keep her busy for a few hours. I need time!”
The set assistant jumped into action and within minutes Phil could see her leaving the set with his assistant. He could also tell by her facial expression and animated movements that she was giving the assistant one hell of a tongue-lashing. He would have to make it up to his assistant later. As soon as he saw them drive away he immediately got Graham rushed over to the set for his promo pictures. It was a pain in the ass keeping all three of his stars in separate spaces just to get one damn photo shoot done.
“Good evening Graham. Sorry to have kept you waiting but you know how it is. Things always pop up at the last minute.”
Graham measured his words carefully before responding as he knew the real reason why he was kept waiting. “No apologies needed Phil. I know how these things go. Let’s just get these last shots done ‘cause I got a date later with a fiery little number that can’t keep her hands off me.” He gave a tight little side smile, which didn’t quite make it to his eyes.
Phil didn’t like the mischievous grin playing across Graham’s face but he knew better than to question Hollywood royalty, so he just let it be…for now. They worked at a breakneck speed and had all the necessary shots completed within 2 hours. It was a close call because just as Phil had gotten Graham escorted to his automobile he saw another assistant bringing in Edwin for his photo session.
It was plain as day as to why Emma Jean would have fallen for both men. They both were very handsome, well groomed and extremely personable. Where Graham was quiet and foreboding; Edwin was jubilant and friendly. Where Graham was a little older than Emma Jean; Edwin was a few years younger than her. Edwin was the Hollywood newcomer and Graham was the old pro. They both were exquisite actors, full of pure talent and a knack for igniting a fire in all of their female leads.
“Edwin, It’s great to see you!!” Phil exclaimed while reaching to shake Edwin’s hand.
“Hey Phil. It’s always a pleasure when I get to work with such raw talent as yours. You know I am like putty in your hands, so you tell me what you need for these shots and your wish is my command,” Edwin responded genuinely.
Phil continued to work his magic as he had been doing all day long and after another two hours had elapsed he had all the shots he needed to put together the marketing campaign for the film. He would have to do some serious editing to have one great promo shot of all three stars together but he could do it. The studio had faith in him so he would get it done.
It was almost one a.m. when Phil finished up his work and got everything all squared away. His assistant had brought Emma Jean back a few hours ago; around the same time that Edwin was leaving and he saw them departing in Edwin’s car together so all crisis’s had been averted for the day.
Phil loved the quietness of the soundstage when everyone was gone. It was his place of solitude to think, unwind and relax. The stillness of it all gave him the energy he needed to get through each day working on this film. As he made his way from room to room turning off lights and shutting things down for the night, he heard voices speaking in hushed tones coming from one of the dressing rooms near the back of the studio.
“I can’t keep going on like this. All the secrets and all the lying, I’m just tired of it.”
Phil instantly recognized the voice as Edwin’s so he automatically assumed that he was talking with Emma Jean because it was no secret that both leading men were bedding her. Phil knew it was wrong to eavesdrop on a personal conversation but curiosity got the best of him. Plus, he lived vicariously through the actors that he worked with as he actually had no life of his own outside of work. Phil could hear a hushed reply but couldn’t really make out the voice. After a brief silence he could hear Edwin speaking again.
“Baby, I know the world is not going to understand what we are doing but I love you and I am not ashamed for anyone to know.”
Without thinking and before he could react, Phil realized that he was leaning directly on the door just as it opened and he couldn’t believe his eyes…
The only two people standing in the dressing room sharing an impassioned embrace… Edwin was indeed one of them, but the person in his arms was not Emma Jean. It was Graham !!!