Being inspired, maybe – 25

A picture paints ... well, as many words as you like.  For instance:

And, then, the words:

"So tell me, how is this sword fight going to work.  I mean, the idea of playing out on the stairs is great, but you and I both know the lead actor in this picture is bloody useless."

"I don't think I'd quite paint it that badly.  He's trying his best, taking lessons..."

"Let's see, stabbed three times, almost killed the teacher, delayed production for three weeks because of injury, hell the man can't even back up the stairs without falling over."

Who'd want to be a director?

The studio was screaming at the extra costs caused by the delays, the other actors were complaining that they had other projects to move onto, and don't get me started on the cinematographer.

So much good weather, such a brilliant location, and time was running out on our shooting schedule.

It was a matter of now or never.

"It'll work this time.  I promise.  Just let me have a talk to him."

Agents.  He knew full well what would happen to his client if this shoot didn't complete in the next two days.  He'd be off the set, and no one would ever hire him again.

Right at that very moment, in the middle of the day, and at it's very hottest, I was ready to pack up and go home.

Half an hour later, I had to admit Louis looked the part, much more than he had in the past.  Perhaps the 'pep' talk from his agent had worked.

Jacko, the other swordsman, a man who could use a blade with dexterity and ease nodded his approval.

They ran through the choreographed fight sequence twice, making sure the moves were correct, up to but not including Louis falling down the stairs, after sustaining a non-life threatening injury.

Then the set technicians moved into place, the actors were given final makeup and attention to continuity details, something I was reminded hadn't happened in some previous scenes, and we were ready to go.

"Action," I called out, and the fight sequence began.

It went perfectly, Louis sustaining a cut, Jacko taking a killing thrust, and then Louis, victorious, stumbling and falling.

It was truly magic.

Until a minute later Jacko yelled out, "Call the medics, something is wrong with Louis.  I think he's dead."

© 2018 Charles Heath


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