Friday, 6 May 2011

The Act of Love: Part 1

And here it is, what you've all been waiting for! The Act of Love!

Avalon’s Knights’, the Special Effects Supervisor read to himself; this was the right set. He pushed the door open and peered inside. The red light was on, meaning they were filming, but he still edged inside and sidled up to the director’s chair. He hovered uncertainly for a while, and gathering his wits he whispered in the director’s ear.

“Excuse me, Ms Astolat, we’ve just finished the latest dragon scene,” the Special Effects Supervisor held his breath while he waited for the director’s reply. He was pleased when she turned to him and smiled.

“That’s great...” She looked at his badge, “Martin. Thanks a lot; we’ll be able to move on quickly now.” Martin blushed at her appraisal, nodded and hurried off to tell the other Special Effects guys that the director knew his name.

Meanwhile, the director, Ms Eleanor Astolat flicked through her copy of the script. Having the dragon scene completed meant that they could now film King Arthur’s heroic return today, and maybe even film Merlin’s scene. She tapped her foot absently as she thought about the progress of the film. Some people had said that Arthurian films had gone out of fashion along with baggy trousers and tongue rings, but Eleanor felt that this film was going to be the summer blockbuster.

Filming had been going on for three months and she could not have been more pleased with the development. Of course, she owed most of that to her cast members. Even though she had pushed them incredibly hard, they had dived straight into the script and played it out all so beautifully; Eleanor could not have envisioned it any better.

She watched Aiden Riddley over the top of her script. She had decided within the first few hours of shooting that Aiden had been the perfect choice for Arthur. His sandy blond hair and sapphire blue eyes had every girl on set hooked from the word go. He was the perfect King Arthur character; he had the confidence, the stance; the whole package! Besides, with a Golden Globe award, Eleanor could not fault his acting skill.  

Her eyes roamed across the set and landed on the fair beauty: Vivianne Westlake. Vivianne had been voted number one ‘Sexiest Woman’ for the past three years running, and was rumoured to be in the top spot again this year. Eleanor could not disagree with that; Vivianne had a perfect complexion with long, beautifully curling golden hair, and her vivid green eyes sparkled flirtatiously. However, it helped that she had a perfectly shaped body to match her gorgeous face.

Though, at first, Eleanor had not been sure whether the choice of actress for Guinevere had been a good one. After meeting with her for the first couple of weeks before shooting, Eleanor had been worried that Vivianne was superficial, selfish and had little intelligence under her bouffant of blond hair. But as soon as she hit the set, Guinevere took over. Slightly ashamed, Eleanor had complimented Vivianne on her acting straight away. Now, Eleanor watched as Vivianne’s Guinevere drifted across the castle set bemoaning her love for both Arthur and Lancelot. 

Ah, Lancelot! Russell Sterling, the actor who played Lancelot, had been practically unheard of but was now the talk of Hollywood. Eleanor had been incredibly lucky when she had found him, and it was by complete chance that she had! It had been a terrible day of auditions; she could not imagine any of the men as Lancelot and had left feeling decidedly down hearted. Lancelot had to be perfect, as the audience had to understand why Guinevere would leave King Arthur for his bravest knight.

As she had driven home she had spotted Russell walking out of a rundown theatre, The Golden Treasure Theatre, his bronzed skin had just about glowed in the late afternoon sun, and his jet black curls sent shivers of excitement down Eleanor’s back. He was perfect. He was everything she had imagined Lancelot to be! She had pulled up instantly and spent a short while convincing him that this was not a joke and she really wanted him to star in her movie. She had never doubted her decision since. Even though he had been acting on a sleazy stage, Russell was definitely made for the big screen. Already E! Entertainment wanted an interview and Cosmopolitan was begging him to do a photo shoot for them. Eleanor smiled secretly to herself; she had personally found the next big thing.

Eleanor found herself drawn to Russell while he was watching the scene, a small smile playing around his lips. A smile of her own grew on her face; Russell looked exceptionally good in his costume and Eleanor could not think of anyone that suited knight’s amour better than Russell. She quickly shook her head, shaking her wandering thoughts loose and hoping no one had caught her staring. She put all her attention into watching the scene and adamantly ignoring Russell. As the scene ended she clapped her hands.

“That’s great everyone! Let’s take five,” she called out. Everyone seemed relieved and hurried over to the buffet tables, pouring themselves large cups of coffee. Eleanor stifled her growing yawn. She had been on set since five in the morning, running through the script with the screen writers. She could not wait to get home, but she knew that would not be for another six hours at least.  In the end, she settled for grabbing a coffee of her own and reclining in her director’s chair.

The room was filled with peoples’ chatter and laughing. Eleanor could distinctly hear Vivianne’s girlish giggle from across the room and peered over her shoulder. Sure enough Vivianne was smiling up at Aiden flashing her pearly whites in a dazzling smile. Eleanor was not at all surprised. Vivianne and Aiden were the talk of every gossip magazine in the country. And Eleanor had to agree, they did make a very attractive couple. Whenever Vivianne was not acting, she was with Aiden, giggling and smiling up at him as if he was the greatest thing in the world, apart from her, of course. Eleanor could not tell if Aiden minded or not, but then again what man would not want the Sexiest Woman for the past three years running clinging to him?

Eleanor shook herself mentally. Of course, there was no way that she was jealous of Vivianne. Sure, her hair could be a pain in the morning and no matter what she did it would never look as good as Vivianne’s. And maybe her legs could be slightly longer and her stomach a tiny bit flatter, but not everyone could look like a superstar. As if to reassure herself she looked around at the rest of the crew. Cameramen stood around with their beer bellies hanging over their belts and one of the Light Effects woman’s hair frizzled at the ends in quite a comical fashion. Eleanor felt slightly better.

Her thoughts were interrupted as a small group of people from the Sound department crowded around her. They waited patiently for Eleanor’s attention, none of them wanting to interrupt the director’s quiet time.  The Sound Effects Editor called Michael (Eleanor had to look at his badge) spoke first.

“Ms Astolat,” he started.

“Please, call me Eleanor,” she offered with polite smile. Michael looked uncomfortable and cleared his throat a couple of times.

“Eleanor...” he said cautiously, as if tasting the word but not really liking the flavour of it, “we’ve polished up the sound clips like you asked and have come up with a few sample pieces of music for the fight scenes.”

Eleanor looked around the group giving them a wide smile, which only one of them returned before he was elbowed in the ribs and quickly changed his toothy grin into a small lift of the lips.

“Well, that’s fantastic! This is great work guys,” she praised the group,  and they mumbled a quiet ‘Thank you Ms Astolat’ in return before practically running back to their department. Eleanor watched them leave with a confused frown upon her face; she shrugged it off, though, as her attention was brought back to filming.

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