UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN – DAPHNE BELLFLOWER – PART ONE

UNDER THE BIG BLACK SUN – DAPHNE BELLFLOWER – PART ONE

Sherry stared into the camera, her hair disheveled. She slowly counted to three.

“Help me, help me, oh my God somebody help me,” she screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Cut!” the director yelled. “Stop rolling for Christ sakes. Don’t waste anymore film.” Sherry suppressed a laugh as she watched him throw his clipboard over the edge of the cliff in frustration.

She rolled over onto her back, covered in dirt and fake blood. She stared up into the Los Angeles sky, trying to pick out the Big Dipper through the haze, half-listening while Danny Feldman continued his rant.

“Who the hell is screwing Victim Two here?” Feldman yelled, grabbing one of the bloody blondes by the arm. “Which one of you idiots did she blow to get a part? This is the third take. All she has to do is lay still and play dead while I get the shot.” He looked at the crew in fury. “I’m not kidding, which one of you is she screwing?’

Sherry propped herself with one arm. “Hey Danny,” she called, “how much coke do you think she can snort anyway? No wonder she can’t lay still.” She watched as one of the gaffers dragged the twitchy blonde off the set toward his car.

She felt a hand on her back and jumped. “Sherry, stay the hell out of this,” her boyfriend Tony said. “It’s just making it worse.” She shook his hand off, furious.

“Remember Tony, I’m the one who doesn’t want to be here,” said Sherry. “Where I wanted to be tonight was the Starwood with my friends seeing TSOL. Where I didn’t want to be is here on this stupid set. But you made me come here, you…”

“You seriously don’t want to be here?” interrupted a redhead with the longest legs Sherry had ever seen. “Seriously? But this is a real movie. I can’t believe I’m going to be in a real movie.” She looked at Sherry with wide, incredulous eyes.

Sherry looked at her and laughed. “Just a minute. You really think your big break is Hillbilly Cannibals 2?” Sherry shook her head. “You’re gorgeous. You need to get in a real movie. Maybe you should change agents.”

Tony pulled Sherry to her feet. “We’re on a budget,” he hissed. “It’s taken me a long time to put the money together. Keep your commentary to yourself for a while. We have to set up the next shot. Work on your lines.”

“What lines,” she muttered as he walked away and stood under the portable lights he had “borrowed” from the studio that morning.

Tony clapped his hands together and addressed the crew. “OK everybody, it’s 2:30 in the morning. We have until about five to get what we need. So no more fuck-ups. Makeup, get everybody bloody again. We can’t afford to waste any more film. Let’s get back to work.” He looked at the cast and crew. “I know it’s late, but everybody try and lay off the coke.”

He walked back over and put his arms around Sherry. “Are you all right, baby?” he whispered in her ear. “If I leave you alone for a minute, will you try not to cause any trouble? I have my hands full with Danny and this goddamned non-union crew.” She rolled her eyes at him and nodded.

Tony walked over to Danny and put his arm around his shoulders. “Danny, let’s get it together. We don’t have much time. We can shoot Sherry’s scene later if she’s pissing you off.” Danny nodded.

“Your teenaged girlfriend drives me nuts,” Danny said to Tony. “Why don’t you get a quieter one?” Tony looked over at Sherry and shrugged.

“Get in place victims,” Danny yelled. “I’m going to need Hillbilly Rapist 1 and 2 in the shot.” The second assistant cameraman ran out in front of the camera and snapped the clapperboard. “Hillbilly Cannibals 2, take 4.”

Sherry brushed the dirt off her dress, and gazed down the canyon at the lights tracking Sunset Boulevard’s path. She took a deep breath of the night air that smelled of eucalyptus, jasmine, and the vestiges of today’s commute. Sherry loved Los Angeles, even when she was stuck on top of the Hollywood Hills in the middle of the night.

She loved everything that other people hated about Los Angeles; the endless traffic, the searing heat, the absolute chaos. While the city spun around her 24 hours a day, Sherry stood calmly in the middle of the insanity. She embraced the instability of her surroundings; the earthquakes, the fires, and the punk clubs in East Hollywood. For the first time in her life, she felt relaxed.

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About bbcstudiowrites

This blog is me archiving the BBC Studio Writers Workshop.

Posted on March 18, 2014, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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