Monday, July 31, 2006

The Rise of the Creator-Consumer, Part II

Continued from Part I

II. The Producer


The phone rings. Husband and wife look at each other for a moment, and he says, “I’ve got it, I’m closer.” There’s nothing on anyway, he thinks — perhaps as close as it gets to “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” for him.

“Hi Dad!” came the voice of his son over the line, more cheerful than usual as of late. “I’m over at Jim’s, just wanted to let you guys know.”

“OK,” he says. “Doing anything interesting?”

His son laughs. “Just making a movie. Jim got a camcorder for his birthday. Do you think I could get one for my birthday too?”

“Um…” A memory stops him. Through the eyes of a younger self, waiting for his mom to pick up her pictures at the local camera shop, he stares wistfully at the Super-8 movie camera on the shelf behind the counter. He remembers a dream, boldly walking into the old abandoned house down the street, camera rolling, ready to interview a ghost. He would have been famous — but that camera was as out of reach financially as it was physically. That movie maker was gone, but…

“I’ll talk to your mother about it,” he says at last. “But your birthday’s in February — we’ll see how your grades look once school starts up.”

“I’ll get straight As if that’s what it takes!”

“I’ll hold you to that. Say hi to Paul for me, and be home by ten.”

“Ten… yeah. That’s enough time. Thanks, Dad! Bye!”

***


“You can stay ’til ten, Kyle?” asked Jim, as Kyle hung up the phone.

“Yeah, and I might get a camcorder for my birthday, if my grades are good.”

“That’s… seven months from now,” Tony said, counting on his fingers. “Maybe you could get it for Christmas, that would be better.”

“We’ll talk about it later,” Kyle said. “Let’s get these last two scenes done — we’ve only got two hours to wrap this up.”

“It’s not like we’re on a schedule or anything,” Tony laughed. “We can finish up tomorrow if we have to. It’s more important that we do it right.”

“You haven’t seen the comments page, have you?” Jim retorted. “There’s at least fifty of ’em, everyone’s all, ‘Hey, when’s Episode III coming out?’ We can’t leave ’em hanging.”

“OK,” Kyle picked up Tony’s script. “We still haven’t figured out how to wake up the crew — or why we’re awake to begin with. We’re all getting up from the table when the red light starts flashing — Tony, is the foot switch where you can hit it? Good, turn it off. We’re going to dub in the buzzer, right? Then we have do the bridge scene, where we see the asteroids.”

“And that’s the end of Episode III,” Tony grinned. “It’ll give us a month to figure out how we’re going to get out of it in Episode IV.”

“Let’s do it,” said Jim, turning on his dad’s halogen work lights and starting the camera. “Places, everyone,” as he grabbed a chair in front of the solid blue wall.

Continued in Part III

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