Okay, here’s the low-down: Ever since I completed and submitted the flash fiction yesterday, ANOTHER idea has been dancing around and teasing me in my brain. So I’m putting it here for your entertainment (and feedback). I won’t tell you which three criteria had to be met in the original, although a couple of close friends I spoke with already know. Can you guess what the criteria were? Hint: genre, location, object. Go!
The director was happy with some of the shots that his crew had gotten that afternoon, but something was always a little off in the overall mise en scene. And now they were losing the light in the pretty mountain meadow.
“Okay, let’s try the redhead,” Alex ordered his assistant. “Get her into costume. We’ve only got about an hour left here.”
As his minion scurried off to do his bidding, Alex sipped at the fresh latte another one of his lackeys had provided, flicking back through the day’s footage.
It was a simple advertisement for lady’s skin cream, a high-end company that wanted quaint but exotic, nostalgic but contemporary, and fresh but familiar. Also, it had to reflect one of the ingredients in the lotion — the very rare and expensive milk of the dragon.
Alex’s business, Almanac Advertising, had provided.
They’d found a gorgeous dell on the edge of an Irish mountain (although Alex had a hard time calling it that, lacking an actual snowy peak and rocky cliffs), complete with a ruined castle built up on one side and a distant cluster of thatched-roof stone houses on the other. They had to keep replacing the sheep that the damned dragon snapped up out of boredom, though, and it was a pain in the ass to send interns for repeated truckloads.
Why they couldn’t have gone with a symbolic dragon . . . or something metaphorical. Did they have to drag the scaly beast all the way from the company barn just for a 30 second spot? It wasn’t as though the commercial was for the Superbowl, after all. Alex shuddered to think what his superiors would have demanded of him for that.
As it was, he hoped that the great fat pointy-arsed cow had its belly full by now. They were down to the last replacement maidens, too. Sure, they were all fine and doe-eyed when they first came out in costume, hair combed out nicely under a flower tiara (three of his interns now had fingers dyed green from all the picking and braiding of natural Irish flora), but take after take of the close-up shot — the milking of the dragon — not one of them could keep a pleasant smile on their faces. He wondered whether the CGI department could turn their clelnched-teeth grimaces and panicked expressions into more cheerful or interested looks. Maybe, with a tweak here and there, the blonde could look like she was concentrating? The brunette’s footage couldn’t be used at all; she’d barely sat on the milking stool before the stupid beast had snapped her up in her jaws, and then there had been a disgusting spatter of blood all over. They’d nearly had to find a new location altogether, until his assistant had pointed out that simply moving all their lights and equipment fifty feet to the left would solve the problem.
Alex sighed. Fifty minutes until sundown. “Okay, people! I think Brunhilda’s got a fairly full stomach by now –”
As if in response, the dragon belched. Alex coughed over the smell of raw flesh and sulphur.
“Let’s roll tape! Where’s my maiden?”