"Indeed, indeed," Ilkin grinned and took out his notepad. He waved off the cigarette. As an athlete in his off-time, he avoided tobacco like the plague.
"I've gotten a bit of the premise from Robert, but I'd love to hear it from you," the mage said, "The plot, the taglines, what are some of the highlights? Who are your stars? And of course, the director's favorite parts." He said the last with extra emphasis. Getting the director's favorites let you know some of the best parts of the show -- and the worst.
"Hah, I like you already." Gary Fletcher grinned. He couldn't have been much past thirty five to begin with, but when he smiled he looked more like he was thirteen and had just caught a frog. "Title is Day of the Devourer, and the tagline is Tick-Tock if the suits don't change it. It sort of gets into your head, you know? Tick-tock. Tick-tock. Tick-tock."
"It's a philosophy movie dressed up like a slasher flick. The idea is to make you think about machinery. I mean, think about Y2K, everyone pretty much figured that the world was going to go ker-splat because the computers broke. Well, Day of the Devourer takes it to the logical next step. What if people start worshipping the machine?" Gary said, pausing to take another puff of the cigarette. "That's the basic premise of the movie. We've got our nice little slasher-cult, the Golden Architects, and it's time for them to start sacrificing people for their robo-god, which, by the way, is where Robert really shines."
"We've got Clive Adler playing the cult leader, you may have heard of him, he got an award last year at Sundance, and there's this lovely new ingenue, Maria Karlova, playing the final girl. Cute as a button, and she can act." Gary said this with relish. All of which was interesting, perhaps, but nothing which nudged the Tapestry. "Plus we're busting half our budget on special effects here, so it's going to knock them dead."
Ilkin nearly recoiled when the Sight rang through his mind. The mage closed his eyes and shook his head. A moment later, he recovered and smiled.
"I apologize," he said, "I had a sudden dizzy spell. I get them occasionally if I've not eaten in a while. Might I trouble you for some coffee? It works quite nicely."
Once coffee is or isn't served, Ilkin resumed his notes.
"So the movie is focused on the philosophy," Ilkin resumed, "How did you come up with the idea to use that philosophy as the basis for the film? Clive Adler is a good, strong actor, and Maria Karlova? I think I've heard of her, but I'd love to meet her. And half the budget on special effects? Whatever have you come up with that you are using that much on effects?"
The mage was particularly interested in the effects, but he had to be a good reporter and get a well-rounded story.
"Sure thing, Mr. C." Fletcher said, a look of concern on his face. He stood up and puttered around a decrepit coffee maker at the back of the room for a while, before providing a cup of black decaf. Whatever else he was splurging on, Gary did not appear to spend a lot on himself.
"Well, I had the thought back when I was in film school." Gary said once everything had been settled down. He flashed a grin at Ilkin. "I went on a student film down to the Africa, and believe me, after you've lugged around a ten-kilo camera across the savannah, you get to thinking a lot about technology and whether it's worth it. Then Y2K came around, and hells, everyone's wondering about it. And when everyone's wondering about it, you make a movie out of it."
"I'll introduce you to Clive and Maria tomorrow, I think you'll like it. And tomorrow night we're filming one of the scenes with the star of our show." Gary grinned again suddenly. "We call it Dave the Devourer, and it's Robert Hammond's beautiful toy. Imagine, if you would a steam-powered centipede about twenty-feet long. It moves, it turns corners, the jaws go snap-snap, the gears go tick-tock. The thing is absolutely terrifying, especially in the dim lighting. We've got it chasing Ms. Karlova all over the museum tomorrow, and in the evening it'll be coiling around Clive as he does his villainous gloating thing. It's great."
"Ah, thank you. Philosopical 'what ifs' can make very compelling horror movies," Ilkin paused and sipped his coffee, "I won't be so bold as to ask for a copy of your script, but I do look forward to seeing your shoot tomorrow. It sounds quite thrilling. I do hope you'll allow me to interview some of the actors and the staff?" The mage paused again and tapped on his phone.
Among the notes were: Talk to Robert about his construct. ASAP.
"Also, I hear one of your crew went missing about a week ago?" Ilkin pursed his lips and furrowed his brow, "I hope the fellow's all right. Any idea what happened? Off the record, I mean." The mage tucked his phone back into his pocket and took another sip of coffee. "Robert was worried sick for a couple days, poor fellow."
"Interviews won't be a problem, I'll have someone introduce you. We're all worried sick, honestly. Colin was a nice guy." Gary took a long drag on the cigarette. His hands twitched a bit. The director-producer-writer-etc. grimaced. "My guess is that he just blew off to Tahiti or something. You know how it is, Mr. C., none of us are exactly under contract here, especially the technical crew. He met a girl, decided he hated the movie, ran off."
"At least... I hope that's what happened." Fletcher said after a moment. "The alternatives aren't as cheery, mostly. Car accident?"
"Indeed," Ilkin agreed. He took another drink of his coffee and then raised his cup in a toast. "Here's to the success of low-budget films!" The mage grinned and took another sip and then stood up.
"Well, it's been a pleasure to meet you," he said cheerfully and extended his hand again. "I ought to be heading back so I can plan my visit tomorrow. Thank you for the coffee. I'll try and catch you tomorrow when you seem less busy." He cracked a sympathetic grin.
"A director? Less busy? And here I thought you knew about films." Gary said with a grin. He took Ilkin's hand and gave it an enthusiastic pump. "It's been a pleasure meeting you too, Mr. C. Hope you enjoy the filming tomorrow."