Just Like Clockwork: Scene III -- Ilkin

Just Like Clockwork: Scene III -- Ilkin

10:57 PM, Monday, November 10th, 2003

Robert told the truth. Though the elevator creaked and whirred up to the third floor as though it was about to suffer a permanent (and for Ilkin, terminal) breakdown, it brought the mage to where he needed to go. The third floor seemed to be reserved for administrative and storage, with small offices and various rooms holding the residue of the industrial age that were deemed insufficiently photogenic to have a place in the main museum. Ilkin passed a collection of filaments (replica) from Edison's early lightbulbs, a trio of sewing machines, and a great deal of cables before reaching the curator's office.

The mage heard Gary Fletcher before he saw him, as the door was open and Fletcher was talking, quite loudly, on the phone. The director, producer, and occasional scriptwriter of the Day of the Devourer film was one of those people of whom it is said that they had no indoor voice, but even then one could tell that Fletcher was talking louder than he had to.

"---blem? Everything on filming is going stellar, we're going to be done by Christmas, trust me here." There was a pause, as Gary listened to whoever was on the other end of the line. "Look, would I lie to you? Seriously, have a little faith." Another pause, before Fletcher continued in a slightly higher-pitched voice. "What? Now, Oleg, come on man, there's no need to come, we've got things un-- tomorrow? Oleg, Oleg, Oleg, there is absolutely no need for you to drag yourself over here. I mean, seriously, what do you think you can do here that--" There was another pause, a rather lengthy one this time, before Fletcher said weakly. "No sir. I'm not implying anything. I'll have everything ready for you tomorrow night, Mr. Chernenko."

There was one final pause, and then as the other party hung up, Fletcher slammed the phone hard onto his desk and put his head into his hands. It was in this pose that Ilkin saw him first. Gary was a young man, not more than a few years older than Ilkin himself, really. Lean and athletic, with disheveled brown hair and a spattering of freckles across his nose. He was dressed in jeans and a t-shirt. On the whole, he looked less like a director and more like a production assistant of some kind.

"Damn damn damn damn..." Gary was muttering to himself. He didn't seem to notice llkin at first.

"Troubles?" Ilkin beamed as he made his grand entrance. "Sounds quite standard for film-making as the deadline nears. Sponsors and supporters breathing down your throat, absolutely no faith that you can get things done, eh?"

The mage waved vaguely and then smoothly pulled a business card out of his inner jacket pocket and held it out to Gary. "Jack Clements," he introduced himself, and then held out his hand to shake, "Reporter for the Times. I was hoping you might be free to chat? But if this is a bad time..." Ilkin smiled as he trailed off. Generally film-makers had the time to talk to him since his reviews could make a fair difference in ticket sales.

"Mr. Clements! Hey man, wonderful to see you." Gary, whatever his troubles, could shift moods in a heartbeat. Gone was the somewhat unhappy young man, replaced by a gregarious and personable rising star, a director on the move. "You have hit the nail upon the head. You know how it is, man makes a million, thinks making canned tuna means he has the vision and creativity to make movies."

"I'm Gary Fletcher, but you can call me Gary. I'm the director, producer, writer, occasional actor, and all-around dogsbody around here, but I figure you know that already." The freckled young man grinned from ear to ear. "So what can I do for you, Mr. Clements?"

"Having produced a few movies, you've my sympathies," Ilkin smiled broadly, matching Gary's grin. "Being a producer -- even a co-producer is quite a job."

"I heard about your production from my friend, Mr. Hammond," the mage explained, "And I need a new small-budget film to write a review for. Robert's explanation intrigued me so I'd hoped you'd give me leave to observe filming and production for a while, give me enough to write a story?"

"Give you permission to write me up in the Times? Hah, you have it, Mr. C., you have it. Though we're not quite the small-budget ensemble we look at first glance, I'll admit. Once you see what Robert has whistled up..." Gary did whistle now, spreading his hands as if to illustrate a vista. "Best stage producer I've ever worked with, and the things he's built are going to make the shark from Jaws look like a big tuna."

"Heck, better idea. I'll show you around myself tomorrow, and detail one of my PAs to help you around while we're filming." Gary said, still grinning like an over-enthusiastic kid. He paused for half a heartbeat, then added. "And tomorrow night, I've a friend opening a one-man show downtown, very nice gallery, I can get you tickets. Inspired half the movie, really."

Wits + Empathy:
Dice Roll:
d10 Results: 9, 8, 3, 10, 8 (Total Successes = 4)

Ilkin laughed. "Robert is the finest set builder I've ever met," he said, "If he wanted it, he could work on top-budget films in Hollywood or New York. But he's content to stay in the Indie circles and I can't say I blame him." The mage grinned. "If you think this film is stressful, I recommend against anything bigger. But do make sure Robert knows you like his work. In my experience, he performs much better when he is shown he's appreciated."

The mage beamed when Gary offered tickets, tours, and more. The perks were part of what made his job so great. Producers wanted his good favor and they frequently offered him incentives to give them better reviews. "That would be appreciated," he said, "And if it's no problem, I've a couple friends I'd like to bring along. They've never seen a movie made and would love to get a look behind the scenes."

"Will do, Mr. C., I'll be sure to let Robert know he's appreciated." Gary said, flashing a quick, boyish smile. "Given the mechanical contraptions he's come up with, he certainly deserves it. After Day of the Devourer, he might need to beat off the big boys from Hollywood with a stick."

"Tell you what, bring your friends along tomorrow morning, I'll give you guys a pass and detail someone to show you around, how's that sound?"

"They're here now," Ilkin replied, "I left them with Robert while I came to find you."

He waved dismissively at Gary's concern. "And no need to worry about my friends or myself," he reassured the director, "I've directed and produced enough films to know how to stay out of the way. I'd not be in my present occupation if I interrupted production."

Dice Roll: 5d10s8e
d10 Results: 9, 4, 1, 1, 1 (Total Successes = 1)
Manipulation + Persuasion

"Now what kind of director would I be if I didn't worry about you?" Gary grinned. The young director had a downright infectious amount of enthusiasm. "Besides, it let's me show my hospitality and flatter you outrageously till you give me a good review."

Fletcher winked, then pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter from a pants pocket. He offered it to Ilkin briefly, then lit up himself. "Seriously though, not a problem, don't worry about it."

"Got any questions on the film itself?" Gary said, still grinning. "Chatting with you beats figuring out these accounts, trust me on it."


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