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  • Writer's picturebucky

"Budget, Jury" (2023)

๐š‹๐šž๐š๐š๐šŽ๐š, ๐š“๐šž๐š›๐šข;

Between reshoots and a rotating cast, director Clave Benson had already blown through the studio's budget twice over. He'd hired star after star for the main role, only for each and every one to let him down.

It'd start with demands, a bigger trailer here, a gourmet chef there, then it'd be script changes, shot adjustments, 'don't light me like that' and 'no, not from that side!' They'd refuse to scream on cue, or run when they should be standing still. They'd miss their marks and flub their lines, big name actors floundering on Clave's intense set. With both his investors interest and his own patience waning, Benson needed a ๐˜„๐—ถ๐—ป.

Entire juries of studio execs would turn up to berate him, asking him ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜บ things were running over when the answer was blatantly obvious. Catastrophic night shoots gave way to long, tumultuous days, child actors ran over schedule and prop departments lost important items. Even the craft services managed to give everybody goddamn food poisoning for ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ด.

Despite it all though, Clave Benson persisted. He knew that, come wrap, he'd have a ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฝ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ in his sweaty little hands. He'd have Oscar bait in spades, Golden Globes, BAFTA's, every accolade and trophy would soon adorn his shelves. The man would be ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ in riches, if only he could finish the bastard movie.

With a rocky production and a rotating door of stars attached, Clave had expected more ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด. Scathing New Yorker articles and punishing op eds about how he mistreated his actors and ran over-budget, how he was done for in Hollywood...

But they never came.

Even when the hired stars disappeared from set, never to be seen again, even when his newest runner threw his back out carrying the bodies to the morgue, even when his latest butchered A+ Lister slopped embarrassingly out of his body bag and across the toes of the studio's most infamous producer, nobody batted an eyelid.

It was Hollywood, baby; the glam, and the glitz, and the ๐™œ๐™ค๐™ง๐™š.

Originally written and shared as part of Verbuary 2023:

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