Sparky And Bright Eyes


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Scene Title Sparky And Bright Eyes
Synopsis Wendy catches up with Max again on the set and dodges her brother and bodyguard to go get drunk with the movie star.
Date August 24, 2009

Multiple Man Soundstage

Production on the Multiple Man soundstage is winding down. Many set pieces have already been packed away. A few remain for pickups or a few last indoor stunts. The only real thing left to shoot is a major action sequence midway through the movie and a few additional scenes that got interrupted by the Humanis First bombing several weeks ago.

Production winding down means Max is working more and more. He's had a long one, and has just emerged from his trailer, hair damp from a shower. Earlier, he was scaling walls and on the wire in front of the blue screen for a rooftop flying fight. He's bruised, tired, but feels satisfied with the work he's done.

Wendy's parked off to the side, where she can sit and smoke a cigarette and not get hassled. Away from her and talking to some movie business folks is someone who looks suspiciously like her and not that much older. Same hair, same features but masculine. A coke can as an ashtray and another one to drink out of, the black haired artist sits and watches the ongoings. Scabs around her wrist partially hidden by bangles, comfortable cushioned flats as opposed to her usual riotous footwear. Bruises have faded. She looks like she might have just been working the set from the bandaids on her hand and general scraped look.

Fortunately for Wendy, she's not the only one on the set who smokes. So unless there's cigarette smoke drifting in front of the camera lens, no one's really that bothered. The ceilings of the soundstage are almost impossibly high.

Max rubs a hand through his damp hair and moves down the back area of the soundstage, heading towards the exit. He catches sight of someone out of the corner of his eye, wrinkles his nose faintly, and then does a double-take. Wait a sec. "Wendy?" He pauses a few steps from her. "Shit," it's an exhalation. "I didn't expect to see you around here again."

"Hey Max" Spoken out on the end a puff. "If I tell others who are worried about Humanis First to don't let them win by staying afraid, then what kind of person am I" There's a gesture with the cigarette laden hand to her sibling afar. "John's sticking close though, and I think there's a bodyguard close. Case they make a run at me again"

Wendy's slim fingers dig into her purse and pulls out her smokes. One tap on a solid surface later and there's one sticking out in offering to MAx. "How's the life of super busy super star?"

Max holds up a hand to politely refuse the offer of a cigarette. "Try not to smoke since I left the army. Hard around a set, but instead I just drink a lot of lattes." He felt his lung capacity going down, and in his line of work, well, that's no good.

"Shit, I heard your name on the news. Didn't really believe it was you at first. Those bastards really are getting bold, aren't they?" His jaw tightens. He knew those six people they killed with the explosion on set in the early days of filming. "You doing okay?" He steps towards her, arms folded across his chest, one brow arched in concern.

"Bout good as one can do after escaping from assholes who want to use you for a Evo bloodhound. Should have a scene in the movie where two women escape from a shipping container thanks to a pair of laboutins." Wendy shrugs as she taps the smoke back in and tucks it from whence it came. "Bet it would be more hilarious in the movie than real life. How many more days of filming on the set?" The collection of ash is tapped into the one coke can and a last puff taken before it's smudged out on the top of the aluminum and she looks over at Max.

"You're looking good there Max"

"That's why they wanted you, is it?" Max's lips crease into a thin line. "Shit." If it had been for ransom, at least they would have had reason to treat her well. But Humanis First seem to be a lot more brutal than the ransom type.

He grabs a bottle of water off a nearby table and uncaps it. "Not much longer. Last big set piece back in Midtown the day after tomorrow. Two days out there, a few more pickups, then I'm back to LA. Might be back here again once they get into the editing suite and find out stuff they're missing. But it's more or less wrapped." He grins a little at her compliment, but doesn't say anything. Hard to say the same, given it's hard to look your best after what she's been through.

"Canary to their goldmine, I believe was the man's term when peyton threw me under the bus and told them what I could do instead of lying and saying I could like.. hear dogs speak" Water. Water is good, as well as a piece of bubblegum to cure that smoke breath. "We're gonna miss you. Been nice to have you here, see the movie and see how it works. Can't wait for the premiere to happen. I suppose i'll see you on the red carpet when they do the new york open. I'll be the lady in red" A bottle of water from his same source is taken, top cracked. "What you been doing to keep busy?"

"Yeah, yeah I'll be back. And with any luck, the city'll get some other productions back again. I mean, the only reason Humanis First attacked us is because we're a movie about the Evolved. They attract some kind of straight-up action flick or a comedy, they're not going to have that problem." Unless they employ Evolved. Max purses his lips. "Though I gotta say, I think Evolved doing effects on set is the way of the future. It's fucking cool to actually see what you normally only see in CG after the fact."

He glances around the set, then back to her. "Working, mostly. My role has really picked up the last few weeks. I've got all sorts of interesting and brightly coloured bruises." A beat, "Hey, can I buy you a drink? There's a pretty good martini bar around the corner from the place I'm staying. If your guards'll let you. I've had a shadow too," he makes a face. Bruises his ego a bit. Former Army grunt and stuntman with a bodyguard.

"Hey John, can I go get a drink with max?" Wendy tosses over her shoulder. John, the older sibling looks over, looks Max then shrugs. "Sure fish. Call, i'm gonna be here, Take Don with you"

"You got a deal Jerk" Wendy holler back as she picks up her two cans of trash and throws them into a garbage can. the 'Don' in question looks much like any bodyguard. Muscles and little else. "I'm allowed off my leash it seems. Lets go get that drink"

Max grins at the exchange between the two. "Brother?" He finishes off the bottle of water, then tosses it into the recycle bin. He starts towards the door. "My bodyguard's only really following me at public events, thank god. But then again, lately all I've been doing is going back and forth between home and the set."

He eyes Don the bodyguard, shrugs and then heads towards the parking lot. "Hey buddy, you mind if you take your own car? Mine's got a small back seat. I don't think you'll fit." He motions towards a cherry, blue 69 Mustang.

There's a grunt from Don and it wouldn't matter because Wendy's making shoo shoo motions with her hands. "One of three. Peter and henry are the oldest, twins, and then there's John. After that comes me at the bottom. Only good to come of that is that I get away with everything and get to do what I want. They all had to go to school, I got to be the carefree artistic sibling. The strange one in the family"

Things filed away in her purse, she glances up at the sky and left, right. Even some paranoia has come from her time in Brooklyn. "So where is home. Because, I gotta tell you, they have you at like three different places in los angeles, one in minnesota on a ranch and then someone said that you live, like in the middle of ohio"

"Now who is 'they,' then?" asks Max with a grin as he heads towards the Mustang. "I'm from Syracuse originally, but I've been in LA since I got out of the Army." He opens the passenger door first. Then once she's in and settled in the leather seat, he's rounding to hop into the driver's side and firing up the engine. As to be expected with a muscle car, the engine roars, and pretty soon they're peeling out of the parking lot. Before her bodyguard has a chance to get into his own car.

Privately, Wendy calls these types of vehicles 'penismobiles' because they tend to have a very long front and well, men who usually drive them are trying to compensate for something. "The tabloids, gossip columnists. Hell, your supposedly dating your co-star when quite obviously, I have yet to see you even touch her outside of scenes" Wendy points out, fastened seatbelt and sthey're roaring off.

Max would argue that point if it was made less privately. The reason for him driving the car seems to be obvious as he peels out of the parking lot and executes a neat slide instead of a sharp turn. Then he revs the engie and darts off back towards the city. He's a stunt driver. A Prius just won't do.

"Hah. Well, I'm surprised they care about me. There's a lot more interesting news out there than who I'm dating. A lot of it a lot more colourful too. And I do go places with Trish. Usually things related to the movie, but," he lifts a shoulder. "She and I get along okay."

"They care about anything that moves and looks like it might provide a story. But it's good you get along. Cause the stories tend to be that either the lead actors are fighting with each other, or screwing each other in the gossip rags" Wendy's knuckles are white the first few minutes on the door handle, but after than, blood starts to flow back. "So what all exactly did you hear?"

If her bodyguard can follow them, he's got talent. Max is a hell of a driver. He stays at safe speeds (mostly) and navigates through traffic like he's sliding through a maze he's seen a million times. The route between sound stage and his suite is a well-trod one.

He purses his lips thoughtfully at her question. "Well, I saw the video, heard the news reports. They didn't say much about you from what I heard, though I don't know why. Probably better for you though. Trust me, you don't want that kind of publicity."

"Because i'm 28 and peyton's still, 20? 19? Something like that. She's also Peyton Whitney famous for a trust fund, i'm known for my parent conglomerate and maybe my artwork" But that actually is fine with her.

"Because they were going to kill her, and keep me. They're fuckwits though, I mean, seriously, mounting an air conditoning unit on the inside of a shipping container. And leaving us the means to get out. They totally deserve to go and have their head held underwater thanks to their stupidity. Cleanse the gene pool"

Wendy shakes her head. but, onto cheerier stuff. Next movie?"

"Hey, maybe there were some people on the inside who didn't agree with how far they're taking it and tried to help? I mean, you know, I knew people who could relate with where they were coming from. But now that they've gone to town with a fucking tomahawk, well, people're getting a wakeup call." Max guns the engine again, and they head towards a tall, glistening highrise in a part of the city that still can be called nice.

"Next movie? Uh, well, got a few things in the works. Tell the truth, I'd rather be a stunt coordinator on a more, uh…" he quirks a grin, "…A-list movie than be starring in C-list ones. But that doesn't seem to be where my career or my agent wants me to go. A lot depends on how this movie goes, though."

"It'll go good. I'm sure. People will see it jsut because of the controversy surrounding it" It feels nice. Not be in the condo, not have her brother and Don lurking, not be jonseing for a fix - she had some refrain before showing up, she was gonna be good for a few days. Wendy closes her eyes, leaning back. "So, screw your agent and do what you want to do. Submit your name at some movie for stunt co-ordinator. Carpe Diam Maxfactor"

Max chuckles. "Sadly, it doesn't work that way, bright eyes. I can't submit my name to anything. Agent's gotta do that. And he can humour me and do it, but people see me as an actor now. I shoulda never taken a speaking role. That was the problem." He pulls the car up to the valet at the foot of his building. "The place is just around the corner. This is my building. Not so bad. At least I get a kitchen." He gets out of the car and hands the keys over to the valet.

"So, life handed you one realy small lemon, Dilute it with water and make yourself some really good Lemonade. Do a couple films, bank your money, and then start up a stunt business yourself. Maybe then they'll take you seriously" Out of the car she skips, even as her phone starts ringing, likely John to ask where she is when the bodyguard couldn't catch up. "Nice, i'm not far away"

Max grins and scratches the side of his cheek. "It's tricky though. Sometimes in this business, you gotta do what people expect of you before you can do what you reallly want to do. Look at all the actors who paid their dues doing 80s coming-of-age movies and now direct. Then you get to a place where you get to choose." He motions down the street, towards the glowing shape of a neon martini glass.

"Hence I said, do a couple movies and then.. when it's right, do what you want to do. See if it works" Wendy turns off her phone, literlaly turns it off and nods. "I could use a night of getting blotto and not need to worry about how many evolveds are entering a bar or that some asshole in a cab is gonna kidnap me. Come on, you're pretty safe. Lets get drunk sparky"

Max has sympathy for what Wendy's been through, so he's happy to oblige with a night of martinis and shots. The bar is small, tucked out of the way and the staff are friendly and know him. It's obvious why it's a favourite. It's a protected little haven in a world full of dangerous and critical people. When the night is over, he calls her a cab and makes sure she's safely home, then stumbles back to his own building, only to be woken up five hours later to get back on the set.

Ah, the Hollywood life.

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