Oct 7: MOVIE MONSTER
It’s a dirty job, managing movie monsters, but someone’s got to do it. Not the actual, you know, cleanup on set. They hire someone else to do that. And if anything gets broken in the course of the filming, well, that’s their problem. They want stuff to get broken, most of the time. If they didn’t want it to get broken, they wouldn’t have left it near the set. And the bodies? Well, the sets have become a lot messier since they started making clones of the actors who were getting “killed” during filming. Blood and brains everywhere, and of course if you get a drop on the camera lens you have to shut the whole production down and start over. But they don’t blame me for that, though. I mean, you think I can control where the blood splatter flies? They have experts who do computer models to reduce the risks, at least on the big productions. But a computer simulation still ain’t a guarantee.
No, my job is to get the monster to the film location, handle their care and feeding while they’re on location, and take them back to the ranch when their part of the shoot is over.
Pretty cut and dried, although I find myself spending more and more time at the ranch, playing my twelve-string acoustic guitar and singing old Spanish love songs to help soothe them during the times between film shoots.
Nobody likes being killed and having their memories transferred to another body, each one more twisted than the one before. Nobody likes having their vocal cords cut, either, never mind the other snips and trims that they still haven’t managed to work out of the baseline DNA. They always add the voices in later. Too many takes wrecked by a sob.
And nobody likes taking down a monster who’s gone full Cthulhu, either. But honestly the monsters would rather that it’s me anyhow, so when I get the call, I come. I make it quick, and then I play one of my love songs so we can try to wish them goodbye.
Funerals are for humans, not monsters—that’s what the producers say.
I study the computer simulations and plan a few changes in direction. A little blood on the camera might go a long way.
If you liked this, check out Sarah Gailey’s article on watching (the first) Blade Runner for the first time recently, which is what inspired it.