A Line Producer’s Beneficent Notes
by KJ Hannah Greenberg
To the Lead:
Demand more money. Hamilton paid his last star over two million for a role that required no intimate interspecies interaction, no dangerous stunts, and no promotions on ice. In balance, you’re no hot stuff. A cat could act its way out of a box more convincingly than you portray a drunken slut. Your plastic face yields very little emotion. I advise you to bit look at Hamilton’s dailies and to keep in mind that undead moan and groan, not chirp.
To the Supporting Actress:
How could you have agreed to let them dye your hair blue? Unless you’re going to crop it or wear wigs after this film wraps, you’ve made yourself remarkably undesirable. Also, note that Hamilton’s sofabed is far more comfortable than is his trailer’s couch.
To the Villainess:
Vavoom! A century ago, you could have been a pin up. Your fifteen minutes are rolling, now. Try for a recording contract. Take the option to star in the small screen serial that will be based on this film, too. Best yet, embrace any and all holiday specials sponsored by greeting card companies; they pay well. Don’t forget the preparation clause in any of your new contracts; don’t agree to sit for makeup sessions lasting more than five hours.
To My Boy Toy:
Get lost! I’m bored. The First Assistant Director’s production assistant sashays way better than do you. What’s more, those candy fangs are a health hazard to anyone serious about my private meetings.
To the Location Scout:
I like your scent. I’m iffy on you since you use your bangs to try to conceal your small bald spot. Consider shaving your head, instead. Oh, also drop the nickname. Men stopped referring to themselves as domesticated farm animals decades ago. What’s more, please just tell me why we had to find an authentic urban sewer rather than build one.
To the System Administrator:
You’re great! Anytime you want to make a road trip to Albuquerque, count me in. I adored the way you performed the Macarena after just half of a bottle of wine. Maybe you could give me a private recital of the Humpty Dance.
To the Wardrobe Mistress:
Flattery will get you everywhere. Stop crying. My former boy toy did notice when you tossed your bra into Hamilton’s swimming pool. I think, as well, he liked the way the werewolves wore spangled tights.
To the Gang Boss:
If you ever need a place to stay, you can move in with me, as long as I get to watch you shower. Those new jeans are very becoming. However, you must stop stealing the lead’s headdress. She’s impossible if she has to spend even five extra minutes in wardrobe.
To My Secretary:
I still like my coffee with no sugar and no cream. Keep the five hundred dollar loan; it’s a holiday gift that’s just ten months early. As for Isabelle, no she can not come onto the set. Hire a dogsitter. Please, too, stop leaking production shots to the press. Hamilton promised Izzy Black first dips on our outtakes. He lost a lot of money to Izzy one poker nght.
To the Intern:
You’ve got chops. Ask Hamilton to let you audition. Beware of his sofabed. Avoid his couch. Compliment him on his pick of a fantasy-themed film. You might yet star in the second or third of the trilogy.
To the Comeback Kid:
Fifty years ago, my folks let me watch your reruns on TV. How are you still alive? Why is it that Hamilton’s wife hooked up with you?
To the Greensman:
You’re one of the few authentic people floating around here. I know movies pay better than landscaping, but it can’t be worth selling your innocence just to arrange backgrounds for a cross-genre flick about vampires’ intimate moments.
To the Second Assistant Director:
You’re a brat. ‘nuff said. Oh, and I expect you to bring my daughter home early. My chauffeur retired from international mixed martial arts competitions five years ago. No, I don’t threaten.
To the Script Supervisor.
New York is not Calcutta. Lose the accent. No one’s impressed. The strawberry blond hairdo, coupled with your freckles make you less credible, too. Yes, I will ask Hamilton if he will give you a walk-on. The ballroom scene calls for a few hundred vampires and werewolves.
To the Production Manager:
Yes, we noticed your hand jewels, your customized suits and your expensive glasses. Is it a coincidence that you’re Hamilton’s second cousin’s wife’s little brother? Please stop pestering us when we need more bottles of water from the crafts truck. It’s hot on the set. It’s even hotter in costume.
To the Focus Puller:
Everyone knows you’re sleeping with both the Villainess and the Comeback Kid. There’s no accounting for taste or for gender preference. Please leave the Intern alone. I don’t think she’s been vaccinated.
To the Makeup Artist:
Vampires are so not purple in appearance. Ask the Comeback Kid.
To the Hairdresser:
I kind of thought that strapping a simpering poodle to the Lead’s head was an innovative means of achieving that climax scene look. I can’t vouch for why Hamilton didn’t think the same.
To the Boom Operator:
I get it. You play trumpet. You’re a nice fellow. Please cease and desist, though, using your bugle to summon folks to a shoot. Perchmen ought to position microphones. Nothing more. I repeat, nothing more.
To My Partner:
Vampires in Love with Hedgehogs is part of that trilogy I told you about that Hamilton envisioned when he and I were still at NYU. Regardless, for the sequels’ shoots, I will be going to Pakistan and to Algeria. If that separation is intolerable, you keep our house in the Hamptons and full custody of our potbellied pigs. I refuse to let you have our accountant, though. Only Bernadette understands the records I’ve been keeping for filing taxes.
To the Best Boy:
Stuck up much? No, I don’t think that the Villainess is impressed by your convergent media dexterity. She likes the Focus Puller’s equipment too much to notice you. Sorry, kid.
To the Colorist:
I did attend Rariton High School. I did sit behind Sam Donkers. I did try to sleep with your older sibling. I did not meet Hamilton, though, until nearly four years later. He was a freshman. I was in a master’s program. Bragging that you are connected to me, Deary, is lame. Please shut it.Otherwise, my accountant, Bernadette’s twin brother, Laird, will be called. He’s lawyer.
To the Re-recording Mixer and the Supporting Actress’ Assistant:
Cute. Star-crossed lovers are common, but committed couples are a treat. I’d be happy to get vested by Universal Ministries to perform your vows ceremony. Ping me.
To My Chauffeur:
Can you believe we’re still doing this? I really wanted to be a basketball player.
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KJ Hannah Greenberg
KJ Hannah Greenberg, who only pretends at being indomitable, tramps across literary genres and giggles in her sleep. As well, she eats oatmeal and keeps company with a prickle of (sometimes rabid) imaginary hedgehogs. She’s been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature, once for The Best of the Net, and helps out as an Associate Editor at Bewildering Stories. Her newest collection of fiction is Cryptids (Bards & Sages Publishing, 2015).