A Collaboration between Bron and Suzie

Chapter 2

Wentworth Holloway glanced at the three piles of manuscripts that had been dropped on his desk.  He was now part owner in the agency and the work seemed to back up faster than he could get it done.  He relied heavily on his assistant James who would read the material first.  This week’s top picks were in the first pile, the mediocre ones were in the second pile, the last piles was lovingly referred to as ‘fuel for the fireplace’. 

Grabbing the top manuscript from pile number one, he read the synopsis.  “Great another reality show.”  Wentworth shuffled the script to pile number three. 

Pulling the next one, he again read the synopsis, “Some potential,” he mumbled and set it on the floor next to his desk.  That particular story would get an entire read from him.  For the next two hours he shuffled through stack number one.  Sifting through stack number two, three more were set aside.  When he reached the bottom script of stack number two, he thought the outline seemed plausible so he flipped to page one

Reading the script well into the afternoon, he made a few notes.  The material is just like all the rest from pile number two, nothing fantastic.  The work is good but could be better.  However, he sees a similarity between this and some clients that a new manager of his had just picked up.  As far as he could tell, the script, with a little doctoring and cleaning up of the plot, would make a great vehicle for the new clients.  Writing some instructions for James to send this manuscript on to Gene Mullen for him to take a look at, along with his notes. Wentworth went back to pile number three.

A week later Gene Mullen unwound the string on the interoffice envelope that had been attached to the manuscript a week later.  The note was from Wentworth Holloway, Gene noted the signature and slid the note from its wrapper.  Sitting down, he began to read Wentworth’s notes.  Slipping the manuscript from the envelope, he began to read.  After evaluating the notes again and the manuscript twice, he leaned back in his chair and gazed out the office window.  He had some decisions to make.

The memo also said that his new clients might be interested in this project.  They would need to find their own financing, a director, and clean up some of the writing and plot. The agency was not going to provide a director for this project, it was too risky.

Gene’s first impression was the same as Wentworth’s; it needed to be cleaned up.  The potential was there.  They would have to find their own financing and director.  This would be a mediocre “A” release but could be a cult hit among his client‘s fan base.  A spectacular “B” movie for first timers would be a start.  Sitting back in his chair, he grabbed a tablet and began to take notes.  After taking his notes, he would call them in for a meeting to show them the script.  Making a list of needs for his clients, he began to get to work.  The first thing he needed to do was get in contact with the authors and get them to sign a contract.  Looking at their names, he saw a similarity between the names and something he had seen earlier in the day.  Turning to his computer, he clicked his history icon in his web browser.  He had pulled the story from his history and read it again.  “I’ll be damned, no wonder this is perfect for them, it is them.  It isn’t exactly the same, but it’s damn close.  How am I going to get this to fly with my clients?” 

Gene was a new agent; he needed to take risks in order to get started.  Of course signing the singing group to contracts for film and television projects probably wasn’t the best idea he had but it did get him in the door at the Goldstein Agency.  He didn’t know if they could act.  They had done some acting but not much.

Gene wanted to approach his clients with this project but he wasn’t sure if his clients were aware of fan fiction.  Some of the caliber of talent amazed him; some of it horrified him. 

Gene called his clients and set up a meeting for the next day.  Nervously, he paced inside the conference room as he waited for them to finish reading what they had been given.  Gene had yet to tell them where the manuscript had come from.

 “Where did you get this?  It’s like it was written for us?”  Kevin sat in the chair with one arm propping his head up while his other hand turned the pages.

“Well Kevin in a way it was…”  Gene loosened his tie; it was time.  “Have you ever heard of fan fiction?”

“No way, we are not doing anything associated with that,” Brian squawked loudly as he closed the neatly bound writings. 

A.J. moved his head back slightly and then cracked his neck, “Why not?  It’s our first film.  It’s probably the only shot anyone is going to give us.  Whoever wrote this, knows us better than we do.” 

Nick laughed as he kept reading, “I’ll say…  Damn, even my arrest is in here.”

A long sigh was heard from Kevin as he sat back and watched.  “What about a director?”  He had doubts; oh boy did he have doubts.  They could be laughed off the planet for this one.

Howie seemed to appreciate the new twist on his persona, “Financing?”

Gene didn’t have as many answers as he would have liked to of had for them, but he had only had the script since yesterday.  From the beginning, Gene knew this would be a hard sell and the group would be on their own.  They would have to drum up all of the financing, among other things.  “Well gentlemen, if you were a lot hotter than what you are now, we might not have a problem.”  Gene was beginning to sweat.  Rolling up his shirtsleeves, he placed his palms down on the table.  He looked directly at Kevin and Howie, who sat next to each other; these two were the wheeler and dealers of the group.  “Any suggestions?”

Howie began to grin along with Nick.  Kevin waited to see what A.J. and Brian wanted to do.  A.J. nodded yes, Brian a no. 

Kevin picked fictitious lint off the sleeve of his shirt as he spoke.  “Ah, financing won’t be a problem.  We have a production company that funds miscellaneous projects here and there, mainly our own.  It’s a dummy corporation.  I can’t think of a better way to finance our first project then for us to do it ourselves, anonymously of course.”  

Nick laughs, “I’m a surfer dude.  Do I get to learn how to surf?”

Four heads turned towards Nick and they all rolled their eyes. 

Kevin coughed, “Yeah Nick, and if you had that much sex in real life you wouldn’t get anything else done.  This needs some work.  We need to refine this.”  Kevin grabbed a pencil and began to make his own notes.

Gene could see the deal being closed in his head as soon as he had the writers’ signatures.  "I thought about that.  I say we cut costs and hire the Authors.”

Kevin closed his eyes as his mind spiraled, first fan fiction, now he wants the authors’, who most likely do not know diddly about how to fix a script.  “It’s bad enough that we are doing fan fic for our first movie as non-Backstreet.  We are paying for the production and the director.  Now you want to hire the authors?”

“Saves money?”  A.J. snickered.  Kevin hated fan fic and he was just reveling at the fact that the group was going to do the project.  A.J. liked writing and even had tried his own hand at it once or twice.  “We all know how cheap you are Kevin.”

“I’m not cheap! I’m frugal!”  Kevin’s eyebrows arched as fast as his frown appeared.  “Why ya always saying that about me?”

The four other men laughed.  Brian smirked, “Do you own another suit besides the brown one?”

“It’s tan!”  Dropping his head in defeat, Kevin then raised it.  “Fine. We’ll hire the authors, even if I do think it’s a bad idea.  But… But… Our company, ‘A Production Co., Incorporated.’ finances and signs the contracts with these two.  I don’t want them to know that it us they are dealing with until they sign their no-blab clause.  The last damn thing I want is anything posted on the Internet that these two fan fic writers, who write about us, are working for us!” 

Kevin grabbed the script and walked out of the room.

Gene stood and waited for the others to make their comments.  As long as he could get the writer’s signed, the deal was a go.

“This is not a good idea, you’re just encouraging people to write more.”  Brian’s lips turned in.

A.J. laughed, “Awww don’t worry Brian.  You’re not a friend or a brother in this one.  You even get to have sex.”

“Yeah, with your wife even,” Nick laughed the loudest.  He shut up when Brian hit him with the Manuscript.

Gene was in his glory as they left.  After they had emptied out of the conference room, he set about getting the paperwork and meeting scheduled with the writers.  Gene had the necessary documents couriered to the local address.

“When do you go on break?”  Sheridan asked Angelina as she hopped up to sit down on the stool at the bar.

Angelina looked at her quizzically, then the clock, which read 3 PM, and then back at Sheridan.  “Well, hello to you too!  What are you doing here?  It’s three o’clock on a Wednesday afternoon.  Shouldn’t you be at work?”

“Well, I went home to check out our mailbox since I was running some forms across town for signatures, and you’ll never guess what Patrick had for us?”  Sheridan practically squealed.

It had been three weeks since the girls had received the signed receipt notice from the agent that Sheridan had mailed the manuscript to.

“Oh shit, what bill came unexpectedly this week?”  Angelina groaned as she began mixing a cosmopolitan for one of her customers.

“It’s not a bill” Sheridan replied smiling like a cheshire cat.  Holding up the envelope that Patrick had given her, she carefully pulled out the letter and handed it to Angelina.

Wiping her hands on a bar rag she took it.  Angelina gently opened it up and began reading it.  Sheridan could read her eyes as she scanned the letter a second, then a third time.

“So, can you get off work on Friday to make this meeting?”  Sheridan questioned Angelina breaking her concentration with the letter.  Angelina’s eyes were widening as she tried to speak, “Oh my God… they liked it… enough to want to meet us?  Oh my God…”   The rest of her words were lost as Angelina bounced into the backroom to talk to her Manager.  “I’ll get Friday off or quit,” she turned her head over her shoulder and called back to her roommate.

Angelina’s workers knew of her dreams.  Her shift wouldn’t be too hard to cover.  Besides, many of the waitresses, waiters, and hostesses were only working at the restaurant while they waited for their big break into Hollywood too.  Many who worked there wanted to be an actor, actress, comedian, or musician.  Occasionally, they would need to switch shifts with someone to go to an audition.  In desperation, Angelina had covered for one of her waitress friends, Kimberly, on a Thursday night.  Later that evening, Angelina fell asleep in the bathtub; she was so exhausted from doing a double shift

With a huge smile on her face, Angelina returned from the backroom, “I’m all set for Friday.”  She gasped as she thought out loud, “Oh no, what am I going to wear?”  As she began questioning Sheridan, she was wiping down the bar as if her life depended upon it. 

Whenever Angelina was excited or nervous, she liked to clean.  “What do you plan on wearing?  I wonder what the weather will be like on Friday.  What time do you think we should plan on leaving the apartment to get there on time?”

Sheridan was laughing at her friend, “Will you relax!  We have a few days to figure this out.  I’ll see you at home and we’ll talk then.”  With that, Sheridan left the restaurant to return to work.

Sheridan couldn’t concentrate on a single thing as she kept staring at the computer screen.  She should have been filling out forms for new clients but it was hopeless.

Tom came out of his office to see Sheridan sitting in front of her computer doing nothing.  Sliding a folder to the side of the desk, he took a seat and waited for her to come out of whatever fog she was in.  “Hello, Earth to Sheridan.  Are you there?”

Tom watched the woman that he had been dating for the last six months smile, and then grin, then the grin grew larger and larger.

“Okay, what gives?  You’re very happy and you’re not going out with me tonight.  You didn’t meet another man did you?”

Sheridan shook her head from side to side.

“Hmm,” he scratched his chin.  “Angel is okay, nothing going on with her?”

Again, Sheridan shook her head no.

Clapping his hands together he sighed, “This conversation would be easier if you would say something or do something.”

Sheridan flew out of the chair, wrapped her arms around his neck and kissed him.  She sought out the contact but Tom was pulling away and pushing her hands off of him.  “Chill, we’re at work.  Damn, you’re happy.”

Sitting down with an even larger smile she nodded, “We sold the script.”  Sheridan chewed her bottom lip as she waited for Tom’s reaction.  For years he had been in Hollywood and hired person after person to do the job that she was doing.  Only two out of the hundred or so who sat at her desk had actually made it.  Tom would complain to Sheridan that nobody was ever happy in Hollywood being just a "nobody".

A deep sigh escaped him and he watched Sheridan frown.  Then he smiled brightly and embraced her.  “I knew you could do it babe.  I knew it.  You have the drive and one of the best partners you could have.”  Tom swayed her in his arms as he stroked her hair.  Telling her this was the right thing, even if it was a slight lie.  But, he had been telling Sheridan lies for some time now, not many, just a few that shouldn’t be between a couple. 

Going around the desk, he pulled a chair closer to her desk, “So, give me the scoop.”

Sheridan rambled at ninety miles an hour.  From what he could gather they had a meeting on Friday with an agent to sign some contracts.  Sheridan handed Tom the paperwork for him to look over.  Silently, she waited as he reviewed the preliminary contract. 

Tom read and read as he bounced a pencil off his leg.  The things that he was seeing he couldn’t believe.  Not only had the women sold their manuscript, they had been hired to stay on as consultants for turning the project into a movie.  “A movie deal?” he questioned her, this was unheard of.

“It’s low budget,” Sheridan was neither stupid or naïve.  She read between the lines, this project didn't have a director or financing lined up before they had even approached them about buying the rights to the manuscript.  However, a mandatory signing meeting with just the authors is what the agent had adamantly insisted upon first.  After all the paperwork was signed, they would meet the principals involved in the financing, the director, and even the cast.

Tom read further down the three page letter,  “They have parts cast already.  What if you don’t like who is playing the parts?”

“Tom, I really don’t think that is our call.  We do retain credit for writing the manuscript and the script.  Let’s face it, that is rare.  I just want to add it to my resume.”

“You better care.  If this flops, your names will be all over it.”  Tom could see that this was a lifetime opportunity for Sheridan and Angelina but they had to think with their heads and not stars in their eyes.  When Sheridan’s face scrunched up, he knew he had leveled off her feelings somewhat.  “How about I come over tonight and we talk about this, the three of us?”

“I don’t care but Angelina might,” Sheridan fussed around with the things on her desk.  Tom had busted her bubble.

“Angel will recover.  She’ll find a boy toy, get laid, and go to work tomorrow as if nothing happened, if she is that pissed at me”

“You’re so crude.”  Sheridan flicked her monitor off and slammed the desk drawer shut.  She paused as she stood at the door.  Tom had been in this town forever, he was born here and he knew how things worked.  “Be there at seven.”





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This is a work of fiction.
The characters and events portrayed are fictitious.
Any resemblance to real people or events is purely coincidental.

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