An hour later Holly pulled up outside of McCall’s house. As she took in the breathtaking, hill-side view a new idea struck her, one she hadn’t considered when leaving her house but which now suddenly seemed to provide a solution to a whole other problem.
She got out of the car and knocked on the front door. It took a minute for it to be answered but when the door opened McCall smiled at the sight of her which was a relief. He’d stuck by her side this long but she worried she might start to wear thin her welcome.
“Holly, what a pleasant surprise. Come on in.”
“Actually…would you mind showing me around back to the terrace?” she asked a little sheepishly.
Victor looked surprised but nodded. “Of course. This way.”
He lead her to the back. The terrace was beautiful. There was mosaic tiling along with wrought iron patio furniture that had complicated detailing, while potted plants formed a border around the edges.
“It’s perfect,” said Holly, going over to the stone balustrade below which was a sheer drop down the hill.
“I quite like it myself,” agreed McCall. “My wife designed it. She worked as a decorator before we were married. Coming out here always reminds me of her.”
Holly turned to look at him and he chuckled.
“You have that look in your eyes that my daughter always has when she’s about to ask me for a favor. I’m beginning to suspect this isn’t a social call.”
“No,” Holly admitted. “It’s not. I’m sorry.”
He smiled at her kindly. “I don’t mind. Why don’t we sit down here and you tell me what this is about. Now that’s better. So?”
“There’s actually two things. The first is well…” She looked around the terrace. “I had this idea when I got here but now I don’t know since this place is so important to you.”
“What is it?”
“We were supposed to film some scenes tomorrow at this gallery. It’s the only location filming we’re doing but it’s a very important part of the movie. One of the reasons Henry picked the gallery was because of the view. And it was a lovely view. But he got a call yesterday saying we wouldn’t be able to film there after all. Grant at work again apparently. At least Henry thinks it was.”
“It’s not beyond him. Grant has a lot of influence.”
“I know. Well, Henry was upset and didn’t seem to think it was likely he could find a replacement location in time which is a problem because of the budget for the film. We’ve already had a lot of delays that Grant is responsible for, including most recently our costume designer walking out for another job. But then I saw your view and this terrace…”
“And you wondered if you could suggest it to Henry as an alternative location,” McCall finished for her.
“Yes. I’m sorry. I know it’s a lot to ask and when I thought of it I didn’t know about your wife designing it. I probably shouldn’t have even brought it up.”
“No. I think it’s a nice idea. It would preserve her work on film after all. Besides it’s only the one day, correct?”
“Yes that’s right.”
“That’s not a problem then.”
“Even though Grant won’t like it?”
McCall laughed. “Yes. There’s not much he can do to stop it. If Henry is interested, I’d be alright with it.”
“You would?” Holly let out a sigh of relief. “Thank you.”
She looked around once more to take in the view. If Henry liked it, maybe he’d be a little grateful to her for finding it and a little more friendly or at least accepting of the fact that he was stuck with her as his leading lady.
“What’s the other thing?” asked McCall.
“The other thing? Oh. It’s…I was hoping you might have some advice.”
Holly considered her question, trying to figure out how to phrase it. “As I mentioned, Grant has been causing a lot of trouble for the film. Well I don’t just want to sit back and let it happen. A lot of people are working on this movie and it deserves more. It’s too late for me to leave the film but I thought, or hoped, that maybe there was something I could do to stop him. Or at least put up a fighting chance for the movie.”
“You can’t stop him. He’s got too much at stake. Your article left him in a shaky position on the studio board.”
“So what can I do?”
McCall contemplated. “At this point, you’re best move would be to ensure Antigone is a success.”
“How can I do that?”
“A film’s success if basically measured by the amount it makes. So if it were to make a lot of money, you would, in a sense, have beaten Grant because Henry isn’t the only one who has figured out Grant wants this film to fail. If you can beat Grant over the film, than you would have not only saved the movie but possibly your career by proving to the rest of the industry that his threats if they hire you are groundless, that you are capable of carrying a successful film for them.”
“Great, so all I have to do is make sure Antigone makes a lot of money. Which will be easy with Grant slowly picking off everyone involved in it and the whole thing ending up a mess.”
McCall smiled, “Now that’s not the end of my advice. First off Henry is talented. If anyone can keep a film on track through multiple crew changes it’s him. And you can help there.”
“All those people need to be replaced. And if they’re replaced by professionals than that makes Henry’s job of keeping things on track a lot easier. The problem is that with the pressure Grant is putting on people, finding those professionals isn’t easy. So if you had any contacts that could help a lot.”
“What kind of contacts?”
“For example, you mentioned the costume designer quit. Has she been replaced yet?”
“Well than what about putting Henry in contact with the costume designer who worked on Homestead with you? I remember you two were on good terms.”
“Matilda? Oh you’re right. And she’s good friends with Evelyn too.”
“And Evelyn is good friends with you. It’s all about your connections. And you have more at stack so it’s smarter for you to use those connections than for Henry to use his.”
AN: Sorry for the kind of abrupt end of the post…it’s not the end of the scene (which usually I like to get to before ending a post) but it was a very long day of writing and my brain is telling me it’s time for bed 🙂