Luke Page had a lot of hair, that was the first thing Holly noticed about him, his big bushy beard and curly hair that looked like it was taking up more than its fair share of his head. He also towered over everyone else in his vicinity. He was a far cry from any of the normal reporters and press Holly had come in contact with. McCall seemed to be think something along the same lines because he frowned and whispered to Holly,
“Are we sure this is the right person to go with?”
Holly nodded. “You were the one who told me to use my contacts and that’s what I’m doing. Trust me. This guy has an audience.”
Privately, she was far more nervous than she was willing to let on. But, she’d been committed to her idea earlier; she just had to see it through.
As she watched Phryne greet him though, she felt an odd sensation in the pit of her stomach. Phryne was smiling at him as if she were seeing her favorite person in the entire world. Which, she might very well be, thought Holly wistfully. Suddenly, she realized what she was feeling. She was jealous. Not specifically, more generally. She’d had that, or something she had thought at the time was similar, and now…
She pulled on a quick smile as Phryne lead Luke over towards them.
“Luke, this is Holly Woods and Victor McCall. And this is Luke Page, the Cinematic Cinephile!”
“What?” McCall blinked, as he shook Luke’s hand.
“That’s my show’s name,” said Luke. “It’s a bit redundant, but my kid sister came up with it when I was first starting the show in college. I had no clue I’d still be using it seven years later or I’d have spent more time on it than the ten minutes it took her to come up with it. I’m pretty sure she took longer coming up with the perfect name for her My Little Ponies.”
He had an easygoing, accessible manner, and McCall seemed to relax as he heard Luke talk. Holly also felt her confidence come back. If anyone could make Greek drama sound appealing, it was going to be this guy.
Luke was now shaking Holly’s hand.
“Thank you so much for coming down to the set to meet us,” said Holly.
“It’s not every day I get invited to a movie set. Besides, my number one fan asked me to,” said Luke, grinning down at Phryne. “I admit I’m curious to know what this is all about though.”
“Why don’t we take a tour of the set?” asked McCall. “Show you around a bit.”
Luke shrugged. “Sounds cool.”
The next half an hour was spent meeting and greeting various crew members, examining the set pieces and showing off some of the storyboards and concept art. Luke was generally interested, but reserved, obviously waiting to see what this was all about. As they continued, he just got more curious.
“I was drawn to the project chiefly because of how I feel the story relates to the present political situation,” McCall was saying, as the tour started to wind down.
“The funny thing is, I didn’t know you were involved in Antigone,” said Luke, his curiosity finally getting the better of him. “I can’t say I’ve been following the film that closely but it has made the tabloids and I’ve done a bit of reading up on it. Your name never popped up. Henry Donne’s did, but you haven’t mentioned him since I got here.”
Obviously, Luke wasn’t a pushover. Good. As far as Holly was concerned they needed someone who wasn’t afraid to ask the right questions, even if they were going to have be very careful when answering them.
McCall glanced at Holly. She met his gaze and for one brief second the question hung in the air between them and then, almost imperceptivity, Holly smiled and McCall nodded.
“I’m going to level with you,” said McCall, turning once again to Luke. “Henry has left the project.”
Luke glanced between the two of them. “Seriously? I thought it was his film? He’s the backer and the director-”
“I’m the backer now. And we have a marvelous new director: Walsh Adams. I’m very excited for you to meet him. He’s not here today but hopefully you two can meet soon.”
“Hang on, pause and rewind. What exactly do you want me here for? Cause you’ve got some game and if you want to level me, start there.”
Holly grinned. A little forthrightness didn’t feel like a bad thing either all things considered. She was pretty sick of thinly veiled insults and hidden agendas. This she could deal with. “We want you to feature the movie on your show,” she said. “I know that’s a lot to ask, but we’ll offer you any kind of access you want…to the set, to any of the cast and crew. We want to work with you to promote the film, but not dictate what you say.”
“We would like,” McCall added, “if your coverage could feature Holly in some way of course.”
“But we understand that your show has to be organic. We’re not asking for a rave review, we’re not even asking for you to agree to put a positive spin on anything. All we want is a chance to bring some attention to film. We think the movie speaks for itself. We believe in project. And I’m confident that given access, you will too. But we’re comfortable with you making that decision.”
“Seriously?” Luke asked. “I mean that would be great. I could definitely feature the movie and maybe an interview with you. A lot of my show is dedicated to films but I don’t get a lot of first hand access to a film before it’s even released. I think it’s a pretty good opportunity all around.”
“I’m so glad to hear it.”
“Why don’t you join us on set next week?” asked McCall. “You can watch some scenes being filmed, meet Walsh and get an idea of the movie.”
Luke and McCall set a date and exchanged numbers. Phryne then asked for the rest of the day off and she and her boyfriend left. Watching them walk away McCall said, “You know I think you were right. He may be just the person we need to get the ball rolling for us.”
“He’s not going to tiptoe around in the interview,” said Holly.
“No. You’re going to have to be on you guard there. But if anyone can start attracting online attention to this movie I suspect it’s him.”
“And in the meantime, I think I want talk to Phryne.”
Holly turned to him and smiled. “I think she might be able to help us plot out exactly which people to contact next. Luke will be the first but certainly not the last person we need to get on our side. And I’m sure dating him, Phryne has made a lot of contacts in his world. And she is our intern…I’m thinking in exchange for a slightly better credit on the film, it won’t be too hard to make them our contacts too.”
McCall laughed. “You’re really taking to this you know.”
“Thank you. I have to admit, I am rather enjoying the challenge.”