Grant first heard about the videos from Donald. But he knew it wasn’t really Donald telling him about them. He could spot Gloria’s handiwork a mile away.
He, Donald and Mark James (another board member) were having a working lunch. For the past couple of weeks Grant had been enjoying an uneasy peace. He could tell it was only a temporary calm but he’d spent that much needed time strengthening allies and preparing for Gloria’s next attack.
“I talked to Japan this morning,” Donald was saying. “I think they’ve finally started to budge. If we could buy out that studio…”
Grant smiled and nodded, pretending to look interested. The truth was that the deal with the Japanese studio had already been unofficially agreed on a week ago. It was just waiting on some paperwork at this point. But Donald wasn’t the kind of man who was ever really in the know as to what was going on. The only reason he had the position he did in the film industry was because he had money. A lot of money. Money which he himself had never lifted a finger to earn. And that didn’t earn him any respect from Grant. Or Gloria. If there was one thing Grant and Gloria probably agreed upon, it was a deep disrespect for people like Donald.
Mark James was at least more tolerable. And smarter. He knew what he didn’t know.
The waiter brought over their desserts and coffee.
“I just hope they don’t ask too much about Cold Wars,” said Donald anxiously before digging into his cheesecake with vigor.
“Why would they ever care about that?” asked Mark. “We want them for their animation department. Cold Wars has nothing to do with that.”
“They wouldn’t care,” said Grant. And the only reason you think they would Donald is because Gloria’s been busy whispering trouble into various ears about that movie.
“We don’t want the Japanese to be concerned by anything remotely financial. At this stage of the negotiations, anything could send them running to the hills. And Cold Wars has become a bit of a money pit at this point.”
“Re-filming practically an entire movie is naturally going to be expensive,” said Grant, not bothering to mask the annoyance from his voice.
“Yes, but it’s become a bit of a joke online,” said Donald. “I saw a meme the other day. Something along the lines of ‘At least I’m not wasting as much time and money as Cold Wars’. Only I think it rhymed. We can’t have the studio become a punchline.”
“The studio is not about to become a punchline.”
“I don’t know…I was watching some videos online. They’re about that Antigone film.”
Grant felt Mark shift uncomfortably beside him, obviously aware that Donald was wading into territory that Grant wasn’t about to appreciate.
“What videos?” asked Grant.
“They’ve teamed up with some online celebrity. Someone sent me the link.”
That someone probably being Gloria, thought Grant.
“They’re all behind the scenes stuff, but I was reading the comments and you should have seen the number of cracks about Cold Wars and Montell Connected Studios.”
Grant could feel his temper getting the better of him. “Perhaps you’re just not familiar with most modern technology, but even you should have long since learned that you should ignore half of what appears online,” he snapped.
Donald looked chastened and more than a little miffed. The rest of the lunch was passed in an awkward silence. Not that there was much of the lunch left. Grant waved over the waiter immediately, paid and was out the door before Donald could get warmed up again on any particular topic. One thing you could say for Donald, he never stayed down for long.
Once Grant had returned to his office, he did a quick search online and found the videos Donald had been talking about. They were harmless enough at least. McCall and Holly must be desperate if they hoped this would win them much attention.
He was about to close the browser when in the final minutes of the video the host appeared. The man gave a brief spiel about an interview appearing on the site over the weekend and then a short clip from it ran. Holly was smiling at the camera, looking completely relaxed.
“We’re making an independent movie. No matter how good a movie it is, it will always be an uphill battle to promote it and let audiences know we’re out here. It makes perfect sense that someone would choose to work with a major studio who can offer them long term career opportunities. But it does speak of the high caliber of the people who have been working on Antigone that so many studios, especially Montell Connected Studios, are eager to work with them.”
Grant let out a frustrated huff. This was one small interview on one small corner of the web. He could safely ignore it.
Still, he didn’t need to give Gloria any more ammunition. Did he?
No. He shook his head. This was just death rattles from the film. It was annoying that Gloria had found a way around him to allow Antigone to be made in the first place, but whatever she hoped to accomplish with it, wasn’t going to work.
But he did have a bone to pick with her. He picked up the phone and dialed her number.