When the limo pulled up outside of the theater and Holly stepped out, she was met by a horde of cameras. There had been enough drama over the past twelve months that they were all willing to overlook that this was an indie film. But she ignored them as she swept into the theater. It was odd, looking back now, to remember how much she used to be bothered and embarrassed by them.
Inside, Amy and Evelyn had done a fantastic job. There were tall tables set up around the room, and waiters moving around, offering hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and (because Holly had insisted despite everyone telling her it just wasn’t typical for a premiere) cupcakes. She might not get an Amy cupcake again in a long time and she sure wasn’t going to let this opportunity pass. She grabbed one from a passing waiter.
“Henry!” She beamed. “I’m so glad you came!”
He smiled back. “Wouldn’t miss it. I’m happy that the film made it, even without me. Besides, Walsh and I have been talking about collaborating on a project together. So it seems things worked out well in the end.”
“That’s exciting. Walsh is fantastic to work with”
“ I just would like to say Holly, about everything-”
“It’s fine Henry. Like you said: things worked out pretty well in the end. It’s okay.”
“I just-…Peter and I have so much history. I practically grew up with him. And then everything went rotten. I let that-”
“I get it. I really do. You wanted to protect your friendship with him.”
“That was part of it. But it was also partly just an excuse because Grant offered me something I really wanted. But I shouldn’t have left the film.”
“Look around at all these people. Half of whom I’ve never even met. And they’re all here to see Antigone. And let’s be honest. Without you there wouldn’t have been an Antigone to start with.”
“And without you there wouldn’t have been one in the end.”
“Well. I mean, if Peter hadn’t made you cast me that probably wouldn’t be true. Another actress would have caused a lot less headache.”
“Fair enough. But guaranteed she wouldn’t have garnered nearly this much public interest for it.”
“So all things considered we could just call it even and let bygones be bygones?”
“I would like that very much.”
She smiled and held out her hand. Henry hesitated for only a fraction of a second and then shook it.
“Now that that’s out of the way…have you seen Peter?” she asked, looking around.
“No. I was surprised he wasn’t here yet.”
“Huh. Well he still has time.”
“I’m sure he’s coming.”
There was an awkward pause. Holly was trying to figure out the best way to graceful extricate herself when, with relief, she saw McCall come through the front doors.
“Excuse me Henry, I should really go say hi to Victor. I’ll see you later.” Holly hurried away. “McCall!” She waved to catch his attention and he came over. “Well?”
He glanced around and then nodded towards a corner of the room. They made their way over, nodding and greeting a few people, before reaching the relative privacy of the alcove.
“How did the board meeting go?” she asked. McCall was looking a bit shell-shocked and it worried her.
“Grant was voted out.”
“Oh.” She wasn’t sure exactly how to feel about that but McCall had told her it was expected. “So it’s done. I suppose Gloria is the new head of the board?”
“No. She … was voted off as well.”
“What!” Several people nearby looked over at the exclamation and Holly smiled weakly at them before lowering her voice turning her attention back to McCall. “Gloria is out too? How did that happen?”
“I think … I think I may have been played.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Donald told me this morning, or at least he suggested, that maybe someone should prepare Malcolm for the inevitable. And I did feel, well, as if I owed Grant something. I’ve known him a long time. So when Malcolm got to the board meeting, he didn’t even fight the vote. He practically invited us to vote against him. Instead he told us all the reasons why we should get rid of Gloria as well. And then the vote passed. And then, well Donald was made the new head of the studio. Gloria was-, well, furious isn’t even a strong enough word for what she was. And Grant was shocked. I think he always thought of Donald as a bit of an idiot. To tell the truth I think a lot of people did.” McCall ran a hand through his hair. “But it’s been Donald whose has been in the official talks with Japan. And he was the one making the call this morning, letting everyone know that it had finally fallen through. What if he delayed and sabotaged the deal just so it would fall through?” He muttered this last, more to himself then to Holly.
McCall sighed. “Nothing. It doesn’t matter I suppose. And to tell the truth I do feel more comfortable with Donald at the head of things than Gloria or Grant. Which leads me to another matter. Donald called me into his office after the meeting. He offered a distribution deal for Antigone.”
“We’re already got a plan for distribution.”
“This one wouldn’t be relying on online streaming. A major one, in all the major theaters.”
“Why would he offer that?”
“Save Montell Connected Studios some face in the public eye? Set himself apart from Grant?”
“Oh. I see. And what did you say?”
“I said I had to think about it. I wanted to talk it over with you first.”
“You’re the one that owns the movie.”
“Yes. And I’m inclined to say no. I have my eye on an up and coming production company that I’m much more interested in working with.” He grinned. “But when it comes to Antigone, I wouldn’t dream of making a decision without you.”
Holly grinned back. “I think you’re right. We don’t need Montell.”
“No we don’t.” McCall winked at her and then held out his arm. “Come on. We should be heading into the theater. We don’t want to be late to our own premiere.”
She took his offered arm, and shot one last hopefully look around the room. But she didn’t see Peter and with a feeling of disappointment, let McCall lead her into the theater.