Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta shooting. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta shooting. Mostrar todas las entradas

viernes, 26 de mayo de 2017

Failure

   I pulled the cape over my head and ventured outside the module. Rainfall was minimal, so I could finally see how this world looked liked. It was kind of beautiful, with tall smooth mountains rising towards the sky and a small like very near the place I had been trapped in for so many hours. Well, I wasn’t really trapped but it did feel like it after everything that had happened. The ground was muddy and it was better to walk slowly. The possibility of falling to the ground was very high.

 When I got to the edge of the lake, I walked a little bit more towards a large boulder that was half in the water, half in the land. For a moment, I thought it wasn’t a good idea to seat by a lake without knowing if any beasts inhabited it. But then I remembered the moon had been surveyed several times and no life forms had ever been found. It was a barren wasteland that happened to be perfect for us at that time. We had landed only a few hours ago but it seemed like forever.

 I sat on the rock and a gust of cold wind moved my cape and my hair. I bowed down to it, trying not to feel that cold in my bones, but the truth was I did want to feel physically bad. Somehow, it eased the pain of what had happened earlier in Kristomo. I would always ask myself why I had gone to that planet instead of just staying put where I had been told to stay. I had never been the best at following rules, especially when I felt something could be done if I broke said rules.

 A single tear came down my face and I cleaned it fast. I didn’t want to feel bad for what had happened because I just couldn’t blame myself for it. It wasn’t my fault that people weren’t loyal anymore, than they preferred to do things differently. Sean had been with the team for a long time, much longer than I had been there. It made no sense that he would leave just like that but that’s exactly what he did. I thought it through several times but couldn’t really understand why.

 The point was that he had betrayed us on Kristomo. He had gone there with us, where we would try to retrieve a powerful mineral that was better away from the hands of any wrongdoers, as its properties made it not only unique and powerful but also extremely dangerous. It was good then that I managed to truck them and the crystal fell several meters and into an open volcano but it was then when Sean turned on us and started firing like crazy. His new friends did the same and we barely survived the attack. Actually, I was the only one who survived.

 Rom, our pilot, also counts of course, but he had been waiting for us the whole time on the ship. He hadn’t come down to retrieve the crystal or fight the band Sean had “suddenly” joined. He didn’t feel bullets coming all over the place, passing over the shoulder, under the feet and even millimeters away from his eyes. I had to live through that and also watching how my team, the people I had chosen to go there, died next to me in a matter of minutes. It was a bloodbath.

 When I entered the ship and yelled Rom to take off, he thought I was crazy or something. Not only because he knew the team was made up of six people but also because when he turned around, he could see that there was blood spattered all over my face and that my skin had turned to the clearest tone of white I could ever turn to. I yelled at him again and he obliged, taking off as our attackers fired on the ship, trying to make it explode or, at least, trying to prevent takeoff.

 But Rom was very skilled and, in minutes, we were able to make the jump towards the headquarters of our organization. I had no time to mourn for the loss of my team or the conversion of Sean. It was better to communicate the mission’s failure to the central command. So I asked Rom, as calmly as I could, to patch me through to them. He did, handing me a white rag too, which I used to clean the blood of my face. I almost cried then but I breathed slowly and avoided it.

 Central command was content with the crystal been destroyed but they were very concerned with Sean betraying all of us. They didn’t say much about the fallen men and women, I guess because it wasn’t that uncommon for them to hear about people not coming back from these sorts of missions.  They were the ones who told me to come to this barren moon in order to wait here, in case Sean and his new friends were chasing us through the stars. Honestly, I couldn’t care less.

 But that was a lie. I did care, I cared a lot. Because Sean was not only one of my go to people in the organization, he was also someone I had started to like more and more, in ways I had only discovered very recently. Not too long ago, we had shared our first kiss. It had been on another rainy place, much like the one I am right now. His lips were so soft and warm that I thought to myself it would be a very nice way to die, to be killed while kissing those beautiful lips. Of course, I was delirious at the time because it was a stupid thing to think, I could see it now.

 Ram put a hand on my shoulder and I almost fell off the rock. He laughed but I didn’t. Feeling nervous was never funny. He told me had had made some repairs to the ship, as some of the shots aimed at making us land had actually hit the right parts of the ship. He had been able to fix it all with patience and time and now he had decided to check on me. He asked about his friends, our team and I couldn’t look at him to the eyes. I was ashamed of how I had handled everything back there.

 They had died because I had taken too long discovering that Sean was a traitor. He had to say it before I realized it and that was a mistake, clearly because I had grown fond of him. Maybe he used that in his advantage, but the point was that he had betrayed us all and we only had a short period of time to run for our lives. Being on a volcano, stones and hot weather had played against us big time. Some of them fell to the ground and then were shot or they were just reached by very good snipers.

 I told Ram I had no idea how it was that I survived and they died. For a moment, I had wished the roles had been reversed. But that didn’t help anyone, seeing myself only as a victim and make people feel sorry for me. I had to pull myself together, even if it meant moving on from such an awful mission. Ram suddenly came closer and hugged me. Only Sean had done that before but this hug seemed different. I could feel he wanted me to feel good, safe in a way, not bad for what had happened.

 A beeping sound was then heard, so we went back to the ship where a call from our headquarters was waiting for us. I answered. They gave us authorization to proceed with our trip towards them, as they had determined that our enemy had stayed in Kristomo. Apparently, they were mining for a new crystal. We all knew it was almost impossible to find another one but they clearly believed they could work at it a little bit more. In any case, they were dangerous.


 As Ram raised the ship towards the sky, I felt confused and very tired. I had not felt like that since escaping the planet and it was just now that my whole body suddenly felt as if it was made from solid lead. I leaned back into my seat and the last thing I saw was Ram looking at me, with a somber expression on his face. I didn’t worry though. I needed to rest.

miércoles, 8 de abril de 2015

Afternoon in the museum

  The place was deserted, except for the small team of scientists that roamed the debris and walked tightly together, as if they were a single entity. They approached a square, where two members of the team that had guns stepped forward and escorted the others inside a big hole on the floor. There was glass everywhere and the stairs to go down where missing some of the steps. Everyone was very careful not to fall. When they reached the bottom, they reunited again. One of them, a woman, lit up a screen where she had a map of the place.

-       There.

 She pointed at a hallway and they all began to walk a little bit more relaxed, although some of their breathing equipment started making wheezing sounds. Yes, they had masks and tanks on their backs because the air had been deemed unbreathable. This was the consequence of the bombardment the city had gone through many years ago, during the Dark Wars. These battles and skirmishes had attempted to destroy every single trace of civilization in the world but it had been stopped just in time for that not to happen. Unfortunately, not every place in the world had been spared and cities such as this one lay empty and in ruin.

 The team followed Calista, the woman with the map, through the hallway. They did steadily but not in a run, but fast anyway. They saw rooms in darkness but didn’t enter any of them. After many other dark hallways and a few stairs, they reached a long corridor, lit by the sunlit coming from the outside.

-       This is it. The rooms by this corridor.

 They entered a door to the left and they all did the same expression of amazement. The room seemed to be stuck in time as all the pieces where still exactly where they had always been. Their state, besides some dust, was just perfect so Calista and her time started unpacking everything they had brought with them. There were bags and plastic and some boxes. There was also a rod that could be extended and had wheels, to help with the transportation of the objects. In a little while, they had all the small objects wrapped in plastic and into small boxes. They did the same thing with two other rooms until the two armed men told them they should here if they wanted to leave the city before dark.

 The team was too amazed with everything to worry about time. Shiny little objects, aged thousands of years, where now in their hands. They had been ordered only to grab the smaller things, the ones that came from far away countries now to far to reach. The Hive needed every single thing to be rescued in order to preserve it forever in the fortress in the mountains. Cities like this one were toxic and people would not be able to live there for many decades or more if they weather kept being as unpredictable as always. They had actually decided to go for the objects during summer, as the other seasons were very unpredictable. In summer the only danger was the heat but the city was now covered in clouds so that wasn’t much a thing to worry.

 The rooms they were going through had objects brought fro m the Middle East, some parts of Africa and Asia. They had been taken away from tribes and other cultures so many years ago. Violence had made many museums great at some point in their history. And now, many of the cultures that had done those pieces of art had been dead for some time. One of the helpers was not only amazed by the small sculptures but by the paintings. Some were European and others where from across the Atlantic. Walking away from the others, he stared at an especially vivid portrait of a young woman, who seemed to be looking straight at him. Then, the eye moved and a whistle was heard.

 Calista’s assistant fell dead to the floor, bleeding heavily on the marble floor. The armed men told everyone to stay down but there was no use as they now so what the dead man had seen before dying: the eyes of the young woman where not there anymore and there was a hole in her mouth. Someone behind the wall had shot the assistant. But who was it? Then, more whistles were heard. The person that was shooting was using silencer. The armed men made everyone crawl out of the room and stay down as they stayed by the door and shot down some of the paintings with their guns. The whistles stopped but then, they heard steps moving away. Whoever it was, he or she was escaping.

 They all ran towards the sound and Calista took out her map and checked the corridors. There were no secrete passageways on the map but there was a service door by the next couple of stairs. She yelled this to the armed men and they ran for the door. They did so just in time, as a shadow stepped out of it and they shot it down. Calista screamed. She realized it was a bad idea to kill someone who had probably survived the nuclear holocaust. Although, the person might not be right of the head. A medic they had brought with them came fast and checked to body. The person was dead. The men pulled the body towards the corridor and then, not only Calista but everyone screamed in horror.

 The creature had been a human. That was obvious because of his body but his face… He was gravely disfigured. Everyone’s breathing machines were working at full, as terror had required much more oxygen for them to breath. Calista and the doctor grew closer to the creature to check on the details of their attacker. He had a gun with a silencer on his belt and some other gadgets that they didn’t know what they were for. He also had a handful of keys in a chain. He was wearing normal clothes, although he was visible bleeding from open wounds on his legs and arms.

 His face was striking because there were no eyes there anymore. He had a mouth but the body seemed to have grown over it, making it small and disgusting, oozing some foul odor now he was dead. Then, they all pulled back. His hand had moved. In a second, one of the armed men show the creature several times on the chest. When he was finished, everyone looked at him, as if he was mad but he said he had seen some of the movies in the archive and dead always return before they really die. Calista smiled and stood up. She asked the doctor to do every analysis he could in a short time as they were leaving soon.

 An hour later, they had put several small boxes in three large boxes that they carried on the wheeled rod. When they reached the pint where they had entered the museum, the armed guys grabbed one end of the rod and three of the assistants grabbed the other end. They were careful not to fall down with it but that plan failed when several creatures appeared on top of them, looking down through the hole on the ground. The doctor and Calista replaced the armed men on the rod as these started shooting at every single creature they saw. They were all like the one they had gunned down inside: no eyes, some extra limbs, no mouth, … All mutated from the nuclear blast. These people had survived only to be transformed into something less than the most despised animal.

 The team finally reached the top and was able to create a circle. The men gave everyone a gun so they had even more chances to get out alive. The hovercraft that had left them there could not land so near the museum so they had to make a run for the nearest bridge. After passing it, they could as the pilot to bomb the bridge to prevent the mutants from crossing. One of the armed men called the craft as they ran with difficulty, both carrying the boxes and running and shooting at every disfigured face they saw. Then, they saw the hovercraft above them but this distraction cost the arm of one man, as one of the creatures grabbed him and broke it with ease. The wheeled rod fell on the ground and they had to put it up fast, kicking and shooting like crazy.

 No one knew how they really did it, but they ran across the bridge followed closely by the mutants, that moved incredibly fast. Of the armed men asked the pilots to shoot a missile at the bridge to blow it up. He did exactly that  rocks flew all over, making everyone fall to the ground. The hovercraft landed in front of them and opened the ramp. Shooting some mutants that had been on their side when the bridge exploded, they almost dragged the boxes into the craft and left fast. The machine went fast into the clouds and far from the city. Inside, they realized the assistant whose arm had been broken, was bleeding too much. The doctor tried to stabilize him went they realized his breathing apparatus had been broken in the run. They were both put in quarantine in a small room as they flew back to the Hive.


 Calista fell onto a seat and took off her mask. She was able to breath in calm, at last. She saw the clouds through the windows and asked herself if the mission had been worth it, if they the dead assistant had died for nothing and if both quarantined men were going to be ok. And then she fell asleep, never answering these questions.

viernes, 13 de febrero de 2015

The last scene

-       Cut! That’s a wrap, people.

 Every single person on set relaxed their muscles. The shooting had been going on for three months, and they were simply exhausted. Besides, being in such a fantastic place was too good and perfect to be there only working. It was a large forest, almost like the ones in fairy tales, with perfect pine trees and rocks of all forms and shapes.

 The shooting had been going on among some of these trees, in an area where they grew a little bit more separated from each other than in the rest of the forest. The trailers and camp in general was located not very far, around a large lake that was almost perfectly round. The sound of birds and other animals came from the farthest places; it was as if you could hear forever.

 The lead actress, a beautiful young woman by the name of Samantha Hart, was the first one to return to her trailer. She was accompanied by the costumer designer, some makeup people and her personal assistant. She had to remove every single thing belonging to the movie in order to be able to rest in peace for the first time in several days. It wasn’t strange that all actors were wearing heavy makeup to conceal the traces of their lack of sleeping time.

 Otto Fröm was the name of the director, a big man, tall and fat with a beard that covered half his face. Although he was a very nice person as a friend and when the cameras were not working, he was ruthless when making a film. He had a vision for every single thing, for every single frame of the movie, and he wasn’t going to compromise that for anything in the world. He just wouldn’t.

 He left too for his trailer, to check the footage of the day with his two assistants and the director of the second unit that had arrived that very morning. He had been in charge of shooting some scenes very far, by the coast. They went into the trailer and kept working. For Fröm there was no resting or peace until he finished his movie. He wasn’t interested in what the production or distribution companies said. He always sent one of his assistants to speak on his behalf and his answer to everything was “When the movie’s done”.

 Samantha had already taken everything from her: the beautiful jewels, the amazing costume and even the tons of makeup that made her look beautiful. Not that she wasn’t beautiful on her own right but she was human and she had many flaws. As a matter of fact, she spent several minutes in front of the mirror, looking at herself. She particularly hated the freckles that seemed to occupy most of her face. She would have loved to remove them but that wasn’t possible so she had learned how to conceal them with makeup.

 When every single person had left her, she lay down for a while in her bed and stared at the ceiling of that tiny space. Another movie had passed by and now she was technically unemployed again. Well, only for a couple of weeks until she had to travel to Peru and begin the production of a new film, a historical depiction of the Inca Empire. She got up and looked herself in the mirror: she would have to dye her hair and let it grow longer. Maybe they would force her to use contact lenses because she had never heard of Incas having blue eyes.

 In the woods, however, people were still working. They were the gaffers and electricians that had to pick it all up, every cable, light and accessory used in the production of the film. Noah was one of them, a man aged thirty-five, very strong although not very tall. He had been working in the business for the last ten years and knew every trick and technique to help the director of photography to do his job.

 That man had already left following the director, who Noah thought was too obsessed with perfection. In his experience, he knew some things have better results if they just happen or if they are improvised. As he gathered several lights boxes, he realized this Fröm guy had not let any of the actors improvise the scenes. This was very particular as most of the action scenes Noah had been in, the actors had had the necessity to improvise because they felt fear of the situation, even if they knew it wasn’t actually threatening.

 In his trailer, Fröm consulted every single detail of the scenes done that very day. Although he had made the actors repeat the last scene at least ten times, and it was a very long scene, he felt the ones that had been done lacked something. He asked the director of photography but him, being a rather older gentleman, thought it was all perfect and that postproduction may help him have a more shocking scene.

 But Fröm, who was a purist, didn’t really like all the beautiful things promised by the visual effects people. If he could, he would avoid them at all costs but the production company had already paid them to be on the lookout once Fröm delivered his rushes to them. He asked his assistants if he could shoot the scene again but they told him that most of the materials used had already being removed from the forest and that it would be very costly to put them up again for one scene.

 The crew organized a small gathering that night, on the beach of the circular lake, in order to celebrate the end of the shooting. The director was absent and the lead actress appeared only very late at night, when most of the people had already gone to bed. They had no way of drinking alcohol so the party was all about eating the food they hadn’t eaten for the last few days, as well as several bottles of water and soft drinks. The producer that was present didn’t object and actually offered to put on some music from her trailer, were she had a computer with good speakers.

 Of course, the amount of noise that could be done was not very high. Amongst them was a man from the government that had to ensure the preservation of the site during the shooting. He agreed to the celebration but made them promise that the music won’t be very loud and that they would finish it all by midnight. That wasn’t an impediment to have fun for a few hours, eat a lot and celebrate the end of another day of work.

 Seeing she had arrived to late to the party, Samantha sat down with the makeup people and started chatting amicably with them. She felt closer to them than anyone else on set as she spent a lot of time in their quarters. Same with the costume designer and her assistants but that woman was always so busy that she didn’t seem to have fun doing her work nor realizing that she could relax once in a while.

 They spoke about their families and the beauty of the place. The lake looked now like a large tar pit, in the blackness of the night. Eventually they all went to their respective “dormitories” and had the best night of sleep for weeks.

The following day, a helicopter arrived to start transporting equipment back to the nearest city but the director surprised them by announcing that no one was leaving until they had done the last scene one more time. Every single person was annoyed and most workers refused, threatening to get their unions involved in the matter. But the man had received an authorization from the production company that made them stay another day.

 Setting up everything took four hours and the proper shooting of the last scene last almost that same amount of time. But this time, one the director had yelled “It’s a wrap now, for good”, they start dismantling everything so fast that in an hour every single prop and accessory was put away and on the helicopter.


 Samantha left with Fröm on the first helicopter and Noah had to wait almost until dusk to be able to leave. When in the air he looked one last time to the forest and the lake and smiled. It was always fun to enjoy work, even if he had no rest for months or his boss was a jerk. He loved it all.