A Memoryman Production
[justify] You are a famous Hollywood actor currently playing the lead role filming a period family drama. Your star struck eleven year old son Dean has one ambition - to follow in your footsteps and has already appeared in a couple of very minor film parts. This time you have helped to secure him a substantial support role playing your wayward son.
It is the first time you have worked together and his professionalism has astounded you. He listens intently to the director, soaking up all the tips he's getting and when the cameras start rolling really lives his part. The director is delighted with his performance and has told you he's the easiest kid he's ever had to work with and that his acting ability, combined with his athletic physique and bordering on cute, good looks, could well make him into a child star.
Until, that is, you reach one of the pivotal parts of the plot where, in exasperation, you crack and drag your tearfully protesting film son to the woodshed for the hiding of his life.
In real life Dean is a generally good kid who has never suffered more than the odd cautionary smack across the seat of his pants, he has no fear of you, rather the opposite, he idolises you. In the sequence the camera is to show a close up of his frightened tear stained face and his pleading as you order him to drop his pants before it pans slowly away to settle on the wide heavy strap hanging from the wall. Unfortunately in this situation real life suddenly breaks through and his acting becomes wooden. Furthermore his wails during his simulated hiding sound contrived as does the post spanking scene where amid supposed deep wracking sobs he is to splutter a resolve to mend his ways.
After several retakes the Dean is getting frustrated with himself and turns to you in tears "It's no good; I just can't hack it Dad. I can't pretend cry, you'll have to give me a real hiding." You demur, but you know that this sequence is meant to be high drama blending into pathos; so for the sake his career, reluctantly, you concur. The director brings in more cameras to cut between and extend the apparent duration of the hiding.
Knowing that what is coming next is to going be real Dean is palpably nervous re-shooting the first sequence, his frightened face and cracked voice satisfy the director after a single take. Then the camera focuses on you lifting the strap from the wall and the part you are both dreading begins. Dean lets himself go with real heartrending performance but he no baby and has suffered a serious hiding before his sobs have built up to the required choking intensity that the director calls cut.
You are so appalled by the welts you've left on his bottom and the hurt and extreme distress you've caused him that between you you mess up the subsequent apology scene. After two further retakes Dean's choking sobs have died away to the extent that the director requires you to take up the strap and re-ignite them.
You dig your heels in and flatly refuse, pointing out that there is no requirement for a real hiding in your contracts but then Dean then surprises you (and makes you proud of him) by butting into the argument telling you "It's OK dad, we are getting paid plenty and now that I know how much it hurts I won't fluff it again." In spite of this intervention you remain adamant arguing that Dean's distress after his hiding is still so apparent that there is no need to stick to the absolute letter of the script. You appear to be winning when Dean comes over to catch your sleeve. Looking up at you he pleads " Aw! C'mon dad we hafta do it right if you wanna Oscar."
Last edited by David M. Katz on Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:52 pm; edited 5 times in total (Reason for editing : Corrected formatting after several tries)