Daze in the Valley
by Jay Cantrell
“Do not move!” Katey’s voice rumbled through the room before Rebecca or Ben could actually stop the scene. Mary had concocted a wireless feed from the cameras to other places in the house so everyone could watch. The prop assistants were stationed outside in the hallway.
Adam and Cameron glanced at one other but stayed in place.
“I told Karlie I needed tread at the bottom of these fucking things,” he said, gesturing down to the faux leather boots he wore. “But no. I was told they didn’t have tread back then. I’m only the one who has to wear the fucking things.”
“Maybe you broke your tailbone,” Cameron laughed. “That would teach her a lesson, now wouldn’t it?”
Adam couldn’t help but lose his anger – and embarrassment. Katey, Rachelle and Veronica hustled into the room.
“Stay put for a minute,” Katey said. “Mary is printing us out a picture of what things looked like just before your tumble. You hit one of the tables and jarred some things.”
Veronica was tracing a chalk outline around Cameron in great detail, even chalking his robe so it would line up when he was put back on the floor.
They had watched the scene with fascination and now was their chance to earn their keep. Rachelle was marking the camera operators’ feet and affixing a string to their cameras that ran from floor to ceiling. That way they could get back in exactly the same spot.
“Nicely done,” Ben commented, not only to the actors but to the assistants. They did exactly as they were supposed to do – they took charge and kept everyone from moving too much to duplicate the setting.
Lucy hustled in with a photo – a high-resolution frame capture from immediately before Adam lost his balance and landed on his butt. Meanwhile Karlie appeared with a fresh set of pants for Adam, since the ass part of the pair he had on was splattered with fake blood. When Katey released the scene, she helped him to his feet with a sheepish grin.
“Yeah, I heard what you said about soles and I guess you were right,” she admitted. “I didn’t think about this scene when I was such a bitch about it.”
“Or the rocks in my feet,” Adam said with a wink. “At least you held firm with the others too. I’d have been pissed if they got hard soles and I didn’t.”
Karlie smiled back at him, relieved he wasn’t truly pissed off at her. He certainly sounded like it a second or two after he bounced hard on his butt.
“Are you OK?” she asked. “That had to hurt.”
“I banged my elbow but other than that, I’m good,” he said. He gave her a kiss on the cheek and stepped out of the room to change his costume. “Uh, I’ll need some help with this.”
Karlie raised her eyebrows lasciviously. The pants she had made for Adam were too tight – on purpose. They showed off every inch of his lower anatomy and he had to push his cock down his trouser leg to lace up the pants in the front.
Karlie had insisted upon remaining steadfastly true to Sarah’s vision. The costumes were as authentic as she could make them given the limitations of modern fabrics. Her only allowance for comfort was to use breathable cotton material instead of insisting on spun wool and leather.
Even then she had soaked the material in dingy gray water until it took on the look of well-worn travel clothing. Everything was machine washable so long as she was careful – which she was – and everyone had at least two spare costumes. Some community theater was going to be in for a very large gift if the group decided it was through making movies.
It took 20 minutes for Adam to change out of his syrupy costume and get back downstairs. It didn’t help that Karlie had taken every opportunity to fondle him as she helped to peel his trousers down his legs.
It took 10 minutes longer for Katey to release the scene back to Ben.
“Shift Adam to his left a little; too far … about half that; OK; Sean needs to turn about two degrees toward the wall; the other wall, numb nuts,” were heard during the intervening time.
Veronica had Cameron in place in almost no time and was working on making sure everything Adam had knocked over was back at its proper angle.
Finally Katey spoke to Mary through a headset attached to her cell phone.
“OK, go ahead and print it out,” she announced. “Once Ben and Rebecca give the OK, I think we’re good.”
Sure enough a couple of minutes later, Lucy appeared again and handed over a photo. Ben and Rebecca held up both and checked from edge to edge before nodding.
“OK, we’re picking up right before Derrick busted his ass,” Ben said. “I want you to lift the sword, look at it just like you did. Then I want you to get a look of sadness because you just lost the life you’ve worked so hard to build. Sarah, are you OK with that?”
“Yeah, that’s good,” Sarah said. “I didn’t think about that part. Good catch.”
“I just thought of it myself,” Ben admitted with a laugh. “OK, and whenever you’re ready.”
The sun was just starting to peek through when the group started the next morning. Adam didn’t mind because he was naked with Allie under a faux leather cover. That meant he was playing with her butt and boobs – because that is what he did whenever he got a chance to be naked around Allie.
But it wasn’t Adam and Allie. It was the Paladin, Sir Apsan, and his confederate, Wynel – an assassin he had befriended earlier in the year.
“We’re good when you are,” Ben announced.
Allie opened her eyes and stretched. She glanced briefly at her slumbering lover then over toward the sleeping pallet used by the Princess. It was empty. Allie didn’t appear overly concerned. Nature called to women of the mornings, too. But when Princess Erosyn didn’t appear after a few minutes, Allie nudged Adam.
“The bitch be gone, methinks,” she said.
“What?” Adam muttered, peeved at having his sleep disturbed.
“The Princess,” Allie restated. “She’s with us no more. Her horse is there. I would have heard that. She were there whilst you and me played last night. I caught her with her fingers in the sugar bowl, if ye know what I mean. Now she ain’t.”
Adam, still nude, jumped to his feet and found his sword. For the next several minutes, he and Allie wandered through the area in search of the Princess, but to no avail.
“T’wernt an intruder,” Allie declared. “You banged me good but I would have heard if someone came into camp.”
“Sorcery,” Adam said with disgust, touching his protective amulet nervously. No knight cared for wizards and all deemed them cowardly for fighting with spells instead of with sword.
“I believe that be it,” Allie agreed. They dressed and mounted their horses to search for the Princess, her horse trailing behind them.
Allie thought Walt’s machines were about the coolest things in the world. It was as close to a horse as she had been in her life. She especially got a kick out of things when Timm or Walt would move her forward or backward to make it appear as though she was leading or trailing Adam. It was all she could do to keep from laughing.
Adam was amazed at how similar it felt to riding a real horse. The machine didn’t possess anywhere near the pure power a horse did, but the motions were exactly what he remembered from a couple of days before.
Katey had agreed when he had her take a ride the day before.
“Take it to a trot and then a walk,” Ben said. “This is where we’ll have Mary end the forest and open the clearing to the other group.
Meredith was working the controls and slowed them down from a gallop to a walk over the next minute.
“Others,” Wynel said from beside Apsan. “Tis not a scent I know. We ought to dismount and beware.”
They dismounted and crept stealthily to the edge of the property.
“Perfect!” Ben said, clapping his hands. Allie and Adam walked back while Ben huddled with Sarah.
He looked up with a smile on his face.
“Let’s take a couple of hours,” he said. “We’re well ahead of schedule, probably a full day. Rebecca is already scanning what we’ve shot yesterday. I’ll join her and that will let the rest of the group get up and get moving. This is the last thing that has a real time element. We’ll meet, say at 10 a.m., and let everyone know if anything needs to be shot again.”
Rebecca had been up since six o’clock that morning and had been going scene by scene, reviewing what had already been shot from every angle. They had so much time – and enough budget left – that they could probably have another take at any of it.
Most of the scenes had gone off extremely well. There were no wooden performances and no one tried to steal the show from the others. A couple of scenes had required more than one take but none required more than four. Only the introduction to the finale had to be reshot front to back the day before – because a parked car was visible in the background from one angle and reflections off its windows played havoc with several other angles.
She glanced up when Ben walked in.
“We’re already at an hour and nine minutes with what we shot,” she informed him. “That doesn’t count what you did this morning.”
“About what I figured,” he said. “Shelly and I have walked these scenes out to almost the minute. We can trim this morning down to three minutes, 3:30 tops. That will leave us about 40 to 50 minutes for the adult content. I think that is what everyone wanted. I know it’s what I wanted. If this runs 2:05 or even 2:15, I think it will be fine. How’s the acting?”
“Really, really solid,” Rebecca said. “I was truly impressed with what Parker and Kenzie did. Their interactions are so natural. Kenzie’s shift from the Princess’ haughtiness around the Paladin and the Assassin to terror around the Wizard is excellent. The enchantment portion is good too. I swear to God, she made her eyes glaze over.”
“Probably pretended Adam was talking about NASCAR again,” Ben laughed. “That always makes my eyes glaze over.”
Rebecca laughed but nodded. She had occasionally been in the room while Jason, Timm Adam and Leslie were espousing the merits of watching cars around and around.
“It looks at first glance that the lighting is consistent throughout,” Ben said. “I’m not surprised but I was a little worried. We pretty much shot a few of those scenes in twilight. You can’t tell that – at least at first glance. Look, the shadows are even consistent. We shot these scenes hours apart but the shadows are consistent because they were supposed to happen at the same time.”
“Melody,” Rebecca answered simply. “So all that is left is the sex part?”
“Yeah,” Ben said. He wasn’t surprised that Melody had jumped in to help. “Realistically, we could finish today but I’m not sure it isn’t better to split it up a little.”
“I think we have to because of Kenzie,” Rebecca said. “She’s in three scenes. I think we should start with either her and Parker or her and Derrick. Then we can shoot Sahara and Michelle.”
“I think we should discuss this with Kenzie,” Ben said. “Let’s let her set the scene schedule. I know Derrick is in a lot of scenes, too, but I’m sure he’ll defer to Kenzie.”
Rebecca gave a large smile. A truer statement might never be spoken.
The performers had all eaten when Ben and Rebecca came out and pulled them aside.
“Does something need reshot?” Adam asked.
“Actually, no,” Ben said. “I am absolutely impressed with how things have been done. We wanted to discuss the schedule for the rest of the shoots. This particularly affects Kenzie. She has four scenes if you count the solo. I don’t want to rush this part and I don’t want Kenzie to have anything less than a great time while she’s shooting it.”
“You’re kidding, right?” Tyanna asked with a wicked grin. “I get to ride Derrick’s bone. I mean, remember, I am possessed so I get to do anything to that boy that I ever wanted. The same with Sahara, Ashley and Michelle. I have plotted and planned. I’m going to make those girls want me with them at least once a week.
“And Parker? I got to tell you, the reason he and I stayed together for so long is because we know how to make the other quiver. I will be fine if you want me to shoot those scenes back-to-back-to-back. That only leaves me playing with myself and I’ve been doing that since I was nine years old. I don’t need ‘Fantasy Time.’ This is my fantasy time. They might actually wear me out.”
“But we don’t want you worn out,” Sarah put in. “We want the same energy while you frig yourself as you show when you settle down on Derrick’s pecker. Ben, what did you have in mind?”
“I was thinking we should start with Derrick and Kenzie,” Ben said. “Then go to you and Michelle.”
“Let’s move Parker to the first spot,” Derrick said. “That way he doesn’t have to sit around all day waiting. That will close him out and he can get on with his life.”
“I’ll be sitting around anyway,” Parker said with a smile. “But I can help out with a camera or something. That would free Erin up for some stills and still leave the panorama.”
“You’d do that?” Allie asked.
“Sure,” Cameron replied. “I might need a little instruction but, well, if Adam can do it for that scene you guys did here, I can muddle through.”
Erin had put down the video camera for several minutes during each scene to grab her digital camera and shoot photographs. Jason had shown dexterity with the hand-held camera and he was the one working the close-up cam. His job was to track the action and the dialogue. Sean and Erin were doing background cameras. The still cameras were also zoomed out to give an overview of the scene, so losing Erin for a short while had little effect on the overall product.
Still, freeing her up to do stills of the sex portion would help tremendously.
“I’ll do it for his scene,” Adam offered.
“You guys are really the best,” Sarah said.
“Aw, shucks,” Cameron said with a laugh.
The scene with Tyanna/Erosyn and Cameron/Stovane was so interesting to watch that Adam almost forgot to keep the camera focused on the overall set up. Tyanna was frantic. Her character was based on a high-born woman who had repressed her sexuality because of her station.
The sorcerer had enchanted her and the Princess came into her own. Once the genie was out of the body, she was truly in her element.
But it was the level of acting displayed that kept Adam interested. He had seen enough poles and holes in the preceding months that watching someone else rarely stimulated him. He could actually see Tyanna transform herself into Princess Erosyn and Cameron assume the mantle of Stovane the evil wizard moments before Ben told them to start when they were ready.
The Princess played it coy, with the Wizard walking her through her paces of undressing and masturbating for him. But when she got her first taste of cock, she attacked. The scene closed with Tyanna, cum all over her face, sucking Cameron’s cock to get another erection out him as the sorcerer ruminated on how well his plan was working.
Sarah and Shelly put more energy into their coupling than usual during the second scene. Adam realized that they had avoided each other except for teasing for most of the week. Now that they were together their action was sensual and erotic, a girl-girl coupling that would probably rival anything Dazzle had offered in the past.
The group moved back inside for Adam’s scene with Tyanna. The ancient tome on the Wizard’s desk revealed the only cure for the Princess’ affliction was the seed of another man, to whom she would then be bound. Kenzie did her best to live up to her promise to turn Derrick inside out. The scene was shot partially from above, as Leslie had suggested and, again, Kenzie’s acting prowess made the scene. During the sexual portion, she was a dynamo.
Afterward, she became a wildcat, appalled that a lowly knight would be rutting atop her royal personage. Then the Princess broke down when she realized she would never be free from her desires again – and that those desires would be expanded by the lusts of the man who controlled her. The transition was so stark and riveting, Adam actually feared that Tyanna had harmed herself, but she was bouncy and saucy as ever when Rebecca closed the scene.
Adam and Ashley’s scene, the last one shot that day because it was to be done during twilight, was opposite from Sarah and Shelly’s. Allie characterized her assassin as “a low-born gutter-snipe who’d fucked for whatever she could get her whole life.”
In this case, she knew her best chance for long life was at the Paladin’s side and she was willing to do anything to ensure she stayed there.
Tyanna, after a two-hour nap, was ready for her part, too. She had discovered that she really enjoyed watching others fucking. The fact that Allie was giving such a highly-charged performance meant that the Princess really didn’t have to act much to appear interested in what was going on around her. But she kept her face neutral, seemingly disgusted at the rutting next to her pallet and at what she found herself doing to her own body.
Ben, Rebecca and the crew clapped loudly when the scene concluded – with Allie take a cumshot in her mouth and then smirking at Tyanna before swallowing it greedily.
Mary and her crew, meanwhile, had spent the day starting to digitalize the backgrounds. Some scenes needed none. Those shot indoors were only checked to ensure the lighting quality was up to par. The outdoor scenes were more difficult and time consuming. Lucy didn’t have the skill to do much more than encode the scenes for Mary. Beth, however, could do the broader work and leave the details to the pro.
It was a pretty good system, as it turned out. With Beth’s help Mary was able to do almost 20 minutes of the scenes she had. The fact that she was using video from 11 different cameras slowed the process greatly but she wanted to let Ben and Rebecca have a choice of every angle for the final edit. Some angles were discarded completely because another camera came into view. Others wouldn’t work because the actors had their backs to it.
But the 20 minutes she finished came from three scenes and ranged from five to eight angles for each shot. When she showed them to the group after the late evening meal, every single person in the room was wide-eyed.
The mechanized horses Walt had spent so much time and effort on were beautiful. It looked as though Derrick rode a white charger. Ashley’s horse was gray and the Princess’ black. Mary had even made Sahara’s horse dappled – and the spots were identical in every instance. The outdoor landscape was a forest of lush green trees as Michelle and Sahara rode to their camp site. It was a canopied opening for the scene shot first thing that morning and the lump of Bluescreen in the middle had been transformed into an exhausted campfire.
The people who had performed in the scenes were astounded. Sarah actually stood up to touch the screen, as though she wanted to pet the horse her character rode.
“Just so you know, the first layer of audio is laid in,” Mary said. “Lucy is going to put down the second and third layers tonight – the birds, the hoof beats, the leaves. We can run through it later to make sure they’re synchronized with what we see on the screen. I would prefer we have several sets of eyes and ears review it all before we consider it good enough to print.”
“Let’s wait for the edit to do it with every scene,” Ben said.
“Yeah, that’s what we were thinking,” Mary agreed. “But we want to do this one to make sure we’re not going to run into issues. Rebecca’s sound equipment is fantastic. We’ll probably have to come back up here to lay the tracks for the finished product.”
“I picked some musical scores from the public domain to use as background,” Lucy said. “I’m going to drop one of them as a fourth layer to show you what I think when I see this. We have plenty of choices, so long as Allie doesn’t insist on a Carly Pipersong over the final credits.”
“Adam could probably arrange that,” Allie said with a laugh. “Of course that means we’d have to loan him out to a stranger.”
“Ha-ha,” Adam said, giving Allie a warning glance.
“Folks, I can’t begin to tell you how extraordinary this is,” Ben said, shaking his head. “I can say, without a doubt, that if this snippet is indicative of the finished product, we’re not only going to set the adult industry on its ear. The mainstream film industry is going to have to stand up and take notice.”
“The production values on that segment are as good as any theatrical release I’ve seen,” Melody echoed. “The acting is probably just as good, too. I am highly impressed.”
The group went to bed that night feeling as though they had accomplished a Herculean feat.
The group scene was the last sex scene to be shot. It started as a reprise of the initial groups, until the Princess’ enhanced libido intervened. She joined first one group and then the other. Then she encouraged partners to switch.
Tyanna was a dynamo, a sexual dynamo. She moved from coupling to coupling, touching, kissing, fingering. She joined Allie in a giving Adam a dual blowjob and joined Shelly in fingering Sarah to orgasm as they sucked her breasts.
Then they turned their attention to her. Four mouths descended on Tyanna’s petite body. There was barely a single erogenous zone that was left unattended for the final minutes of the scene. It ended when Shelly jerking Adam off onto Tyanna’s dark stomach – which Mary would enhance to show the spend seeping through her skin and into her womb.
The finale was pure digital graphics. Tyanna transformed into a dragon – the exact color of her light-brown skin – before their eyes and flew off into the sky. Mary had already created the scene but shown no one until the shooting was completed. All she had to do was take the final minute of what was shot from above and graft it to what she had already done.
It was finished in time to show Tate and Jerry when they arrived at 11 a.m.
Jerry Goldsmith did not impress easily. He had been around high-quality features and he had worked for Dazzle when it spent an astronomical amount of money on a 1970s-era gay film 20 years before.
“Beyond belief,” he said simply, shaking his head.
“You haven’t seen the best part,” Ben said confidently. “Mary, if you please.”
The last minute of the video played on the widescreen television mounted the wall.
When it was over, every eye in the place was on Mary and her crew.
“That … that is exactly how I saw it,” Sarah said. There was a tear in her eye. “It is exactly how I hoped it would look but better. Mary… , I don’t know what to say.”
“Allie drew me a flipbook,” Mary said. She was surprisingly low-key. “She translated your idea to paper and I put that on a video. Beth and I have worked on that every free minute for two weeks. Lucy has helped a bunch just by doing the other stuff we usually do. So it’s what you wanted?”
“Better than I ever dreamed,” Sarah said, running over to hug the computer artists.
“Is everyone OK with that?” Mary asked when Sarah finally released her.
“Mary, that ending will have people in every form of media begging for you to work for them,” Tate said. He was still staring at the screen in wonder as the credits rolled. Even the font used for the credits was more appropriate to a feature film than a porn flick.
“Well, let them beg,” she said. “I have never had so much fun working on anything. Beth and Lucy have been more help than I can even begin to describe. Besides, I work for Subarctic Enterprises and I contract my services out to Daystar and Dazzle. If Melody needs something, I’ll do it. But the rest of them can kiss my Rose-y red behind. Get it, my last name. Cool, huh?”
The group dissolved in laughter but Mary saw Adam sitting beside Allie, Shelly, Rachelle, Walt and Sean. They weren’t laughing at her joke. They all wore looks of pure admiration on their faces.
She gave a half smile and thought back to how this had almost been ruined by something as stupid and fleeting as money.
“So, uh, I’m ready to head back and edit this,” Ben said. “I mean, I know I can’t yet. But, damn, I have never been so excited.”
Melody cleared her throat and Ben blushed.
“Well, OK, I’ve never been so excited about a work project,” he amended. “Hell, I’m ready to start the next one right now.”
The post-production meeting that was supposed to start at 4 p.m. was over before lunch, a meal Jerry and Tate insisted on treating everyone.
“Uh, we only came in $16 under budget,” Sean said. Tate stopped and turned to look at Sean.
“You’re kidding me?” he asked.
“No, things turned out to be a little pricier than I expected,” Sean answered.
“Not at all what I was implying,” Tate said. “This came in at less than $25,000? You have got to be kidding me.”
“Barely, but yeah,” Sean said. “I mean, look, the expensive stuff we already own. What really kicked the hell out the rest of the money was fuel for that damned wrecker. That cost us $850. It gets like eight miles to the gallon.”
“Honestly, I figured when I saw what I’ve just seen that you guys said to hell with the budget and spent whatever needed to be spent,” Jerry said. “I can’t believe this came in at $5,000 less than ‘Interludes.’”
“The talent worked for scale,” Sean said. “That cut the costs down $6,000. We didn’t have to rent anything to make this. That also helped considerably. The next one will cost more because the cast is huge. I figure it will run about $40K, that’s according to my initial projections.”
“And worth every damned penny,” Jerry stated. “We’ll not wrangle over money issues again. I can guarantee you that. When my investors see this product, they will insist we spend whatever needs to be spent to make the next one just as good. Honestly, I can see some mainstream movie houses seeking to show this.”
He shook his head and then chuckled.
“God damn it,” he said with happiness. “We did it! It took some doing and it took some battles but you folks never wavered. You knew what you wanted to do and you did it. You brought us along when you could have told us to get bent. And in a month, when this is released there won’t be a single person in our industry who didn’t wish he was smart enough to find you guys first. In case I haven’t said it before: I am extremely proud to be associated with this group. Sarah, damn, I honestly think the luckiest day of my career is when Tara Twain convinced us that you were right for ‘Interludes.’”
“Mine, too, Jerry,” Sarah said. “Mine, too.”
Edited by BlackIrish; Proofread by ZoltanTheDuck and Lee.