Voldemort signed the contract drawn from ancient wisdom without grumbling or casting spells. What could he do? He wanted in, and sorcery was useless against advanced Jedi technology.
I figured it would be weeks or months before anything happened. Film production crawls at a glacial pace until a few weeks before shooting begins. So I was surprised to get a call from Voldemort less than a week after we signed Leia’s producer attachment agreement.
He said this never happened in Hollywood. One look, and a seasoned Hollywood production company was ready to commit to the movie. They would match my money with their own and, with an open schedule and crew, commence shooting in Vancouver in the next 60 days. They were ready to rock and roll on The God Helmet. In a conference call, Jesus described the offer as “Lightning In a Bottle”.
I had never heard of this company before, Prosciutto Brothers Productions, but their catalogue included nearly 100 produced and distributed movies. A few had even played in theaters. There were Christian movies, westerns, horror, and a little comedy. No blockbusters appeared on the menu, but I was assured that this company made money with every movie. They drive down costs and they excel at marketing. Jesus told me that across the entire industry, video-on-demand revenue (VOD) now topped theatrical revenue, so you didn’t need box office to make money on a low budget indie film like mine. What a concept, make a movie and make money! My dream could be realized quickly.
I received the offer a few days later and eagerly opened the file to read the terms of my imminent success. Yes, the movie would get made—in Vancouver—and after they paid their crew and got their money back in tax credits and advance sales, I would have a priority return of principal and a minority interest in net profits.
In other words, I assume all the investment risk, they make the movie and get all their money back quickly, and if marketed successfully, I receive my money back and a small percentage of profits. It was another stinking turd.
But Voldemort and Jesus argued hard on behalf of the offer. Come down to LA, they said, meet the Prosciutto brothers and give them a fair shake. It was lightning in a bottle, embrace the miracle.
Leia agreed with me that the offer was a raw deal but saw no harm in meeting my potential counter-parties. It could be a good learning experience! So I booked another trip to LA, this time like a real Hollywood executive, flying down around noon and flying back seven hours later. Leia was unavailable so I rented a car. This time I wore a nice sweater and a pair of loafers. I would meet Voldemort for the first time in person and sit at the table with the Sausage Brothers as their equal.