Busted Axle Road
CopyrightÂ© 1993, 2001, 2010
Due to the time difference, at about the time that the crew moving Mike and Kirsten sat down to lunch in Spearfish Lake Jenny Easton was on Santa Catalina island, shooting the spot for Defenders of Gaea. McMullen and the film crew had taken the ferry across the night before, planning on getting a little partying in before the early-morning shoot.
That didn't interest Jenny, so she and Blake had chartered a single-engine airplane at an airport not too far up the coast, and flew across to the island in the early dawn hours. Out in public, Blake was careful to keep a professional distance from Jenny; if it ever got out that their relationship was ever any more than professional, and anyone investigated his background, it wouldn't look good for her. That didn't matter so much in California any more, he knew, but there were a lot of places where it did.
The spot producer had wanted to get the shot in while it was still early, when the light would be low and a little diffuse, and while the beach would still be empty. With a little careful photography, it would look like Jenny was walking down some deserted beach miles from anywhere, not at one of LA's ritziest playgrounds.
McMullen wasn't too happy about working on Saturday, but realized early on that there were worse ways to spend a Saturday morning than being on a beach with a woman as beautiful as Jenny Easton. What's more, her professionalism made her a true joy to work with. Never having seen the admittedly simple shooting script before, she took it off to the side for a few minutes, tried out the lines a couple of times, testing various ways to do the wording, and suggested a couple of minor changes that reflected her style a little better. There was nothing substantive, and McMullen was quick to approve.
"All right, let's get this thing shot," she told the producer. "I want to get back to Malibu and get some things done. I've got to be in Vegas tonight."
McMullen thought the first take was about as dead solid perfect as you could ask for, with Jenny walking up the beach, wearing loose kakhi pants and a sleeved jacket, her long blonde hair blowing in the sea breeze, talking to the camera about the Defenders of Gaea and how they needed your help in their fight to say the environment. There was just something in her delivery that really made you want to help; it even got to McMullen, a little.
While the first take had been about as nice as he could have hoped for, the producer had Jenny run through it a couple more times, partly for the sake of cutaways to different angles, and partly in case of technical problems, so there's be a backup. Well inside of an hour, he said, "Well, OK, that's a wrap for video."
A still photographer had been working right along side the film crew, and he took Jenny aside for a few setups. He shot up a lot of film in a hurry, and would have been tempted to shoot more, just because Jenny was as pretty as she was, but finally called it good enough, knowing he had the shot he needed in the can.
"Man," McMullen marveled to himself. "It just doesn't go any better than that. That's a million-dollar spot if I ever saw one."
Overlooking the whole proceeding, the crew from "Hollywood Tonight" had been taking some clips of the activity, and had made a brief interview with McMullen. "Miss Easton," their producer called, "Do you think you could spare us a moment, now?"
"Sure," Jenny smiled. "Remember, no in-depth interview, nothing off the topic, but I'll give you a couple clips you can use."
The "Hollywood Tonight" producer nodded. "That's what we agreed," he said. "Do you have a statement, or do you want me to throw you a question, and then you wing the answer."
"I'll just wing something," she said. "If you don't like it, throw me a question."
"Fine, Miss Easton. We'll be set up in a second."
McMullen was worried. This wasn't from a script, and she could say anything, but there was nothing he could do.
"Ready, Miss Easton," the producer said.
With a trace of lust in her voice, Jenny said, "Saving the earth is going to be a big job. It takes more than just organizations like Defenders of Gaea to accomplish it. It's going to take the work of every man, woman and child on the planet."
Jesus, I wish our crew hadn't already started packing up, McMullen thought. That's better than the script we worked on all week, and she did it off the top of her head.
"That's great," the producer said. "We're still rolling. Got any others?"
"Ah, let's see. Give me a second," she said, in a voice not so sexy. Then, that lusty voice came back again, and she said, "I grew up pretty close to nature, and it taught me how important nature is to our future. We've got to take action now, before it's too late, to save this earth of ours. Defenders of Gaea is one of the organizations that are right in the forefront of the battle."
McMullen was amazed; that was even better than the first. That was the kind of plug that was better than an ad. Heather sure hit the big time with this; he needed to remember to do something nice for her.
The producer smiled. "How are you going to like playing against William Ackerman?" he asked.
"That's off topic," Jenny smiled. "Forget it."