Two Takes

Jarod was an ambitious film maker. He always wanted everything just exactly right. Every single detail simply had to be an exact match to the vision in his mind, or he would insist on everyone starting again.

His obsession with perfection drove people around him crazy. Cameramen, actors, set designers, wardrobe, everyone. They all had to suffer incessant fine-tuning, corrections, and retake after retake after retake.

Sometimes the light was just slightly off. Sometimes it was the tiniest detail in someone’s costume, a stitch that had been sewn “All wrong!”, being in actual fact just a fraction of a millimeter in a different angle from its companions.

A single expression upon an actor’s face could take months upon months to perfect. A very slight difference in tone of voice from what Jarod was looking for could easily ruin an entire week’s worth of film.

“Thank God for the invention of digital, eh?” was a sentence often heard spoken by older members of his film crew, who could still remember lugging around roll after roll of ruined film. The younger generation, however, was quite unable to find consolation in this. After all, they had no experience of just how much worse it all had been, once upon a time, and so resented all the present inconveniences with all their might.

It seems a miracle that anything ever got actually done and finished. It certainly did not feel like end was ever in sight, or completion would ever come, when working with Jarod on one of his films. How any one movie could possibly be the result of quite so much never-ending work and toil and editing and what-have you, was beyond understanding. They always took forever and three weeks.

Yet there is was: time and again, a masterpiece came into existence! Perfection of a sort that could never be dreamt of by anyone other than Jarod would be accomplished. Everyone would celebrate, and then move on to other projects.

Audiences all the world over loved every single second of the finished productions. Jarod’s movies were magnificent! People simply adored them.

No one that was not personally involved in the process could ever even begin to comprehend the amount of work involved in a movie made by Jarod. Yet the perfection showed, and it was always noticed.

Nor could the audiences ever relate to the amount of people suffering for the sake of his art, but everyone could easily appreciate the end result. Two to three hours of the kind of perfect experiences that never quite take place in real life, or even in anyone else’s movies.

Each film by Jarod was one of a kind. No one ever knew at all what to expect from him next. Yet everyone hungered for more.

Yes. Everyone. Including the long-suffering actors, assistants, hairdressers, cameramen and managers of all sorts of things. Even the choreographer who very nearly had her head bitten off for one tiny little half step in a slightly wrong direction during a nighttime fight scene was very much hoping for another chance to get to work with Jarod.

It was now three years since Jarod had finished his latest movie. Three years, and as far as anyone knew, he wasn’t even working on coming up with anything new.

The worry was that perhaps Jarod’s fountain of ideas had finally run dry. Three years was a frightfully long time to keep hearing Jarod say only: “No, nothing now. Nothing yet. Just wait.”

While Jarod had nothing new to offer anyone, they all worked on other things. Still, everyone truly hoped that he would call them soon again to start a brand new project.

What no one knew was that Jarod wasn’t, in fact, at all idle. In secret, he was working on what he considered to be his true masterpiece. The greatest accomplishment of his entire career. That one film that he would be forever remembered for.

He told no one. He kept it all secret. He wrote the entire manuscript himself. Had been writing it, and polishing it, for more than thirty years now, in between all other projects.

The time was getting ripe to begin the actual making of that movie. His movie. His baby, child, beloved, darling film. The one movie that would stand out forever from among all others ever made. The one that would never be surpassed by anyone, by any other creation ever again.

The time was almost right.

Six more months went by, and Jarod was finally ready to call everyone he had chosen for this film, and to tell them to prepare to work. Still he gave no details. He only said to be there at his studios on the twenty third of November at exactly nine o’clock, or they would miss the experience of a lifetime.

Naturally, everyone arrived in time. They were all there, ready and waiting, when nine o’clock arrived.

Jarod entered the studios. He surveyed the premises, and all the people therein. Yes. These were exactly the people he wanted. Oh yes. And these studios were exactly the right location.

He greeted them all. He gave them all their instructions. He set them all to work. And everyone buzzed about like the busiest bees ever, and the happiest ones as well. The beginning of a new project with Jarod was always so exciting!

This project was to be different from all the others. There would not be the endless repetition of take after take that they all were used to when working with Jarod. There wouldn’t even be two takes of the same scene. It was all to be filmed in one take. In one, long, continuous take.

They would have to practice everything until they were certain to get all of it exactly right. No repeats. No second tries.

One take. Not two takes. One chance, and not a million of them.

The prospect was both exhilarating and terrifying. Knowing Jarod’s obsession with perfection, how would it ever be possible to succeed? Yet everyone was very much up to the challenge, and looked forward to the opportunity of showing Jarod that they can indeed pull it off.

They practiced and they practiced. They practiced and perfected, and they practiced and perfected, and they practiced and perfected more and more and more. They would get this right. Even if it killed them, they would get this right.

It took six years of practice, but they were finally ready to film. All of this movie would be shot in one take, and no room for error existed at all.

The story was beautiful. It was heartbreaking. It was exquisite.

The actors were all as if born to play that very role that Jarod had assigned them each. They were every single one of them as if created solely for the purpose of living these parts that they’d been given.

Everyone working on this project felt the same. They all lived and breathed this movie with all that they were, with all that they had been, with all that they ever would be.

It was everything. This movie, this film, this story, it was everything. And it was amazing.

They all knew that. They all knew that they were part of something incredibly brilliant that had never been done before, nor ever would again. And they savored every moment. As frustrating as it could be, working with Jarod, they still savored every moment.

And now they were ready. And now they filmed. And now they got it right!

They got all of it right. They got everything.

It was brilliant! It was amazing! They did it! They got it all! They succeeded in filming a whole entire movie by Jarod absolutely perfectly in just one take!

They were brilliant! They were amazing! They were all of them a magnificent success!

And they cheered. And they celebrated.

And Jarod said: “Congratulations, all.”

And Jarod said: “Well done.”

And then Jarod said: “And now… Take Two.”

– “What???!”

– “What did he say?

– “What was that?”

– “What is going on here?!”

– “What happened to all in just one take???!!!”

The general confusion was tremendous. No one could understand what on earth was happening now. Nor could anyone begin suspect what was just about to happen.

Unbeknownst to all, Jarod had had the entire studio area installed with innumerable hidden cameras that he activated a little bit before he said “Take Two.” There were cameras absolutely everywhere. They were in the walls, in the ceiling, in the floors, in the fixtures – everywhere.

Those cameras recorded every single moment of their confusion. And those cameras recorded every single moment, every nuance of their deaths.

It began by the doors, by the entrances and the exits. Hidden mechanisms were triggered. Metallic wires sprung from the floors, from the walls, from the ceiling. They cut right through flesh and bone. Sliced them and diced them into cubes of human meat.

Sharp metal poles suddenly arose from the floors impaling people. Other places such poles fell from the ceiling, going right through their skulls.

Detonations exploded all over the place. Heavy objects fell and crushed poor panicked people underneath.

Human flesh was being blown to bits and torn to pieces everywhere you looked. And Jarod’s hidden cameras recorded it all.

It was a carnage the likes of which had never been seen before. And it was real.

When it was all over, Jarod waited a while, letting the air settle. Allowing the bits and pieces of human flesh that felt like falling fall.

He had no wish to be hit in the head by a severed hand, or a falling liver. So he waited until he was certain that everything was nicely settled indeed.

Then he walked to the center of the studio. He walked upon the blood. He stepped upon the gore. He moved among the remains of human bodies.

At the exact center of the studios he stopped, paused, then slowly raised his arms at shoulder level. He turned a slow, full circle, surveying the carnage he had created. Then he spoke in his deep, dramatic voice: “Thus concludes my masterpiece.”

He slowly lowered his left hand, and moved his right hand to his chest. Then he spoke again, his one last final time: “And so concludes… my life.”

Jarod fell to his knees. From his knees he fell to his left side, completely dead by the time he reached the ground.

No undignified faceplant for Jarod. He fell upon his side, and he looked good. Well, as good as a dead man, who appears externally quite unharmed, right smack in the middle of a carnage he himself has caused, can look.

The police arrived fairly soon thereafter. They had been alerted by a timed automatic message from Jarod himself. He had no wish to decompose and smell upon the scene. He wanted his body and his masterpiece found fresh.

Investigation into the matter commenced. Crime scene investigators found all of Jarod’s cameras and all his deadly devices that were now safe and useless. They had served their purpose and stopped. Every single person who had worked upon Jarod’s final masterpiece was dead, including Jarod himself.

Apart from Jarod, and the people who were impaled, it proved to be quite a challenge to determine which body parts belonged to whom. It helped that the investigators had a complete list of all the people involved, again, provided by Jarod himself. Still, it was a daunting, painstaking task that took ages to complete. Rather like all of Jarod’s movies.

No real explanation as to why Jarod did what he had done was ever found. The investigation did uncover a whole host of journals and video diaries in which Jarod had planned it all, and discussed his vision. Yet nothing actually explained why the man would imagine this carnage to be a fitting end for such an amazing career in film. He was simply insane. So it was decided.

The strangest thing in all this, perhaps, is that Jarod himself actually died of completely natural causes. At least that was the determination of the medical examiner.

His heart attack had not been induced by any kind of chemicals. It was completely natural. Unbelievably well timed, but natural nonetheless. So it was concluded.

It was also decided that Jarod’s final masterpiece would never be released to the public. The movie itself someday perhaps. After all, it was simply exquisite, and might serve as a wonderful tribute to all the victims of his crime. But not the ending. Not the deaths.

Such a disgusting example of insanity, a vomit-inducing piece of snuff deserved to be forgotten. Or so the police, and the investigators, and the courts all thought.

What they failed to take into account was that Jarod himself never had any intention at all to leave the fate of his final masterpiece, the very pinnacle of his career, in the hands of law enforcement. Of course not. He was quite certain they would attempt to hide it all. And so he made certain they would not succeed.

Every single camera used in the filming of Jarod’s final movie, both the cameras used by the cameramen to film the story itself, and the hidden ones that recorded all of the ensuing carnage as well as Jarod’s own death, were connected to the Internet. All the material they captured was sent through the Dark Web to a nefarious company somewhere in the world.

In those last moments in between the carnage and his own exit from this lifetime, Jarod had transferred almost all of his most considerable fortune to this company. A fortune they would only be able to access once five different legal companies confirmed that they had fulfilled their end of a bargain with Jarod. They would then receive five sections of code that only together would give access to all that money and all those precious jewels to which Jarod had had his fortune converted little by little over a period of several years.

The company had meticulous instructions on how to carry out the post production of Jarod’s masterpiece exactly according to his vision. The moment they were done, the movie, complete with its horrifying ending, was published all over the Internet.

The world saw his vision. The public witnessed the exquisite beauty of the story in the film, the unbelievable horror of the carnage, and the dramatic death of the movie-making genius turned insane mass murderer.

The world of movies was never quite the same again.


3 thoughts on “Two Takes

  1. I really like this story! I remained at the edge of my seat, waiting to learn what fantastic things it was that the director was cooking up. And then when everything flipped… haha, I was probably only slightly less chocked than the actors and movie crew themselves. I actually laughed out loud. Nasty business, this! I would like to see a movie about this movie! Tarantino, perhaps? ;D Well written!


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