Nov. 1, the start of NANO, found me knee deep in parent-teacher conferences. We’re supposed to write about something new, but the things playing in my head are the future plot problems of Propinquity and the Mesmerizer, perhaps.
While filming parts of The Saga of Travels Far Woman: Summercircles that is referred to in Propinquity and the Mesmerizer, Obie and JD slip into a traditional Indian stronghold that is a three hour walk from civilization and closed to Whites, even those willing to hike. No cameras of any kind are allowed. Cu arranged for their marriage ceremony to be conducted in strict accord with local custom, and so it was, observed by nearly 50 Whites and over 500 Indians of several tribes. Upon exit from the area, a small town magistrate deep in Indian country and sympathetic to their plight, recorded the nuptials as a matter of public record, but since the area did not even boast a computer, the likelihood of it leaking out was minuscule, which was the main attraction of recording there.
Eventually the carefully kept secret wedding was publicized, with the predictable negative effect on JD’s movie career. He continued public appearances with various pulchritudinous starlets on his arm, but the public was not fooled as to where his affections lie/lay (which is correct?). Obie went a long way to promoting it when she announced Live on Larry King her campaign to have JD featured in some vehicle in full frontal nudity, up close and personal, even if she had to write it herself. Blush city for her young consort. Not only did she write the scene, but picked which movie to insert it in, AND the actress who was the recipient of his amorous attentions. Things on camera were not going well for director RR, who called a break, banishing Pam to her trailer to recuperate, at Obie’s suggestion. Obie took JD off camera after five hours of spectacular failure, for he was to be both ARMED and DANGEROUS in the scene. She got him hot in seconds, then took him out and played the girl’s role while the actress “rested” in her camper, un-notified. When his face and body were in the can, the actress was brought out, and Obie told her privately what to do with one finger, camera CU, what special dialog to say, the style of voice to say it in, and her side was shot, then the rolling around on the floor bit, which was quite superfluous to the actual movie. Viewers were disinterested in the groping after all the camera CU star views provided in the build-up.
In one version I can remember, Pam’s current boyfriend is also on set that day. He is present (banished by royal fiat from RR) for Obie’s transformation of Jeremiah. She spears him with a pointed look, then says while still miked, “If she’s not up to snuff, it is up to YOU to provide equally good footage. You’ve seen how it’s done. I stayed off camera as much as possible, and if you do, as well, her face, her nudity, can be meshed with JD’s without them having to strip again... Thus challenged, he is able to get a nearly as brilliant performance out of her. When the tape is showed, Pam comes around and the transitions needed to bridge the two together come off in like quality, allowing this former scholck B production to get into the Oscar’s, with that scene previewed that night prior to the awards. NOBODY questioned it’s win, fufilling a prediction Obie had made Live on Larry King after knowing JD only a few days. Lots of newsies coupled that earlier footage into current productions, which made Obie quite in demand.
RR was supplied with the traditional Director’s Cut version of the resulting sex scene, a Billy and Obie G version that was really sweet and light-hearted, but thrilling, a PG version, a PG-13 version, an R version, and a XXX.
In another segment:
One of the Indians, the man who plays CU, calls her at work one day in the late fall, telling her to get to him, and where he is. She goes armed with a policeman, a lawyer, a computer whiz, news vans (acquired accidentally), and an ambulance with a full complement of large, burly attendants, a nurse, and a doctor. She uses the policeman first, then the lawyer. After an exciting 30 minutes, she emerges with JD on a gurney, the lawyer and computer whiz have purged his name from the institution’s records, they have no clue who poisoned him, or whatever, have analyzed the medicines he’s currently on (which give grounds for making mischief for the clinic), have all his records, and have samples of what he’s been given and drawn blood for analysis. No clue who instigated it, but are turning the investigative reporters loose. It is a real feeding frenzy, but JD does NOT get named or pictured in the fracas.
The money trail is obliterated. The best suspect is Vicki, the stepmother. Obie runs off to Iowa to her trailer house with him and there nurses him back to health. A shaky JD and overprotective Obie do yet another Live on Larry King stint. They sing “God Bless the Day I Found You” leaving not a dry eye. Their prenup agreement is read on air. John Q Public is incensed, and after the culprit who is causing these popular people woe.
Obie is philosophical and noble and dying inside. Jeremiah has found an age appropriate, lovely inside and out, love interest while filming in Paris. Obie wants desperately to dislike her, but can’t. He’s actually chosen two women in a row who are GOOD for him.
Things hardly look rosy for his future, however. Someone is slipping him something that is addling him. He will eventually wind up in an institution, in California, (the new woman in France, Obie back teaching in Iowa,) heavily drugged, while someone gets the power of attorney and absconds with all his money. The police suspect Obie, but the prenups give her NOTHING of his if things fall apart, and SHE was the one who insisted HE sign that part. They were so funny — each making the other one be okay if things went awry. Both realize the biological time clocks are set against them. They both expect him to have to fine another mate when she’s too old to be a wife any more and is institutionalized, but not HIM. It took him getting better and telling them they were wrong to get her finally cleared... She was paroled to her local sheriff, who KNEW BETTER, but had to enforce the law.
Where’s Obie been lately? Somewhere in Propinquity, she gets separated from the movie company as they head to Norway to film with Leche. Harry, Robbie, Billy and JD go off to Norway with Leche and film gorgeous footage in the mountains and fjords. Harry is super as the Viking lover, and the Despina gal from TX is just perfect for both Harry and JD. She’s Obie’s handpicked younger version to replace herself as JD’s wife, eventually. She can’t stand to think of it, but she KNOWS it must happen.
Obie herself runs afoul of Prince William. His unit is doing homeland security, British style, and he recognizes Obie’s HORSE as one he’s been watching from a farm he’s been watching via the Internet for years. He snitches her passport, passes everyone else through, and ambushes her. Somehow, she just can’t take royalty seriously, and manages not to offend anyone BUT Charles and the US Protocol officer. The Protocol officer is a royal (pun intended) pain in the butt, far too ready to kiss royal butts as part of his job. He FORBIDS Obie to go to the palace, but that, of course, is exactly where William takes her.
He, like JD, has to dress her appropriately first. She has absolutely NO clothes sense and even less interest in gaining one. The state dinner is great fun for her and Wm, but scandalous to some, especially the US Protocol Officer.
Afterward, they end up in the stables with the queen. She and Obie get on the same wavelength immediately. Obie is given the rankest TB in the barn, dumps her within the first two minutes, dumps her again, and yet again, then rides off as though they’d been paired all the mare’s life. The hunt is not much to Obie’s taste, but as the Queen’s guest, she gets into the thick of it, and discovers she’s the best-mounted person there. The mare loves it, so Obie sticks tight to the hounds, even ahead of the hunt master at times, without intending to. The queen is delighted.
They change mounts. The court is horrified, but the queen exhilarated.
In one version, these two, by far the best riders and best mounted of the Peers of the Realm gathered that day, outdistance everyone when Obie becomes convinced that she’s heard shooting, four shots, and dashes for a nearby wood, calling to Leche over her shoulder, who veers and follows in a random pattern designed to spoil the marksmanship of shooters in a helicopter gun ship.
The news helicopters in the air that day have all forged ahead and get the footage of the two as they hit the trees. Forever afterward called The Queen’s Ride, it becomes Obie’s first hit film. She leads the queen through the woods at breakneck speed, sure that Leche can follow, as she’s seen her chase a coyote down the treed hill behind her mobile home in Iowa ON ICE.
Later on, some say that she did not hear any shots at all, but instead saw a camera lens poking from one of the helicopters and mistakes it for a gun... She’s quick to point out that while riding a horse at the speeds they were going, watching a pack of helicopters for cameras or guns was a life-threatening action, and she was not suicidal, thank you very much.
Later tapes from all the newsies involved revealed seven, not four, as Obie reported, gunshots.
The path through the woods is used as a training run for the Royal Beefeaters. Obie, quarterbacking the regroup to protect the Royals best while she tries unsuccessfully to get her passport returned, sets up a program to pluck the best riders from the armed services pool and match them to a horse breeding program, train all and set it up so that it self-perpetuates.
“Now that the idea has been thought of, you must assume someone, somewhere, will be planning it at all times.” That statement, and the Brit’s recognition of its truth, probably is the single factor most to blame for the missing passport’s laggardly return. The day the movie crew passes back through Heathrow to return to the US, Prince Charles returns hers and escorts her through customs personally. He does NOT apologize, however.
Wm’s unit is deployed right before a big event his top mare is entered in. His younger brother rides her in the stadium jumping, but just flat refuses to take her cross-country, claiming the mare is crazy. Obie does, and rides her very carefully, conservatively, but wins handily.
She rides bareback, again scandalizing all. The prize is in doubt due to the “illegal” outfit, but Obie says anyone with eyeballs can plainly see that the mare was carrying nearly double the prince’s weight, and still won. She didn’t care about the prize one way or the other, only with meeting obligations and not hurting the mare, who was a superior animal in any crowd. She shamed her detractors, who then had to go with the British sense of fair play.
In a sequel, or at the end of the picture:
Charles locates her passport just in time for the movie company to return through Heathrow to the US. She and JD take off independently on a tour of Europe, and touch lightly in Egypt to visit a few Arabian farms.
Mid-August arrives, and JD is off on location to yet another movie set, while Obie returns to Iowa to teach. The Queen buys Leche, contingent on her completion of her movie duties, as with her color pattern, a dye job on another horse is impossible.
Prior to this, JD has asked to learn to ride, and Obie teaches him on Leche. They bond, and he is riding her on a beach in CA (supposedly SA) when a piece of farm equipment escapes from a passing semi, sails across the beach and lands in the path he and Leche are running repeatedly in take after take. The site is just over a small rise, and only Billie is shooting from that spot. Obie has a flash of the future and bellows “Drop and roll” to JD, the emergency dismount command he’s been forced to learn at every gait as he learned to ride. He does, on camera, right before the crest of the hill. The mare is unable to stop in time and is sliced up terribly, both forelegs broken on impact. A security guard shoots her for Obie, who will not even go look. A sound man comes over to her and places his headphones on her ears, giving her loud rock music to blot out the pistol’s sound. Not realizing how attached JD is to the mare, nobody thinks to give him the same relief. Someone on set has an age appropriate pistol and he is given it, then crosses the hilltop after the set crew have camouflaged the machinery to look like a deadwood pile.
Tears streaming down his face, JD points the gun at Leche’s head and pulls the trigger, turning away instantly. The footage is stupendous.
In a Live on Larry King appearance, Billie airs the clip, and everyone is stunned.
“Fantastic acting, guy,” Larry says, throat thick.
Obie snorts. “Nobody in tears was acting that day. Nobody could. Even the queen of England came to her funeral. We had her cremated at a local funeral parlor, and she had a bigger attendance than most people ever manage. We even laundered the sand on the beach.” Obie downplayed her command that saved JD’s life, but people in the know started to look at her a bit funny afterward. Since three cameras were running, the timing was undeniable.
The shot of Leche in response to a pasture amour Billy filmed in Iowa somehow found its way into the viewing room that day as well and brought the house down.
You’ve Never Really Been Kissed statues with a huge red felt horsy tongue attached became the trophy for the Saga series.
Viking Dreams — HF is Ragnar, actually filmed in Norway with Leche. This is right after the secret wedding, and HRP Wm gloms onto Obie’s passport... JH and crew film without he, rewrites being done on scenes by pulling them off the Internet, awkward, at best.
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