Chapter Thirty Eight - Armand Laker
Enjoying his Work.
The production of Tamerlane is under way. I visit the set, watch actors playing to a dummy in a blue suit...but it is looking good.
The dialogue I've put into "Tamerlane's" mouth has been 'stolen' from clips of the Ji Tewka character in Caravansary, and I have further morphing to do. It's not perfect, but I didn't expect it to be, so am not disappointed.
Digres have use, especially in porn, sci-fi and situations where you need a particular type of character. In serious dramas it's more than clumsy and the only times it is used is when the original actor is dead or incapacited and a couple of scenes need to be morphed.
This is the first a Digre is being used in a full featured drama when an actor is required. But the actor I wanted was too stupid to appreciate my offer. I suppose he didn't realise I could buy the failed series he'd been on and use it as I chose.
So I used David Wong Pine as he had appeared when he played Ji Tewka.
And Ji Tewka is Tamerlane.
I turned Ji Tewka into a digital representation, a digre. I did a bit of 'shopping' to make his appearance a bit more like those of Uzbekistan. I deepened and slowed Pine's voice for the lines I'm lifting.
There's a great deal of action in the story of Tamerlane. I go for historical perfection. As most of my productions, it can be used for teaching purposes.
The costumes are made as they would have been in the fourteenth century, and great care is taken in creating Tamerlane's limp.
The Digre is commanding, fills the screen. However, because of limitations, I've had to fatten backstories, focus on other characters. There is just so much one can do with a Digre and canned speeches.
If I'd had David Wong Pine in the flesh...but why cry over lost Awards and leading man status?
It's not my loss.
The Show Opens
I premiered the movie on Smudge, where it all began, (in its one dumpy theatre off Pier One) then to Savorn, Ceres, Bathel, leaving Earth last.
There's been a buzz about it.
The co-stars have box office blasters currently in theatres, people are going to buy tickets to Tamerlane to see Van Marks, Alan Bloom, and Dimetri Elkin play the supporting cast.Their names fill the credits.
There's no credit for 'the star', as Tamerlane is a Digre; people will come to see how artfully I've done the morphing.
So here's the beauty;
I've gotten three top box office draws, done a Digre as a 'leading' character. I'm telling a story so meticulously historically accurate it almost hurts, and I'm going to surround sound it with the best possible music of the time.
The hype is great.
Of course reporters ask; "Why didn't you use an actor?"
"Tamerlane is a despicable figure. I have kept the
story historically accurate. I don't think anyone
would want to play him."
Of course it's a lie, everyone knows it, but they don't know why, which is just as good. Further, I've created a hell of a protest from those who consider Tamerlane a national hero.
The interest in this forgotten figure is zooming; people are playing Tamerlane Chess! And of course, buying tickets by the trailerload. No matter what, this production is going to be a smash, possibly a megahit.
It opens to acclaim.
Van, Al, Di, are going to be nominated for Awards. Everyone is talking about the Digre. It's worked into comedy routines; the Digre is selling the popcorn.
I doubt there are ten people in any audience who have seen the 2d Caravansary,
so 'Ji Tewka' is new to them. I'm sure the few fools who visited Pine's site, might think how much Tamerlane resembles...
Pine might be the stupidest man alive. He's probably thinking what a 'cartoon' Tamerlane is. Which is, in his philosophy, true.
And true too, was his demand to see me.