Last night, in an effort to repair some of the damage caused by the unexpected departure of the director, three of us hunkered down in the studio for an overnight stretch. We ordered pizza, found blankets to keep the chill at bay and got to working.
It all started so well. Progress was solid, the pizza was good and the coffee machine stayed on. At around 1am the security guards made their last appearance, telling us that this was their last walk around and that we would now be locked in until 5am. We nodded our heads and said that was fine. They left us a walkie-talkie, just in case there was an emergency.
We watched the guards walk across the studio floor, watched them close the small side door, and reflected on just how loud the noise of them locking the door was. Comparisons were made to being locked up in prison.
Work continued but exhaustion was starting to set in. Working only by torchlight and the reflective glows of our collective screens, everything started taking on a more sinister edge. None of us spoke about it, but we all had moments where our heads would snap around at a suspicious noise, or trying to find what it was that seemed to move from the corner of our eyes.
Every time we noticed someone doing this, we laughed. Soon, talk turned to horror stories. Scream was brought up, the one where they are making the movie of the first one and the murders happen on set. Nervous laughter followed.
Work was all but forgotten by this time, the atmosphere now more like three people out on a wild camp sharing stories over a campfire. As we were swapping stories, the walkie crackled to life. Nothing was said, just a loud pop. It made us jump.
Then came the noise. It was a little after 4am, the doors still locked. Yet, coming from the rigging above us, were the sounds of movement. We looked up, trying in vain to make our short torch beams illuminate the walkways above. The scraping sounds grew louder and louder, clearly getting nearer to us. We made a call on the walkie, asking the guard if he had let anyone in. No answer.
One of us by now was in a bit of a lather. It came bursting out about how they hated the dark, hated horror movies, hated stupid jokes. Her nervousness was infectious. The walkie kept on popping but there was never any speech. Every time it popped we jumped.
When the studio lights were suddenly flung back on, our nervous producer actually screamed, which was answered with a scream from above. Looking up, Short Round stood above us, hands clutched to his chest.
“What was the scream for?” he shouts down to us.
We just laugh, now fully wide awake and ready for the long day of shooting!