DEAN WALKED TOWARD George sitting in the sled. He was
intercepted by Jeff, who was running the snow machines and said
the one snow machine had already crapped out. “Well, get another
one, mate. We are fifteen minutes away from showtime.” Jeff pointed
out there was no other snow machines and that’s where Dean had
his moment. “You’re wrong, mate. I picked up one just in case—a
backup.” Jeff looked at him admiringly and ran off to the truck.
Dean looked at the set he had created and felt pride swell up in
him. The four novels and five screenplays and ten shorts and one
feature did not slow him down. His other films might have gotten
off the ground if the distributors had gotten their head out of their
ass and seen the market for it. The indie business was a lot like the
big studios—uncontrollable, nobody quite sure who is pulling the
strings. Dean lived for the one-shot deal, and he knew immediately
that this Real Santa movie was the answer of providence.
Financing was always the sticking point. Everyone had an idea
for a movie, but nobody had any money. But Mary’s husband was a
Christmas gift with a red bow. He not only gave him the plot of his
movie, but it came with built-in financing. He had already blown
through almost sixty grand, and George didn’t seem to miss a beat.
Now after this shoot he would have the golden demo reel to show
investors to finish the job. There were dentists and doctors and lawyersout there dying
to give their money to touch a little Hollywood
gold. Let them come on the set and they would become lambs to
So that’s why everything was riding on this shoot tonight. This
was a one-take deal because after tonight, Christmas would be over
and his benefactor would withdraw. Dean knew his position of power
was only good until midnight. Then like in Cinderella, the carriage
would turn into a pumpkin and he would be back in his dark Chicago
apartment wondering how to pay the rent for another month.
And there was something else riding on this film. He had four kids
who might be back within his reach once they saw Dad’s new movie
about Santa Claus.
True, he had left them back in Australia with his wife, and they
wouldn’t even speak to him, but with this film he could point to the
reason behind his departure and say: This kids, this is why I had to
leave! In Dean’s scenario, all would be forgiven. Seeing what George
was doing for his daughter elevated the film to an almost holy status.
He had been living and breathing this shoot for the last ten days, and
he wanted everything to go perfect. Planning was key to every film.
Dean had broken it out in storyboards in his apartment. He had
gone over the sequence with his cinematographer, his gaffers, assistants,
the union guys laying the tracks for the camera, the steady cam
operators. There must be no screw-ups. George had to take those
reindeer up to the roof on his signal and stop behind the scrim while
the projector threw his image up against the smoke and snow, and
then on his signal he would slide to a halt in front of the little tyke’s
window. Then he would go up the chimney and down where Dean
had cameras positioned in the living room in secret places, filming
Santa coming out of the cinders and parceling out the gifts. Then
he would film George going back up the chimney by the mounted
camera and then out the top and onto his sled and through the fog
and snow and down the ramp while he shot the final scene of Santa
flying away in the sky.
One take. It would be like the opening of The Player with Altman’s
long extended shot that kept rolling and rolling. This would rival even
that and make his name in the film world. He would out-Altman
Altman. And all would be forgiven—the lack of child support, the
hand-to-mouth existence, his wife suing him for divorce. All these
problems would be remedied with fifteen minutes of film. He had put
it all on the line, and he was ten minutes away from destiny.
The only thing that was bothering him was the bloke in the sled
with George. Who the hell was he, and why was he holding the reins
to the reindeer?
Real Santa...Holiday Sale
MOVIE RIGHTS SOLD!
Vicki Rocco of Modern Family optioned the movie rights of William Hazelgrove's Real Santa for her production company Small But Mighty Productions with an eye to a feature or a made for television movie. Ms. Rocco has to her credits, Modern Family, Arrested Development, Stand and Deliver, U23D, Empire Dreams, Heather, Britany Spears Live, and sees Real Santa as a classic that will pull in people hungry for a new take on the Christmas movie. "No one has done this. No one has taken on the physics of being Santa Claus. It is funny and heartwarming and has all the things we look for in any great Christmas movie."
STARRED REVIEW BOOKLIST
"If somebody doesn't make a movie out of this book, there's something wrong with the world.
David Pitts Booklist
"The author marries the everyday dramas found in the novels of Tom Perrotta and Nick Hornby to the high camp of Carl Hiaasen or Dave Barry. Adults looking for a funny holiday-themed tale that doesn't lose its sense of wonder in the face of realism will find a treat here. A lovingly crafted comedy about the madness that fatherhood inspires."
Best-selling author Hazelgrove (e.g., Ripples; Tobacco Sticks) captures the human need to believe in something good. This book will satisfy readers looking for a happy Christmas story.-- Library Journal