Short Story: Let’s Make a Movie – Ending

Matthew Brosche, Columnist •

Finally, Fredrick’s movie made it to theaters. The wealthy filmmaker pulled out all the stops for his premier, renting the largest theater in town and putting out his own red carpet, which was just a bunch of smaller red carpets put in a line. All of the actors were invited to the premiere, but all politely declined, distancing themselves from the project.

The only people who worked on the film to actually attend the premiere was Fredrick and Mark. The rest of the seats in the theater were occupied by fans of Fredrick’s book, who were hoping the movie adaptation would be as unintentionally bad as the book.

They got what they hoped for as they laughed at every awful effect, every time the character moved out of frame, and every other simple film-making practice that was ignored. While Fredrick appreciated the positive reaction his movie was getting, he couldn’t help feeling sad
at the same time. Fredrick felt pride in his work, and to know that deep down everyone was laughing at him, not with him hurt. As the movie abruptly ended, Fredrick stood to address his fans. For the first time in his life Fredrick didn’t want to talk, “Thanks” was all he said before leaving the theater with thunderous applause following.

“What’s with you man?” Mark said running after Fredrick who was now sitting on one of the red carpets.

“It sucks,” Fredrick said plainly.

“You heard them, the audience loved it,” Mark said. “They like it because it sucks, not because they think it’s good.”

“Does that matter?”

Mark said, “They liked what you made, and on top of that you didn’t even have to pay them to like it this time.”

Fredrick stood looking at everything he had bought for his pet project, “This movie bankrupted me, Mark.”

Mark stood behind his friend confused. After everything Fredrick had bought over the years, every project that he pored his cash into without a second thought, it was hard to believe that Fredrick had finally run out of money. “I put every last dollar and all my time and effort into this movie. I’ve worked harder than I ever have in my life, and I still couldn’t make something decent.”

Mark looked at the broken filmmaker, and for all the years he had known Fredrick this was the most human he had ever been.

Behind all of the money and the unearned confidence that money gave him, Fredrick was just like anyone else. He wanted to be liked, remembered, and to be told he was good at something, the only difference was before now Fredrick had the finances to pay people to give him the self-actualization he craved.

After all the years of his overconfidence, and at times sheer idiocy, Mark still thought of Fredrick as a friend.

“Hey bud, wanna go over to my place? We can watch a movie and decide what project is next.” Fredrick nodded, and with a soft smile, the two friends walked off reminiscing about their movie making days.

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