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The Grass Is Greener in Texas

A Short Story of a Short Film

Hollywood had always been a place where my dreams had the potential to come true. Being that California is known for its movie studios and talent scouts, I envisioned a fantasy of moving out to the Golden State and becoming a star. Even if the chance of a lifetime materialized, I wouldn’t know the first step of achieving my dream.

I wasn’t the best actor and I had no perception of the environment show business enthralled. Even though I wasn’t sophisticated, I sat in my bedroom in front of a tall mirror that reached from the floor to the ceiling and I practiced my facial expressions. I opened my eyes wide and I was surprised. I squint my eyebrows and I was vexed. I grinned from ear to ear and I was excited. Little by little I started exercising all of my emotions. Now, I had all the basics down from the "I’m Feeling Lucky" search on how to become an actor. Simultaneously, I also studied different celebrities carefully and learned how they would react to things in their movies. I carefully mimicked different characteristics of the way they would portray a character. I didn't want to be the famous person I wanted to act just as good as them. I then learned that the talent was not to act, but to actually become the character. Then acting would flow so much better if I just stayed true to what the script was conveying. After many silly games of playing pretend I finally started to have real fun when my mom bought a digital camera. I propped it up on a chair and filmed myself doing all types of wacky scenarios. I filmed myself as a lunatic hammer murderer. Of course I played all the parts of the short film. I was the first victim. Then I was the heroic survivor that kills the murderer and makes it through to the end credits. But the video was amateurish, and the clips were too shaky; it caused motion sickness. I needed help with more actors and a camera guy to capture the picture, and I needed equipment to edit all the clips together. I needed a team. Luckily for me the stars of Hollywood were aligning when I told my friends and family about this project I had in mind.

I had already written a script and had dialogue with an ensemble cast of about five people. My sister jumped in to lend me her laptop and agreed to be my very creative and somewhat bossy camera gal. My sister was a college student at the time and deep down we shared the same dreams of being in the movie business. We both loved the idea of one day touring big movie studios and going behind the scenes on actual sets. Next casted was my world, as the star of the movie. My pet dog, Sally! She was a big, black fur dog. Her breed was a Labrador mixed with a Greyhound so she was skinny and tall. She had model material. My sister and I always joked about maybe one day putting her in a commercial. She looked like a star with a shiny coat and perfect teeth. My mother even nicknamed her black beauty as if Sally was a majestic horse. Sally would go on to play the part of a vicious dog that mangles people alive. She was The Killer Dog! Since this was a horror movie I casted my oldest cousin who had just graduated cosmetology school as my makeup artist. We needed cuts and bruises to look realistic. My dad's friend lent me his camera and helped us create the perfect mix of fake blood. It was thick and blood red. Plus it was edible, so Sally could lick it off when she pretended to eat the victims. It had all came and fallen together perfectly.

The whole film took about four months to shoot. We started production in August and ended in November. After filming, I took what seemed like a long, slow week of editing clips together and adding sound effects with eerie music. The film was finally complete and my dream of being in Hollywood felt so alive. After I saw the completed movie and saw the reaction from my family towards the project, I realized I didn’t have to go out of state to achieve my goal. I had surpassed my wildest dream and theoretically Hollywood was in my backyard.

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The Grass Is Greener in Texas
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