The dark room was filled with light when Arun opened the door.
“Aw! Knock first,” shouted Maurizio.
“Sorry,” said Arun. He quickly plunged the room back into darkness. The only lights were the video screens of the editing equipment.
“What’re you working on?”
“The Leverton piece,” said Maurizio.
“Nice,” said Arun. He hovered over Maurizio’s shoulder.
Maurizio stopped working and sat up. “You just gonna stand there and watch me work?”
“I didn’t wanna bug you,” said Arun.
“Uh huh. What’s on your mind, Arun?”
Arun pulled up a chair. “I have this great idea but I need some help.”
“No. What you’re saying is you need my help,” said Maurizio.
“Can’t blame me for wanting the best.”
Maurizio laughed. “Know what you are? You’re a politician. Slick talk and full of-”
“Not this time. This film will win awards. Guaranteed.”
“Seems like I heard that before.”
“This one’s better. I promise.”
Maurizio crossed his arms and sighed. “I’m listening. The sooner you talk the sooner you leave.”
“Great. So here’s the thing. It’s a profile of Gustav Freiberg,” said Arun with enthusiasm.
Maurizio stared blankly at Arun. The light from the video screens flickered on one side of his face.
“He’s the famous Swiss photographer who only photographs vegetables. One critic said no one captures the personality of vegetables like Freiberg,” said Arun.
“His most famous work is a series of dioramas he made of the 1972 hockey summit series using only tomatoes. He used the stems as hockey sticks.”
“Aren’t tomatoes technically a fruit?”
“Don’t be intolerant, Maurizio.”
“Tomatoes playing hockey is going to win awards, eh?” said Maurizio.
“As long as I have the best editor in the business working on it,” said Arun.
Maurizio tapped on the desk and stared off into the darkness. “What’s your hook?”
“Your hook. How’re you gonna hook your audience? You’ve thought of that already, right?”
“Oh, yeah. I get what you’re saying. Yeah. Well, this guy is the best in the world at what he does, right? And you know why? ‘Cause he’s the only one doin’ it. He’s a self-made expert,” said Arun.
“Exactly! It’s inspirational. Who doesn’t want to be involved in something like that?”
Maurizio thought of saying something, but stopped.
“That’s what I thought,” said Arun. “So, are you in?”
Maurizio glared at Arun. “On one condition.”
Arun pumped his fist. “Anything.”
“You’re next documentary’s about me,” said Maurizio.
“I don’t get it.”
“It’ll be called ‘Maurizio: The Most Gullible Man Alive’.”
Arun laughed. “That’s why you’re the best.”