Stories
Noir: The Collaborators
A Parable for the Film Industry

 
Once upon a time there was an architect. One morning he woke up with a brilliant idea in his head. He had conceived the most beautiful and sensational building ever placed in the landscape.
 
He rushed to his drawing board and started working furiously to put his sudden inspiration on paper. He worked day and night. He made up several sheets of blueprints, with plan views, elevations and details. He calculated the specifications, and recalculated them, and calculated them again.
 
Finally, after a year and a half of concentrated effort, his work was done. He'd planned for every contingency. All the materials had been priced. All was in perfect order.
 
Picking up his blueprints, he rolled them up into a big bundle, tucked them under his arm, and went to see a contractor and a developer.
 
The contractor and the developer were delighted to see him. They had long admired his work. Spreading his blueprints out over a table, they both pored over them.
 
After about 5 minutes the contractor said, "You realize, of course, that making such a fine building as this is a collaboration. We all have our parts to play."
 
"Of course, of course," said the proud architect. "I would be happy to discuss with you anything that you think may need improving."
 
"Well," said the contractor, "I see the central columns are steel. Now steel is not only heavy and cumbersome and difficult to deal with, but it's also expensive. I recommend we use aluminium columns instead. They're much easier to handle, are lighter, and have a bright shiny surface as well."
 
"Yes," chimed in the developer. "That surface will make the building much more attractive, and we'll be able to sell it at a higher price, even though it costs us less!
 
"Not only that," the developer went on, "I see you have placed the foundations here and here. Now I am sure you have very good reasons for doing that, but I would like them moved over there. That way, we'll have room for a small park. It'll never get any sun, but we'll be able to advertise it as being environmentally friendly, and get extra government grants by providing public access."
 
The developer looked the architect in the eye and said, "I can't raise the money unless you agree to these changes."
 
And so the building was made.
 
The day it was finished it was a brilliant construction. It shone like a beacon, yet it fitted so naturally into the landscape it looked as if it had grown there.
 
Unfortunately, the next day the aluminium columns crumpled, the foundations gave way, and the whole building collapsed into an ugly heap.
 
The developer went to the contractor and said, "I knew those blueprints weren't any good. We did our best to improve them, but it just didn't work out."
 
And the developer and the contractor went off arm-in-arm to find another architect they could collaborate with.
 
2008

 
Soft cover, 4 stories, 28 pages, 8¼" x 5½", $5.00", plus shipping and handling.
Copyright 2010 Samuel Buckley    Designed by Phoenix Story Productions llc