“It’s really exciting,” said the studio executive, straightening his tie and holding out his hand. His guest shook it warily. “We almost never run tours so I think you’ll agree it’s a bit of a treat.”
“It’s a great privilege,” said his guest. “Can I just ask – how do you create so much content on such a small plot? The studios are…”
“They’re compact, yes,” the executive smiled and gestured to the nearest door. “If you please?”
They walked onto an open, unpaved street between two buildings. The heat of the day was stifling in the close space, but a snake of water still slithered lazily down the centre of the street.
“Is this one of your, uh, soundstages?”
“No. This belongs to the studio next door,” the executive patted the wall with a proprietorial fondness. “It’s so solid, though, don’t you think? Nothing can get past this!” It seemed an odd thing to say, and the guest had no way to respond. She smiled blandly.
“So where do you produ-“ At this question the executive went very still, put a finger to his lips and said “Shh”. He pointed to a door in the wall to his right. They stepped through.
It was a room very much like a laboratory. The guest almost laughed; surely this was a film set? A woman in a lab coat looked up as the executive entered.
“Signs are great!” said the lab technician with obviously forced perkiness. “Should have some new content… Real soon! Within the hour, if…” she checked a printout “…Yeah, no, should be a-ok!”
The executive turned to his guest, smiling broadly.
“Would you like to meet our producer?”
The creature sat behind glass. Wires trailed from its head, if it was a head. It had eyes, but they were grey and glassy as if they didn’t work at all. It was squat and broad, looking like a shelled turtle that had liquified itself. If, that is, the turtle was several hundred pounds. It wore a suit, of a kind. Its grey eyes turned to look at the executive as he entered, then fixed blindly on the guest.
“Don’t be unnerved by the look. He’s just checking you out for inspiration. Oh!” he ran forward and pressed his hands on the glass. The turtle-blob was shivering uncontrollably. From the back of its head, a rainbow was wavering into existence. The guest gasped and peered at the rainbow. It was twisting, forming into shapes. Unmistakably, they were opening titles. Faint music jingled in the air. “He’s producing content!”
“What is this?” cried the guest. “Who are you people??”
“Ah,” said the executive. “You wish to meet the executive producer?”