Shooting Script Author:Gordon Cotler Luck for Bryan Sadinger, a once successful writer of network television scripts, seems to be blowing both ways. Just as his career and personal life are on a sharp downward slide, a dream assignment happens his way -- writing the pilot for a big bucks dramatic televison series. But then, during a trip west to Hollywood for preproduction meetings... more » on the project, he is accused of plagiarizing his script. And when his accuser is murdered in a Sunset Boulevard hotel, Saldinger is once again plunged into the depths.
But he has a lifeline, Al Vecchi, an ex-cop who once solved a high profile New Your City murder and is west on a short-term contract as technical adviser on crime shows. Beefy, defiantly New York out of fashion and out of step in Tinseltown, Vecchi has previously crossed swords with Saldinger. Now he finds himself drawn to the challenge of extricating the writer from a tangle of events that becomes more puzzling by the hour.
With filming of the pilot about to start, the focus shifts rapidly between New York and L.A. Saldinger's mounting trouble with the police on both coasts must take a backseat when, for reasons he cannot fathom, he finds himself in imminent personal danger. Sometimes pursuer, sometimes pursued, in settings as varied as Venice Beach and Benedict Canyou, Manhattan's Upper West Side and the studios of the San Fernando Valley, a Bel Air mock-plantation manor and the decaying Desert Palm Hotel in Hollywood, Saldinger manages to gather into his web of circumstance four young women -- an English dancer, a half-Japanese writer, a Greek-American restaurateur, and a California peach on roller skates -- as well as the usual nervous mix of high stakes crapshoot that is network television. As the pressures increase and Sankinger can no longer hold off both the New York and Los Angeles police, he finds himself having to protect his flanks through several acts that are flat-out illegal. And then, on the eve of principal photography -- a bare week after the nightmare began -- Al Vecchi surfaces to lead him to a startling resolution.« less