Karen thought she had the best job in the world. Most of her friends at school wanted to be famous, as models, singers or acting in films. Karen was the only one who got anywhere near fame and she sought it less than any of them. Karen was the only one who really did work in the film industry, not that she became famous in a ‘celebrity’ way.
Even her family found it hard to track her down in the credits of a film, particularly early on in her career. Trainee junior assistant modellers and the like were listed in very tiny letters, three abreast at the bottom of the list, usually ten minutes into the theme tune and long after the lights have gone back up in most cinemas.
All those years alone in her room making models of creatures, months of special projects in college and nine semesters of artistic animal manufacture at university finally paid off with Karen’s trainee role at a well known studio. The first year she perfected inserting dark hairs into limbs, underside surface first, then topside and learnt basic muscle formation. The second year she moved onto extremities, joints and nails, found out how to vary skin surfaces and practised a number of hair styles. In her third year, when she became trainee assistant modeller, Karen perfected the most difficult parts of the job, culminating in creating faces.
Even when her training was complete, Karen was eager to learn more and become a specialist in the field of facial modelling techniques. Her workbench had faces of animals and fish and insects and people, all in different stages of completeness, recognisability and realism. Her favourite work was in special effects for sci-fi films where she could twist reality just a little and sometime quite a lot.
She was very skilled and in time began working on big budget movies. On her rare visits back home, Karen would drop the names of stars, directors and producers then pretend to hush herself whilst giggling with excitement with her mother. One visit she mentioned Peter had asked for her specially but wouldn’t say anything more until she had the work confirmed.
Too happy to wait for another visit home, Karen texted her mother the news. It read, “PJ definitely wants me. Will be working on other end of the body. Will be making seven pairs of feet for Bilbo and supervising all other hobbit foot production.”