Billy Walsh has always been independent. He made his first movie for twenty thousand dollars- money he made selling lottery tickets and porno mags on the night shift at a liquor store. And when that wasn’t enough, he sponged off his friends, and when that still wasn’t enough, he started stealing out of the till.
Six months later he had four shoeboxes full of cash stashed under his bed, and 20 months after that he had won Sundance for the first time. He wrote, directed, edited, produced, and executive produced. No investors, no film school, no connections: fuck that rich kid shit. He never could relate to the ones who got everything on a silver platter- the ones who got profiled in the glossy magazines with their goddamn pull quotes about “hustling up” four hundred grand. Billy knew right where they hustled it from: rich daddy and his rich friends.
None of that for Billy. He was real indie then, and he was real indie now, here in the Griffith Park Badlands, hunkered down three miles or so outside the big north wall of Ari Gold’s domains. They had a lot of guns, but they knew better than to come in the woods. In their hearts they were all still rich kids, pussies. Even when it had been surrounded by a functioning metropolis, there had been a lot of places in the park to lose a body. Now it didn’t take more then twelve hours for one of Ari’s guys, or anyone who wandered in uninvited, to rejoin the food chain at the lower end.
But the land is beautiful in a lot of ways. Little brooks gurgle in the background, just off the path. Outside there’s a war going on, but it’s green and peaceful in here, and the sunlight cuts through the overhead branches just right, landing on your shoulders in soft diffused rays, and sometimes you even see deer. Things grow here. But this ain’t no Disney flick, Billy’s seen to that.
He sits on his throne of wood, carved into the side of an enormous old growth oak. The tree is still alive, somehow, and Billy is inside it. He has his women, clad all in brown and green like the land, and he has his drugs to keep away the loneliness and the fears that sometimes come in the night.
Billy takes a long drink from a bottle of hooch they make right here in the woods, and runs his hand down the long black hair of the girl on his left, until his fingers find the back of her lithe and chestnut-tan neck. Someone is telling him something about what’s going on outside- something about drones in the air and an army led by a man on a white horse, for real, even though it sounds like something out of a bullshit movie, but Billy isn’t really listening. He knows all about the war already. After all, it’s his.