Catch a Falling Star

‘Tintin et milou’, Hergé

Much like in sport, the members of the paparazzi are ranked. Your everyday paparazzo’s lifelong dream would be becoming one of the world’s top ten paparazzos. The top ten paparazzi are the very stars of the paparazzi world; even a position in the top fifty would be highly desirable. Whether a paparazzo is in a company or freelance, all paparazzo are subject to ranking.

The rankings are based on a yearly points system, in a way similar to tennis. Capturing photos of A-list to D-list celebrities will earn them a whole range of points, with photos of A-list celebrities obviously attracting the most.
The type of photo (whether the celebrity is happy and packaged in fashionable attire, or depressed and dressed in a slovenly fashion, or with a mildly interesting new date at a fancy restaurant), the time of the photo (such as whether it is freshly after a celebrity’s breakup, or during filming, or..) and the quality of the very photo (for instance, a highly detailed close up shot, or a grainy, poorly shot photo) all come to play in determining the amount of points a paparazzo receives for each of their photos.

The ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’ is a quadrennial competition that is basically the Christmas of a paparazzo’s every four years. It is an immense event that, while celebratory, is also highly intensive and stressful for the paparazzi. But nonetheless they always look forward to it. The ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’ is basically a competition that offers double points for photos, so nearly all the paparazzi in the world wish to compete.

Within the period of the ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’ (it always happens on the first Sunday of May, and lasts for a month), a list of double point celebrities are offered, ranging from A-List to D-List. The A-List celebrity at the top of the very list is called the ‘Trophy’ and is the one that every single paparazzo has their eye on; these paparazzo will do almost anything to get a single snap of the Trophy.

Trophies gain their highly valued position in the paparazzi world by being a celebrity that everyone loves, but has never been caught by a paparazzo before. The only photos they have available for the public are their photos from their line of work. Thus they are at the top of the ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’, with a single photo of them being worth an insane amount of points.

The story can follow the hardships, drama, and laughter within the life of a paparazzo during the craze of the ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’.

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(Optional)

The MC (let’s call him Marcus Weatherall, but you don’t have to) of today’s story is the world’s fourth best paparazzo. He abhors the top three paparazzi and looks down on any paparazzo beneath him. An individual that, since childhood, has always enjoyed watching or even better, instigating, the fall of people better than him. Upon discovering the paparazzi profession as a child, he has always wanted to be one, as he believed the job was one where he could bring the fall of as many celebrities as humanly possible.

Unfortunately upon becoming one, to his downright disgust he discovers that being a paparazzo does not mean dragging celebrities down, but more so building up relationships and collaborating with celebrities in order to produce photos that will gather much attention at the right time (whether directly or from a distance). Still, he is an immensely talented paparazzo and gains his position as world number 4 for three years straight from sheer gift alone. However, he still fondly remembers and relishes in the moments when he captures the downfall of a celebrity. That alone is his favourite part of the job.

One day, upon receiving a tipoff, Weatherall stops at a cafe before driving off to chase down and capture a photo of a sports star. To his irritation, he meets world number three paparazzo (let’s call him Martin something) at the cafe. Martin mentions the ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’, remarks on his own disinterest in the event but concludes that he will still attend.

Weatherall attends the opening of the ‘All Stars Paparazzi Tournament’ and receives the list of special double point celebrities. To his mild surprise he observes that the Trophy is a prolific novelist whose books are currently immensely popular. (Let’s call the novelist John Smith). After some research, Weatherall discovers that there is not a single photo of the Trophy to be found anywhere.

Later on, Weatherall uncovers the fact that ‘John Smith’ is merely a pseudonym for a man that used to be one of his only childhood friends. After a month of almost life threatening competition, scheming, bribes and threats, Weatherall eventually finds his way to a far off resort island where ‘John Smith’ lives.

While Weatherall is not exactly the most honourable human on Earth, he still decides to respect his childhood friendship with the novelist by talking to him face to face and asking for a photo.
However, the novelist refuses, and begs for his identity to be kept private. Does Weatherall account for his childhood relationship with the novelist and respect his wishes, or does he follow his instinct in desiring for bringing about the downfall of those above him, take the photo in cold blood, flee the site and become world number one paparazzo?



(This is a work of summarised fiction and an unrealistic depiction of the paparazzi profession)

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