“Cut! Great! Next scene!”

The whole film crew moved forward at once, carrying props, setting up cameras and lights, rolling up coils of wire, and applying make-up to the actors. Everyone seemed to have something important to do. Everyone except Sbu and Airtime.

Their friend Song had a new job as a production assistant, and for weeks Airtime had begged her to let them onto a real film set. He was hoping that he’d get to see some big Hollywood stars, and a shoot-out, and maybe a real explosion. But none of that was happening today.

Instead, Sbu and Airtime sat on a bench at the side of the big dark film studio, feeling out of place while the crew pushed bits of equipment around. Some actors stood in the corner next to them learning the script by repeating the same lines again and again.

It wasn’t what they’d expected at all.

“What’s the highest waterfall in South Africa?” asked Airtime. He was killing time by doing an online quiz on his cellphone.

“I don’t know,” said Sbu. “Look it up.”

Airtime huddled back over his phone, searching on the Internet.

“Gottit! Tugela Falls,” he said and plugged the answer into his phone.

Sbu went back to watching the film crew going about their mysterious business. He spotted Song across the room, talking to some cameramen and making notes on a clipboard. When she saw him looking, she finished her conversation and hurried over.

“Sorry,” she said. “I’ll show you around the set soon. It’s just too hectic now. We’re running out of time today and everyone’s on edge.”

“It’s cool,” said Sbu. “We don’t mind waiting, do we, Airtime?”

Airtime wasn’t paying attention. He was staring at his screen, and his lips were moving silently. Sbu tried again.

“I said we don’t mind waiti-“

Airtime jumped to his feet and whooped, cutting Sbu off mid-sentence.


The tin roof of the studio rang from the echo. The whole crew turned to see Airtime punching the air in joy.

“I won!” said Airtime “I did it! I won!”

“Uh,” said Sbu, pulling Airtime by the sleeve. “Maybe we should wait outside.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK? If you could go behind the scenes on a movie set, which movie would it be and why?