Monday, December 04, 2006

Anecdote of the Week: No Small Parts, and No Small Directors

Orson Welles was playing the Narrator in Start the Revolution Without Me, and I wanted to meet him. He only had two filiming days, and I thought it would be more polite if I waited until the second day to say hello. On the second day, at about three in the afternoon, I got to the chateau where they were filiming; Orson Welles was gone. I asked [Revolution director] Bud Yorkin what happened.

"Well," Bud said, "we'd start a scene, and after a little while Orson would call 'Cut!' He'd look at me and say, 'Now, you don't honestly want any more of that shot, do you, Bud? Surely you'll be cutting to the twins at that point.' And I'd say, 'Yes ... well ... yes, I suppose so.' Then we'd be in the middle of the next scene, and he'd yell, 'Cut!' and he'd say, 'Now surely you've got to cut there, Bud--it wouldn't make any sense if you didn't cut to the mob at that point.' So we finished shooting all of his sequences an hour ago."

--Gene Wilder talks about the perils of filming with a genius,
in Kiss Me Like a Stranger (a good memoir
with the worst title in the history of Hollywood autobiography).

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