Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Preparing The Thinker

The third show, The Thinker, for A Series of ONE is being prepared for launch on Amazon which means working with Louella Ladybug on posters, thumbnails and DVD wrap and disc art.

As I work on this, I am struck by how different they all are one for the others and what an amazing collection of characters they represent.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Joy White gets her first review for The Stranger

5.0 out of 5 stars Joy White delivers a powerful performance in the Stranger
By Thomas Maseth on April 22, 2016
Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Joy White delivers a powerful performance in the Stranger. The wide range of emotions she displays gives her the ability to relate to her audience. You believe Joy is the character she is portraying. I look forward to Joy's next project!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Jerry Fairfax: Jerry Ascends to the Heavens

All I can say is this show was a blast to make and was filled with more inside showbiz jokes than even we realized--a golden age for our group, if we did but know it...

In all, we taped 190 half-hour episodes of 'Jerry'.

Jerry Ascends to the Heavens on DVD (Amazon)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Tom Meade and the Thomassima on 60 Minutes

I knew Tom Meade for a period of forty years spending time with him in southern California in the 70s, buying cars from him in Italy and, later, getting him out of the West Los Angeles VA Medical Center for dinners in restaurants a couple of times a week after he suffered a stroke. When I decided to combine these outings with casting sessions I was conducting for my (Interview) version française series, Elysée Wednesday was born and the weekly, Wednesday gatherings continued from 2009 until 2014.

During those first gatherings, Tom spoke of a segment 60 Minutes had done on him and his Thomassima III that was but a memory as he was never given a copy of the footage. I determined, there and then, that Tom should have access to the footage and went on a quest to obtain it for him. The video seen above is the result.

To: DiPierro, Daniel Subject: CBS 60 Minutes archive footage...

I was directed to you after inquiring about archival footage shot for 60 Minutes in 1970 on Tom Meade of Modena, Italy. Tom was the designer/builder of a Ferrari-based supercar known as the Thomassima (see attached photo) and he was the subject of a 60 Minutes segment. Tom would like to know if the footage is available to him.
Here is what Tom gave me:
CBS film library 31935 year 1970 660 Tom Meade Bob Orozovich reporter Winston Burdett locaton Modena, Italy 2 reels 16mm, comp mag color source CBSS/Biasetti
I hope this data helps in locating the footage if it still exists in your archive. Please feel free to contact me for further clarification.
Best regards, Stephen

Mr. Mitchell,

We have film here entitled “Tom Meade of Modena” (7/10/70). It’s about ten minutes long. I’ve attached a copy of the archival broadcast printout for you to see. How does Mr. Meade plan on using this material?,

Ann M. Fotiades
Unit Manager CBS News Information Resources
524 West 57th Street (510/2106) New York, NY 10019

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pry'ce Jaymes: The Provocateur

Yesterday, we taped A Series of ONE: The Provocateur which is a one-man show I wrote for Pry'ce Jaymes and makes full use of his enigmatic and powerful nature. It is quite a feat for an actor to hold an audience for the duration of a one-act play without help from other actors or special effects of any kind. The photo above is a screen capture from the production.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Jerry Fairfax coming soon to Amazon Streaming Video

The Jerry Fairfax Show was conceived in the Cine Paris repertory company for film and television as a comedy vehicle for Michael Chanslor and was intended as an experimental and innovative show with a non-stop parade of insider humor about show business and the television industry. The show is almost entirely improvisation where I would create gags for the actors on the fly to fit the flow of the show that Michael Chanslor was creating with his improvisation as Jerry. The only materials prepared in advance was the Fairfax Funnies and the guest line-up that Michael would create. The show is "live-to-tape" and shot without breaks from beginning to end.

For nine years, I judged Best Director in a Comedy Series for the CableACE Awards and other members of the Jerry Fairfax cast became judges for the CableACE Awards during production of the 190 shows that we taped.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Maserati Quattroporte, Tipo 170, #012

Yesterday I was pleased to get a message from Gerhard Reinecke of the Maserati Quattroporte Tipo 107 website ( which features a registry of that model. Gerhard had seen my blog post about my having owned a Quattroporte ( and was interested in having further information for the registry.

Sadly, I had not recorded and saved the serial number of the car and some very nice photos of the car when I owned it went missing when most of my personal possessions were 'lost at sea'. However, given that the Quattroporte was never a mass-produced item, supplying Gerhard with the car's specifications narrowed the field considerably. Here is what he discovered:

"Of this first series, 260 or 259 have been built. I have 3 white ones in the registry, of 150 registered cars, so I estimate about 5 to 8 produced in white in all, of which white with brown interior maybe 2 or three?
A very early one is at the Riverside museum, and it has your colour combination! (although restored, but probably to original spec) , see here:
And it's a European car, as it has European gauges."

I bought the car from Robbie Crepaldi at the Crepaldi Ferrari dearlership in Milan in 1976 and sold it on in Los Angeles in 1977 or later. I loved the car and the sound of the Maserati V8 was very exotic coming from the rather sexy lines of the Frua-designed sedan.

Given the specifications and circumstances of the car at the Riverside museum, I have to assume it is my car. Interestingly, I had visited the Riverside International Automotive Museum in May of 2013 with Marc Sonnery ( and did not see #012 at that time--maybe it wasn't on display or came to the museum at a later date.

In any event, my thanks to Gerhard Reinecke and his passion for the Tipo 107 and for providing this moment of nostalgia about my involvement with a very interesting car.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Fait Accompli

By 1981, I had returned from Paris and had already made two movies that I filmed out in the desert on and around El Mirage, a dry lake bed located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. The first was Desert Center with Gérard Ismaël and Georganne LaPiere (who played the original Heather on General Hospital and was Cher Bono's sister) and the second was Success with Gérard Ismaël and Vinny Argiro (an actor who owned the trendy men's clothing store Mike Bain on the Sunset Strip). I decided to make a third film with Gérard when a friend who was an art gallery owner in Palm Springs offered me the run of the Palm Canyon Hotel, also in Palm Springs. I could shoot there to my heart's content for as long as I needed without restriction; it was an offer I couldn't refuse.

During that period, I made it a policy to welcome anyone visiting from France to stay in my apartment at no cost as a way of thanks for the exceptionally nice treatment I had received during my time in Paris; giving back, as the saying goes.  At the time, I had two Frenchmen--Serge Georgeon and Yves Morel--living as guests in my apartment, both involved in their own film projects, who agreed to come onto the project as actors playing international traffickers of art forgeries. Serge introduced me to jazz bassist Bunny Brunel who would score and perform the music for what would become Fait Accompli.

I was having difficulty casting a leading lady though I auditioned a large number of actresses in the weeks leading up to the filming. Leading men and leading ladies must have qualities that can be optional in other roles. Not only must they be competent and fascinating, they must have sexual appeal and, together, they must have chemistry. I was learning that this was not the easiest combination to achieve.

One day, I received a photograph from an actress that took my breath away--not only was she beautiful and statuesque looking for all the world like Rachel Ward, she exuded an intelligent playfulness in the photo that would serve the role very well. I have my leading lady!, I thought to myself. When the time came for her audition the next morning, in walked a woman that had nothing in common with what I saw in the photograph except dark hair. She was much older, much shorter and weighed at least three times as much as the actress in the photograph I had received. Feeling, perhaps, that an accurate photo would not have gotten her any roles, she sent one she (rightly) believed would get her in the door. Sadly, that's as far as it got her on this occasion.

On the heels of this development, Serge suggested that I might want to consider Bunny's wife Nani who he thought would be perfect. He was right; she was. A beautiful brunette whose native language was French, her English was flawless and she had great chemistry with Gérard. Thank you, Serge!

A few days before we were to leave for Ensenada where I wanted to shoot part of the film, Gérard came to me and told me that he couldn't go to Mexico. His immigration status required that he stay in the US and leaving would have interrupted the process causing him no end of grief. So, here I was with a cast and crew ready to leave for Mexico minus one leading man. How did that happen?

My options were to shoot the entire film in California or go to Mexico and add another role in the film that could take up the slack caused by Gérard's absence. I decided I wanted the exotic Mexican locations in the film and quickly put out a notice to find Leading Man, Part B. With only days to find a candidate, I was not hopeful and could not find what I was looking for. In the end, it was easier just to play the role myself. I wrote in a character who is killed in the opening scene and who we see in punctuating flashbacks through the balance of the film. His death became the impetus for Gérard's actions in what was a story of love and revenge.

It would not be the last time I would have to introduce a new character in a film to take up the slack created by circumstances; it became a useful solution when I was making Dead Right. I found that using conservative, 'old Hollywood studio system' concepts combined with guerrilla filmmaking tactics was a very effective approach to movie making.

We had a great shoot and part of the fun is described here:

In addition to everything else, Fait Accompli brought me an unexpected reward. As I was marketing the film to producer reps, Robert Lecky was one who responded and though another company took the film, Robert became an important friend and mentor for almost two decades. He passed in 2000 and is deeply missed.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Branding considerations and acting

The video clip seen here is from a Skype session I had with KBaby Nate, an actor in the DMV area. My first task with a new student is to get a sense of his or her natural attributes so as to form an impression of a brand that will take advantage of the actor's unique characteristics.

My immediate reaction to Nate was that I liked him and found him to be very bright and entertaining and these were the salient qualities I wanted to incorporate into his acting brand. I also perceived a slightly mischievous nature that has served Jack Nicholson and Eddie Murphy very well over the years on the big screen. Here is a fellow that is likely the smartest guy in the room and doesn't mind letting everyone know it in his own playful way.

The monologue I've written for him in the clip is a precursor to a one-man show wherein I envision Nate's character taking his life in his hands to have a bit of sport with a very nasty character he's never met before.

News as it develops...