I've always been fascinated by Monaco. The opening scenes from John Frankenheimer's Grand Prix, the horrific images of Lorenzo Bandini's crash on ABC's Wide World of Sports, media images of Grace & Rainier and Teddy Bass' Monégasque registeredPorsche in Sexy Beast--they all forged an indelible impression. I wanted to be there and experience it though I understood that I would be a visitor and not one of 'them'.
So it was with some degree of anticipation that I first arrived in the principality to shoot scenes for Point of Departure. I'd been filming in Paris and Cannes (during the Festival) and descended to Monaco in the days prior to the Grand Prix. I booked a room at the Hôtel de Paris just across from the casino. My room looked out at the sea and the harbor and had a direct view of the Prince's private entrance to the casino. From the balcony, one could look down into the cockpits of the Formula 1 cars as they turned into Casino Square.
The first day I spent shooting MOS shots of my leading lady--can you say girlfriend?--as she inhabited the lobby of the Hôtel de Paris, entered and exited the Casino and generally made herself part of the landscape of Monaco. She looked as though she belonged and, for that brief period, I felt as though I belonged, too.
Taking some time off from shooting, we spent almost an entire day at the thermal spa across from the hotel which you access--wearing your terrycloth robe and slippers--by way of a private tunnel leading from the hotel. That evening we walked down the hill towards the start/finish line and ended up in the pit area, as yet unoccupied. When we were about to look for a taxi to take us to dinner, a large truck arrived. It said Jaguar on the side of its trailer--Ford's Formula 1 brand at the time. That truck was followed by another and then another. Thoughts of dinner vanished and I can truthfully say that never have I been so excited by the sight of big rigs or articulated lorries, if you will. The circus was coming to town!
Later that evening, I was running an errand and my taxi received a hip-chuck from the Jaguar team truck (minus its trailer). I sat patiently while the drivers filled out a constat--my official involvement with the Grand Prix that year. It was all very amicable and I thought to myself how very different Monaco is from Los Angeles.
In spite of all my preparations, I was not fated to see the Grand Prix of Monaco that year. Business called me away to Paris and it all happened without me. Somehow, though, watching the trucks carrying their Formula 1 cargo arriving to a complete lack of fanfare--I think we were the only witnesses to the event--made up for missing the race. I was privileged to watch the behind-the-scenes workings of a very big show. I remember those trucks as vividly as I remember Clay Regazzoni winning the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. I guess that means I'm a fan.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
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Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
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Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...