In September of 1985, I got the idea to do a rather unusual type of television show. The idea was to present original story ideas I would create in the form of fictional interviews with fictional authors recounting their fictional adventures. I would use the same thoughtful and probing style I admired in Keith Berwick, the Charlie Rose of that time. The idea was to make Hollywood come calling for my stories while offering a program that would be engaging, provocative and believable--something you might tell your friends to watch.
Before I shot the first show, I knew what it would look like. Three cameras would be trained on the actor or actress playing the role of author. The show would play mostly in a tight close-up--forehead to chin--with a regular and medium close-up serving to create rhythm and pacing. I would interview from off-camera; the viewers would hear my voice but not see me.
I needed an actor to play my first author and though I found her, I did not know her. We lived in the same apartment building. She was an unassuming blond--beautiful though unaware or perhaps put off by it and most likely a tomboy. It's possible she preferred women to men but that was no concern of mine. She was just the sort of enigma I was seeking; someone who could make you wonder what she was thinking and what her desires might be. I introduced myself one day in the lobby. I want to do two shows with you, I told her. In the first, I interview you. In the second, you interview me. She agreed.
She did a wonderful job. I forget the name of the author she played just as I have forgotten her name, I'm sorry to say. I do remember the title of her book, however. It was Languid Visions of the Mind's Eye. I wanted something that sounded very literary. It told of her affair with a character reminiscent of Porfirio Rubirosa in the last days of his life. She was the only of his mistresses that was not rich. Perhaps the only to actually love him.
When the show aired, it provoked an avalanche of phone calls. One of them was from a very nice fellow who told me he thought it was the most innovative show on television. He also said he was interested in the actress. I asked him in what manner was he interested--I assumed her long blond hair and captivating eyes she seemed to disown had the same effect on him as they had had on me. "I'm a director," he told me, "and I would like to meet her." I asked if there was anything he had directed I might have seen. He said, "Flashdance." And thus, I met Adrian Lyne.
Adrian Lyne did meet the actress. He had her up to his house where he and his wife were very hospitable. A week or so later, she and I taped the second of the two shows we did together--the one in which she interviewed me playing an author. She did a very good job as the interviewer. After that, I lost track of her. I knew something special had occurred and that I would continue doing the show. I did not know that I would go on to do 500 half-hour interviews nor did I foresee that today I would be producing the show in French. The show did bring Hollywood to my door. It brought calls from Marlon Brando, T-Bone Burnett, Sammy & Tita Cahn, Charlie Evans, Ron Shelton and some extraordinary calls from a female rock star who shall go un-named here.
Suffice it to say that (Interview), as the show is called, was and is the best electric train set a kid ever had.
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...