I had the pleasure of spending the better part of a day with John Fitch at his home in Lime Rock, Connecticut as he had graciously agreed to go on camera for my documentary on the Carrera Panamericana. I prepared for meeting him by reading the available books and articles that have been written about or by John. I was also able to watch a number of videos that featured him. Nothing, however, prepared me for the man who greeted me.
To say that I have met some extraordinary people in my travels would be an understatement. I've spent time and conversed with individuals who have changed the world in which they lived--Enzo Ferrari, Steve McQueen, Marlon Brando, Sammy Cahn, Shelley Berman and Juan Manuel Fangio to name a few. Seldom have I been in the presence of someone who has accomplished so much and possessed such an unlimited enthusiasm. In trying to describe John to my associate Ron Kellogg, the best I could do was to say, "Where you would expect to find arrogance, there was only joy."
John spent an hour in front of my camera answering questions that he'd no doubt heard from others and a few that he claimed were new to him. I learned more than a few things about John's role in the Carrera Panamericana that I'd never read or suspected. I was surprised to learn some interesting facts about his involvement with Corvette at Sebring. He recounted some very interesting details about Le Mans where he raced with Mercedes and Corvette. We weren't too far into our interview that I realized John Fitch is an under-reported treasure. At the end of the hour, as we were about to shut down the camera, John asked, "Do you want to do some more?" Yes we did and, for another hour, the camera continued to capture the magic John had to offer.
At the end of the second hour, John escorted us out to his garage where he showed us the Fitch Phoenix. If you have seen photos of the car--or had the privilege of seeing it in person--you may have noticed a resemblance to the Mako Shark and the 1968 Corvette...
At one point, I asked John if he could ever have brought himself to ride as a navigator in a race like the Carrera Panamericana or the Mille Miglia. He laughed and said absolutely not, which came as no surprise. He added, "The driver is an optimist. The passenger is a pessimist!"
Suffice it to say that John is the consummate optimist.
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
Click photo to see example clips from Stephen's movies
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...