Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Mulholland, fast cars and film
My first film adventures on Mulholland were with Peter Helm having fun with our Ferraris for the camera. A week wouldn't go by without me racing one of my cars along this famed stretch of road and the canyons running across the Santa Monica Mountains. In the late 80s, while making Bleeder and Bates, I again combined film and high speed using a Martini-liveried Porsche Turbo and its owner actor Laurent Khaiat.
In the movie, Laurent plays a French hustler who hears a bit of gossip from his call girl girlfriend (Tami Lunt) and while speeding along Mulholland, conceives a plan to turn the police interest to his advantage. Before climbing into the Porsche, we see Laurent on the banquette at L'Express where, for years, members of my repertory company would meet for coffee every Tuesday morning and we would be joined by viewers who had seen our shows on television or film business personalities with whom we were making deals.
In the scene that follows this clip, Kip Parrott in the role of a homicide detective rides as a passenger in the Porsche with Laurent. Being the owner of a pristine Corvette at the time, Kip was not exactly a stranger to fast cars. I quote from a note Kip sent to me for my book How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits).
If you stop and think about just how many different projects we were working on, many at the same time, it is amazing what we pulled off. Stealing scenes in restaurants, bars, homes, motels, and even in some old warehouses down close to the railroad station, which was spooky enough just attempting to find the location where you were shooting the scenes.
The car chase scenes and trick driving by some of the fellow actors and stunt people--and, one last memory was riding in the French guy’s extremely quick Porsche 911, in the rain, at speed--scared the hell out of me. What the..? But it was all too exciting!
I am not sure which movie it was, but I was constantly amazed at the many different locations you found.
Loved every minute of it, and will savor the memories, as I will with your book when it’s published.
Write on my friend.