Yesterday in Paris brought forth a number of special events that would usually be spread over several days if not weeks or months. The first of these was the occasion to finally meet Marc Sonnery, author of the Ferrari Breadvan book Rebel, Rebel. Though I had communicated often with Marc via email and telephone which included being interviewed for his book, we had never met face-to-face. Marc took the TGV up to spend a very interesting day which began with lunch in la Galerie at the Georges V where we spoke of his passion for Maserati and stories of how his father, who worked for Citroën, brought home Maseratis thus setting Marc on the path.
After lunch we made our way to Les Arts Decoratifs by the Louvre where a certain Ralph Lauren has a number of magnificent cars from his collection on display. Walking through the entrance, one is confronted head-on by a stunning Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic. The only other time I'd seen one was on Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles approaching from the other direction with Jay Leno at the wheel. This one had a hypnotic effect and it was several moments before I could move on to see the object of our visit.
Passing into the main hall, Marc introduced himself to one of the staff and made it known that I was a former owner of one of the cars on display. In recognition of the fact that taking photos was interdit, Marc asked if an exception could be made in our case. Word traveled up and down the chain of command and the result is that a very cordial and enthusiastic staff member snapped the photo you see here.
During our interview in Nice, Serge Dermanian told me to look closely at the headlights of the D-type Jaguar that is on display. One day, when cleaning them, he had discovered a smudge or blur that, when he cleaned it, revealed the words 'Le Mans' molded into the glass lens. Looking closely, I saw it and wondered how many had viewed this car and missed this detail.
As we approached GTO 3987, the sight of it reaffirmed all of the reasons one falls in love with such a car. Its shape is now classic--the iconic Ferrari--and as one takes a tour of the car, it is impossible to find an awkward angle. I have long thought that the weak part of any car design is the 3/4 rear view. From this angle, the GTO looks like a wild cat about to pounce. Difficult to imagine racing around the roads of southern California--going to the super market or looking for adventure--in this car but that is what I did.
Marc handed me a mini tape recorder and I did a commentary detailing how 3987 is now the same or different from when it was mine as we did a slow, methodical 360 of the car. It was an extraordinary process and reminded me of how I would hand wash the car every day before taking it out--feeling as well as seeing the curvatures and nuance of the design.
As we moved through the hall, a man who has long been an idol of mine passed by. This chance moment fell into the category of being introduced to Steve McQueen by mutual friends at the Chez, receiving a late-night phone call from Marlon Brando who had just watched one of my (Interview) shows on cable or having a conversation with Enzo Ferrari and Juan Manuel Fangio in the paddock at Monza. In 1997, I watched this man deliver a one-sentence introduction of an interview guest that was, for me, like watching Marcus Allen's 74 yard touchdown in SuperBowl XVIII. It was a question of the great being greater. As one who has conducted more than 500 interviews for my fictional interview series and real-life interviews with people like General Richard Wilmot talking about his meeting with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar in the Khyber Pass and with those who have graciously sat before my camera for the Carrera and GTO documentaries, I know that what I saw that night was a man at the top of the game. He never disappoints--my favorite segments were with John le Carré and Mick Jagger--but that night he hit it out of the park. I introduced myself and we talked for several moments. He proved to be courteous and inquisitive as one might expect of a natural-born interviewer. His name is Charlie Rose.
Returning to the hotel, I took up the camera and interviewed Marc Sonnery for my GTO documentary and another project to be disclosed at a later date. We spoke of his experiences in writing books about the Ferrari Breadvan and Maserati. He even showed me footage of Porfirio Rubirosa driving the Breadvan.
Action / ReAction Webinar with Stephen Mitchell and Pry'ce James hosted by Jay Chapin
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GTO 3987 with sound...
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Exigence at a glance...
Exigence EPK: Pry'ce Jaymes & Shane Lewis
The Dearly Departed Poster
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The Dearly Departed EPK
The Dearly Departed Promo
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
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Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
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Lunch Always! Poster
Lunch Always! EPK
Notes on a Call Sheet
A series of 38 podcasts--click on photo
Shooting the French Chef with Philippe Léotard
Jerry Ascends to the Heavens
on DVD (Amazon.com)
Jerry Fairfac coming to Amazon Streaming Video
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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
Kindle or Paperback versions
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."
Ferrari GTO 3987
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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...