Saturday February 24, 2001
The entire weekend was cold and raining.
I left earlier and got to Hattaras at about 12:20pm.
A few moments from my destination my pager went off.
Once there I asked for a phone and was told it was them, wondering where I was as my calltime turned out to be 11am.
I apologized that I never received word to that effect
(I would learn later that while messages were left for me on Friday: my pager simply never went off for any of them).
I was costumed and although I had provided most of my sizes to Derrick on the phone Thursday night, the crew procured medium to large clothing, all of which were too large for my relatively slighter size.
One of them was "close enough," and I met our affable director
who through the day's work, reminded me of actor
As I suspected, they were using a private domicile for the shoot.
Scheduled was the dinner scene
(a combination of two historical dinners actually, according to Len's Statue of Liberty Encyclopedia book through which I skimmed),
at which visionary Edouard-Rene de Laboulaye propulgated the concept of a gift to America to commemorate France's 100 year history of good will.
The fellow with whom I'd initially auditioned was there as background at the table.
The role of scultor Bartholdi was played by an actor named
who we'd later learn was from Norway.
The documentary would be an hour long
(meaning approximately 45 minutes without commercials),
and would actually air not on The History Channel, but on TLC:
The Learning Channel,
with currently no tentative airing date.
I was also informed I would also receive a copy of the finished project.
They referred to the others at the table as background but it was clarified to me
(as with Morgan Davidson as Bartholdi),
that in fact I was one of two principals in the recreationist scenes of the production, and that I could put it as such on my resume.
(dinner and art studio),
were each taped MOS
[aka Mit Out Sound: "Mit" being the German word for "with"]
and no audio-taped dialogue; Voice Over narration would be added later).
As there was no taped words, we literally could say as we liked, reminding me of a documentary I once saw on the silent film Wings
(the first movie to win an Academy Award),
in which lip-readers in audiences complained as to the Utter Filth being spoken, I too began to "go off script" a bit.
Len did not seem to mind, and while I did not "go nuts," lip readers could start to notice peculiar references, such as at one point I said, "This will a day long remembered," to which I could not resist adding, "...it has seen the end of Kenobi: it will soon see the end of the rebellion."
Another take had me indicating the Statue would last for thousands of years and even up to its neck in sand with a lone horseman crying on his knees
Now of course these comical lines of mine were done all passionately and Straight-Faced, no "actual" "clowning around" on my part.
Another slightly wider take, to encompass the group, had us mostly Just Talking Amongst Ourselves: during this sequence I was speaking with actor
(seated at my right).
When Norway-born actor Morgan Davidson
rose to describe his idea, that of a colossus, he did all of his lines at the dinner table in Swedish.
With his gesticulations, his fluency of the language had a certain musical quality to it that was nearly hypnotic.
As with mine own improvising, Morgan doing such his own Way
(his lines in Swedish, not even done in Norwegian),
was just as accepted.
When the dinner shots were done
(the dinner party background had been released),
we had a shot of my commending Morgan and shaking his hand
(Laboulaye accepting Bartholdi to be the scultor for the project).
For this brief sequence I said along the lines of, "I'm proud of you, my boy.
Your eloquent words were quite moving. and I didn't understand a bloody word you were saying."
For our next scene, set some ten years later, Morgan and I were slightly "aged."
In a small ajoining room off the front door
(which in the dinner scene is directly behind me),
the art studio was set up.
A miniature in clay of the statue was on a stool.
I was re-dressed into more formal clothes: ascot, top hat, cane and grey gloves.
I enter to view and I admire the work and commend him.
Len had us do it a few different ways and again did not care what we were saying.
The most I say "correctly" is "Bon jour" as I enter.
From there apart from proper praise of "Magnifique" and "Fantastique," I smilingly began to add things such as, "Now I notice you still have her wearing clothes..."
Eventually, after a few takes, Morgan began to start asking me interesting things, such as, if I felt the breasts were large enough.
Their release/contract impressively declared me correctly as being an Independent Contractor, and clarifying it as a "buy out"
I was released at 8:30pm or such: I know I left the dwelling at 8:43pm
(missing the last northbound Woodman bus of the day by an hour or so).
The walk home in the rain took me 45 minutes.