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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old February 28th, 2005, 11:11 AM   #16
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I heard Jerry Lewis wasn't very nice - if you visit his site you can download his "Contract" for having be a guest speaker. That information alone shows what an ass he is...although, he made some great films. I'd like to see that Nazi/Clown film for sure.

Hey Jeb and George are jerk brothers huh?

Another director celebrity I met that ended being really cool - John Landis. I worked on the first HDTV live-to-tape show in LA at the LA Film School back in 2000. He was a guest on one of the shows and was very cool afterwards...hung out with the crew and told stories. I think he got a real bum rap because of the Twilight Zone accident - he was such a good filmmaker. He made a comeback, but it's unfortunate what happened. It wasn't discussed because I don't think the crew even knew about it...I did. I liked him alot because he hungout for so long chatting with us about the business.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 02:04 PM   #17
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Besides getting to meet Dylan Couper and discussing our mutual admiration for Joss Whedon's "Firefly" series, I'd have to narrow down my Brushes With Greatness to two significant encounters...

One was an afternoon in 1996 spent with the (unfortunately now late) Doug Sahm editing some of his home video for his personal archive. His name may not be all that familiar to those outside of the Austin music scene, but he had prominent fame in the late '60's and early '70's with his band, The Sir Douglas Quintet, and then later with The Texas Tornados. Not only was he an accomplished musician, but he was also a hell of a nice guy, real down to earth and friendly and funny and full of great stories.

The other time was an hour or so that I shared with cinematographer and director Barry Sonenfeld. He writes a gadget column for Esquire magazine and I drew the assignment of giving him an XL2 demo. Again, just a really nice, congenial, amiable fellow, a lot of fun to talk to. He happily autographed my copies of Men In Black (just a small New York film no matter what anybody says) and When Harry Met Sally (one of my wife's favorites; he was the cinematographer).

Memorable chance encounters include meeting Steadicam inventor Garrett Brown and hearing him tell me that he's a fan of the XL1 Watchdog site, being introduced to Rudy Sarzo by Douglas Spotted Eagle, of course Spot himself, and I'd have to also mention dining not once but twice with our own Ken Tanaka. Throw in a dash of Charles Papert every now and again, and my all-time favorite part, which is meeting fellow DV Info folk from all around at the various trade shows and whatnot (that's the best part of any industry event).

Oh, and at the age of twelve I met Red Skelton, who cheerfully autographed my well-worn copy of "Red Skelton's Favorite Ghost Stories," which was a hoot for him and a treat for me. Younger folks may not know much of him, but he was one of America's most enduring comedians of all time.

Last but not least, in January 2004 I rode the guest elevator at The Venetian down with Ron Jeremy. Told him I appreciated all of his work. Real nice guy in person.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:53 PM   #18
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I'm not much of a "star gazer" except in terms of actual celestial objects. But Jim Cameron of Titanic fame was here in Houston with some scientific collaborators about a year ago to screen some rough cuts of his deep sea IMAX project -- which now that this thread reminded me to look it up, I see will be out sometime this year as "Aliens of the Deep."

http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0417415/

I was very impressed at his genuine interest and depth of knowledge, considering he quite modestly emphasized that he is not a scientist.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 04:55 PM   #19
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Hmm, most of who I've ran into are tv or b list.

Late 80s I was in NYC on business, who do I see stumbling drunk down the sidwalk on broadway? William Conrad of the original gunsmoke radio show and tv detective. He is gone now, but I loved the radio show. And I do remmeber Red Skelton. Watched his show as a small kid. Loved it.

On the US launch of one of Princess Cruise lines new ships, it was scheduled for a Valentines day launch and all sorts of celebs were invited (The company I worked for was handling the ID/Pass portion of security).

They always invite Gavin Mcloud (Captin Stubbing of the original love boat) plus various tv celebs , many from shows like LA Law and some from shows I've never watched or heard of. Ali McGraw and Ryan Oneal were there since the theme was Valentines and they were the official mascots of the ship(Love Story...). I got up close and personal with Sherry Belefonte, and totally geeked out. Couldn't even speak. She introducted herself, then off the elevator. I later apologized to her assistant and she understood. Ms Belefonte was extremely beautiful, a 40 something woman in a 19 year old body.
btw..Gavin Mcloud is extremely nice and well mannered.

The Z list celebs all acted like they didn't want to be bothered, then went out of their way to tell you who they were and what they did. (The radio pschyciatrist who set up the valentines cruise happened to be seated next to me in formal dining, tmi......) Anyway, most of the celebs just had a good time. The ship set sail on a 3 day to San Juan, at the end, all the booze was not charged for (the didn't tell anyone it was free until the end).
Had a great time.
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Old February 28th, 2005, 05:34 PM   #20
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Well I have very little to contribute here - although I've also met Chris Hurd! ;-)

A few years ago I worked closely on a couple projects with Edmund Bacon, a Philadelphia legend who also happens to be Kevin Bacon's father. He was a phenomenal guy, a brilliant city planner responsible for the "Philadelphia renaissance." It was really a treat to work with him. He was in his mid eighties at the time and loved to walk around town pointing out architecture; I could hardly keep up with him!

Anyway, my friends back then loved that they could trump everyone else with my stories when they played "seven degrees of Kevin"...
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Old February 28th, 2005, 09:45 PM   #21
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You know, come to think of it, the only film celebrity that I would be stunned to meet would probably be Robert Redford. As I've learned more about him over the years, he's one of the very few in the industry worthy of some serious respect, for me.
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Old March 1st, 2005, 02:37 PM   #22
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I've always wanted to meet John Lithgow. He has excellent range. I would love to talk to him about it.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 01:48 PM   #23
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Derek (Lek) Leckenby and Barry Whitwam.

At one time they were so famous they couldn't breathe outside air in NYC except when they ate at the top of their hotel building. Do you recogiize those names? They're lead guitarist and drummer for Herman's Hermits.

In the late 1970's they were already far past their glory days and booking American tours, sans Peter Noone, at venues such as the local Ramada Inn. My wife at the time (now ex) had been the regional fan club president when she was 14, and had met them several times when they were at their height. Lek had been her heartthrob. I was a technician at a little manufacturing company and my wife was a clerk in a college business office. When we read that they were playing nearby we decided to go out and see them. She was anxious about whether Lek would remember her at all. He and Barry both did, and invited us back to their room after the show. Lek and I, both boozers, hit if off and went down in the wee hours to shoot some pool in the otherwise closed lounge. Karl Green was still with the band, but he never joined us.

We hooked up with Lek and Barry in that manner for a few more successive years. One of those times we had them back to our little apartment for a home cooked dinner that they really enjoyed as a break from road food. Although they were old news, they were still famous at the time, and their oldies were still getting a lot of radio play. So when we ran into our neighbors-the female half of whom had been a huge Herman's Hermits fan as a kid- at the grocery store, it was a lot of fun playing guess who's coming to dinner tonight?

The last time we saw them they gave me a several copies of a new record they had cut on a label that they owned themslves. The main side was called "Ginny Go Softly," a very pleasant and airy "wall of sound" type ballad. They were very excited and nervous about it. I took it around and tried to hawk it to some local radio stations but I was a nobody who didn't get far beyond the front desk. They probably thought I was some kind of a crank, coming in and blathering about being able to arrange an on air interview if they wanted. The record never did catch on.

It was an exciting and memorable collection of experiences. I genuinely liked Lek. Those guys were totally unaffected--considered themselves musicians who had been through this weird fame period when everyone got rich off their popularity except them. They were good-naturedly road weary, accepted that they were stuck in this lifestyle because they knew nothing else, and they had friends like us, I'm sure, at many places along their familiar tour routes.
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Old March 2nd, 2005, 11:15 PM   #24
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Not what youd call a widely known celebrity, but...

I went to the first annual Rome International Film Festival last October (Rome is 20 miles from my little rural town, and Rome isnt a big town). I was in the lobby waiting to see his film 1988 The Remake, when my ultimate hero, author of Feature Filmmaking at Used Car Prices and also Extreme DV at Used Car Prices, Rick Schmidt walked into the room!

Now, I have never in my life been an autograph hound, and I'm a grown 31 year old man, but Rick Schmidt books have changed my life so profoundly I believe he has rearranged my very molecular structure! Knowing he was going to be there, I went to my car and got his books and brought them in hoping to get 2 minutes to talk to Rick and get him to sign my books. I came back and waited on him to finish talking to the Festival Director Barry Norman and get by himself, and then walked up to him and told him that I was the fellow that he had awarded one of his scholarships to for the story about joining the Marines, but didnt get to go due to a new job.

He remembered our email correspondence and told me that I had submitted the best real life story he had ever recieved, and I wound up getting to talk to him for about 10 minutes before the fest director came over and asked if he was ready to go eat. He said yes and the two of them were on their way out the door when Barry turned to me and said he was very busy and would I mind taking Rick out to eat! So my wife and I walked Rick down to Schroders Deli and had a two hour dinner with my ultimate hero, hearing profoundly entertaining stories about some of his productions and whatnot, and having him show ernest intrest in my own doings. It was one of the best times I've ever had in my life! And 1988 The Remake was one fine piece of cinema, very inspiring.

When we got back to the Desoto Theater, Rick stood with me for a while out front and we discussed some of the technical aspects of showing a movie in festivals, and talked about the creative ways I've financed my own venture...he was genuinely interested, and even suprised at some of the things I've been doing. A great guy who knows how to give as much attention as he recieves, not at all a conversation hog, and most definately no big ego, and often very funny!
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Old March 3rd, 2005, 03:34 PM   #25
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<<<-- Originally posted by Keith Forman : Christopher- Meeting Tim Burton would have been hard for me to do. I also like most of his works... Except the last Batman movies. What's up with the rubber nipples Tim??? What were you THINKING!?!?!?! -->>>

That was all Joel Schumacher.

I met "Big Pussy" and some other guys from the Sopranos at a political function at a local Restaurant. They were pretty cool, just talking to everybody and having drinks.
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Old March 8th, 2005, 04:08 PM   #26
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I got to meet Grandpa Munster one time. Whatever his real name was!
Stevie Nicks and the rest of Fleetwood Mac.
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Old March 17th, 2005, 06:12 PM   #27
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Grandpa Munster = Al Lewis

:D
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Old March 17th, 2005, 11:28 PM   #28
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Speaking of The Munsters, a few years back I had a beer with Butch Patrick at a Sixth Street bar in Austin. Heck of a nice guy.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 12:25 PM   #29
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I have never wanted to really meet any actor in any shape or fasion. The only person that I ever wanted to meet was Dale Earnhardt and that did come true for me. I got to shake his hand and talk to him for just a brief moment. I am not a huge Nascar fan, although I did grow up kind of sort in the race car business.
If I had to meet one actor it would probably be Mel Gibson.
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Old March 25th, 2005, 12:38 PM   #30
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There is one "famous" person I would like to meet...Steven Spielberg. Just because of Raiders, ET, Close Encounters, Jaws and all those others.

I'd have to at least say thanks!

Jeff, everytime I see Mel Gibson interviewed he just doesn't look comfortable in his own skin. He was on Leno a couple weeks ago...something ain't right with that cat. He was always wacky, but I really think he's got a complex or something.
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