Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nascar Vice

A couple years back I did some on set vfx supervision for a Sprint Nascar commercial. Miami Vice creator Micheal Mann was directing. It was an odd experience for several reasons. We pulled 3 all nighters on the shoot at the race track in Vegas and by 8 pm or so the temp was in the teens. Generally on these kind of huge shoots with a big director you are lucky if you get a second to get the things you need, but Mr. Mann was very hands on and involved us every chance he had. So, cool points were awarded. I got to know a few of the old timer Nascar pit guys and the stories they told were classic. Even cooler that the bodies of the Nascar cars are all hand made, gearhead geekout Sweet!
The odd part of it for me was the loose association with Micheal Mann. Back in the early days of Miami Vice I happened to be an extra in a shoot on south beach, circa 1985 or 86. It was a total goof cause we were all just hanging on the beach in the early morning when they started to set up. We were asked to do back ground stuff. Basically, act like you are playing volley ball and don't say a word. Well, the asshole that I am, I made sure to blurt something out on the first few takes. I was promptly asked to be quiet or leave. I told them it was a public beach and they weren't paying me. The guy looked at me with this sad look and said please, so I kept my yap shut. Now, to this day I am not 100% positive, but I do recall a dude that looked very similar to Micheal Mann sitting in a chair on the side of camera pointing at me and at the same time telling this producer something. I'm sure he was saying " get that fucker off the set ". Here I was some 20 odd years later standing next to this dude talking about some visual effects shot. "That is some freaky shit hesse".
Now add some double oddness to the equation. A week before we did a tech scout on location, meeting with Mann and his DP Dante Spinotti. The following day I am back in LA riding my bike up off Molholland. I stop at a local watering hole to grab a beer and old Dante rolls up on a new Harley and is eyeballing my bike. "Life's a trip hesse". I didn't give em a hard time for riding a fresh new Harley, he is an old dude and shit, he was riding. He just planted his feet on earth in my book. I've seen him a half dozen times on the road since then, and the beauty is, we talk bikes, not movies. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Good story .. I'd bet your odd run ins with Michael Mann are not over yet.