Heater and Easdon asked a favor. Don had seen a painting of a flower on a trip to Japan and thought that a version of it would make a good Gillette commercial. They had only token money but, so what, it was an experiment. I was surprised when they asked to have a pre pro.
‘I thought this was an experiment.’
‘The client wants a pre pro.’
‘That’s the way they are. They’re on top of everything.’
Six or seven clients show up for the meeting. They are flying in and out for the day from Boston. The air freight for these people exceeds the few dollars that we have by an order of magnitude. Suddenly this episode is making no sense. They are led by a humorless woman that is officious and overbearing. I wonder how she got her job (yes, this is a sexist comment).
We start the meeting and I make a few suggestions about how to make the spot better. After a few minutes, the woman tells me I’m being disruptive, destroying the flow of the meeting, and asks me to leave.
I walk across the court and over to my EP’s office and tell her to go across the way and throw them all out. She looks bewildered. I begin to repeat my demand, but Don Easdon has entered the room, pleading and apologizing for his client’s behavior.
‘Don, they’re out of here.’
‘Joe, please, we need this.’
Don is blocking the doorway and is trembling and sweating and his face is pulsing red. I’m expecting a seizure. I don’t want to give him mouth-to-mouth, so I relent.
‘Just get them the fuck out of here as soon as possible.’
The next day, I have the prop man make a series of bags with eye holes cut out and the client names prominently written on them, placed prominently on a table.
The guys show up.
Your clients have to sit in a corner. If they approach the set they have to wear the bags.
Only two of the clients show, the others having left the previous afternoon.
I shoot the piece. Easy.
The clients haven’t moved. Don approaches me and asks if the clients can have the bags.