1984. Olympics. Los Angeles. Kodak.
I still had a naïve, noble respect for the Olympic Spirit of amateurism but this was a transitional time when professionalism was entering the fray. My idealism took an immediate hit.
A Mercedes sedan pulls up. The license plate reads OLYMPIAN. I question amateurism. A beautiful woman exits with an umbrella to shield the passenger from the sun. Edwin Moses gets out of the car under the umbrella. The beautiful woman is his wife Myrella. The scene is absurd.
Moses tells me he can’t run. What??? The script/storyboard he was given has him getting a bouquet of flowers from a little girl in front of a large crowd of adoring fans. We have neither a large crowd nor a little girl. For some reason this happens a lot. Years later Sammy Sosa wonders why Ken Griffey is there and Deion Sanders wonders why Denis Leary is there and Ray Charles recites screen directions while rehearsing his (Braille) script.
I have no idea what to do.
Meanwhile, I go into the back of a cargo van to screen the dailies from the previous day’s work on a Moviola. You don’t know what a Moviola is? A Moviola was an editing machine that ran the film through a viewer at varying speeds. It could destroy the film at a moment’s notice if not threaded properly. It also had a sound head (or two) so you could sync (synchronize) the sound properly. The image was extremely clear since the optical lenses were simple. You could critically evaluate the film, focus, scratches, etc. precisely. It was the next best thing to a screening room.
I’m watching dailies of Brian Oldfield putting the shot. Brian was a beast, strong and intimidating, and the slow motion shots of him at work were beautiful, even profound. I felt a presence over my shoulder. It’s Moses.
He did that?
You know, maybe I can run a little.