It’s 1984 and I’m filming an Olympics commercial for Kodak. We’ve cast some actor/ athletes (remember athlete’s had to be amateurs then) but Kodak had made some sort of deal with Mary Decker, Brian Oldfield, and Edwin Moses. It had to do with the money going to training or something. I didn’t question anything until Moses drove up in a Mercedes sedan with a license plate that said OLYMPYAN. His wife Myrella, an attractive German girl, got out and opened an umbrella to shield Moses from the sun.
I’m not making this up.
Moses was a great 400 meter hurdler and was undefeated for ten years. We were introduced and Moses asked what was expected of him. I said we had some extras and hurdles…
Moses said he couldn’t/ wouldn’t hurdle and showed me a storyboard from the past that had him receiving flowers from a little girl in front of a crowd. We had no flowers, no little girl, and no crowd. The thing running through my mind was how the Mercedes became part of training expenses.
I had already gotten through the similar Mary Decker issue but I didn’t have an idea left. I went to the van to watch the previous day’s work (on a moviola) and left Moses to change. We began watching Brian Oldfield put the shot in slow motion, muscles rippling, intensity on his face.
Moses was looking over my shoulder at the dailies.
“He looks good.”
“Maybe I could run.”