Driis Music


A Tale of Two Mr. Browns

"Hangin' with Mr. Tarantino"

I arrived at the Fashion Center when it opened at around 10AM. I had a little more of an agenda this time around--since Q hadn't seen my site before, I had with me some printouts of parts of the site, and, for nostalgia's sake, I brought an old souvenir from Archives--one of his old cancelled paychecks, for $45.53. When I arrived at the food court, Q, dressed in blue Adidas jogging pants, an ugly blue and green golf shirt, and a green beret (which successfully hid his hairline but made his hair seem longer in the back) was in his director's chair, while other crew fixed the lighting and whatnot. I took a seat at a table just far enough from the action so as not to be in the way. Soon after, Grier arrived, wearing a tan shorts, sleeveless black top, and matching black beret; as did Forster, wearing a slacks and sweater ensemble that looked a bit younger than something someone his age would wear.

Q was less accessible that day because of the shots that were being filmed--two long dialogue takes with Grier and Forster, which took a while to rehearse and even longer to shoot. I did, however, manage to get a hello in to him in the early going to let him know I was there; he smiled and put his hand up, half pointing at me and half putting up the peace sign. Since the shots were dialogue-heavy, they required that everyone in the vicinity be as quiet as possible. Production assistants held up signs that read "QUIET PLEASE! THANK YOU"; at one point, Q himself stood on top of a trash receptacle and asked everyone in the dining area to keep it down.

So my day again mostly consisted of standing out of everyone's way as shooting progressed. Even though I was wearing my Pulp Fiction shirt instead of my ABA one, people still asked me if I was part of the production crew. I was actually asked a more peculiar question by one person--"Did you work at Video Archives?" A true Archivist, Jerry Martinez, once again showed up, and we talked very briefly before he left me high and dry. At this point, I wondered if my coming back for another day was a good idea.

But things turned around. While a take was rolling, Bender walked in my direction, and as I saw him come, I pulled out a pic of me and him from the December 1995 premiere of the short The Whiskey Heir and held it up. When he saw it, he stopped in his tracks, and walked to me and gave me a half-grinning look that asked "where is this from?" I told him where it was from, he said "yeah" or something to that effect, and he signed the pic for me.

Soon after, Forster walked by me on the way to the restroom, and I said hello. He shook my hand, and he said "How do you do, sir... again," obviously remembering me from our meetings the previous day. Not long after he went on his trip to the restroom, Q, accompanied by a PA, made his way there. As he passed me by, I told him I had something for him, and he told me to give it to his assistant, Vicki.

Seeing that I likely wouldn't be able to say my parting words to Q to his face, I wrote a little note thanking him for the past couple of days, that it was a pleasure and honor, etc., and that attached was a sample of the site. And then (it was now approaching about 5PM), I took a seat at a table just over a railing from where Vicki, Q's director's chair, and other crew members were. Q came back, sat in his chair, and asked Vicki to buy him some pizza. Off she went, and Q sat there, idly by, looking around. I caught his eye and held up the printouts. He once again said, "Leave it with Vicki," and he pointed to the seat where she sat. Not too long after Vicki came back, handed him his food, and got back into her seat, and I called out, "Excuse me, Vicki." She didn't hear me, but an intern sitting by her did, and he tapped her on the shoulder and got her attention for me. She said hello, and I told her that Quentin told me to leave this with her, and I handed it over. She glanced at it quickly, and she said "Great" and asked, "Your name is Michael?", seeing my name on the top note. I said yes, and she went over to Q's chair and stuffed it in a pouch that was attached on the right armrest; when she returned to her seat, we shook hands. Of course, I couldn't help but think--why couldn't have Q put it in his bag himself when he told me to give it to Vicki the second time? At this time Bender left Q, who just sat there, eating. He looked back at me, and I thanked him for the past couple of days, and that I had fun. He said, "I'm glad you had a good time, man." I then pulled out his old paycheck, and I told him that it's amazing how far he's come from paychecks of $45.53. He laughed; Vicki laughed; and so did Bender, who came back. I told him that I was looking forward to the finished product in December and that I hoped I'd be able to give it a good review, and he said, "I'm sure you'll like it" (We'll see about that...). I thanked him again; he thanked me, and he stopped for a picture, putting up the peace sign once again. After one last wave, I was gone.

A very nice goodbye, and that was supposed to be that. But when I got home, my abnormally high spirits made their usual fall. There it was, sitting on my desk--letter from the UCLA film department. I opened it up. DENIED. But this time around, they decided to stamp it twice instead of once--as if it weren't enough. Disappointed, yes; angry and upset, yes; surprised--not really. I knew what I wanted to do--yet I knew writing to Q about it wasn't the most expedient way to give him the news (at least not this year, with him working and all), and, unlike last year, a response, if any at all, wouldn't come quickly. But I did know where he would be the next day, and that I'd have minimal trouble reaching him--though I knew there really wouldn't be anything for him to say. Never being one to leave well enough alone, I trust you can figure out what's next...

July 2 In Pictures

July 3
Jackie Brown: The Review

(written July 3, 1997)


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3 Days on the Set of Jackie Brown/text and photographs © Michael Dequina
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