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...