Friday, August 19, 2016

Schulenberg's Page: New York, Part LXXIII

Text and Illustrations by ©Bob Schulenberg

New York, 1966.
After we'd finished shooting The Secret Cinema, life continued in much the same way it had before we'd started making the film as Paul Bartel and Fred Wellington started planning the editing.
Fred Wellington's wife Margo had been one of The Raided Premise reaction shot closeups; she was the one laughing while holding a glass of "champagne" (7 Up in reality).
And Mara was back working at Paraphernalia where she returned the clothes we'd borrowed.
Paul started the important job of editing which was a more complicated job before the advent of advanced computer-related techniques.
In 1966, a device called a Moviola was used. The last sequence of The Secret Cinema has Barre Dennen/"Dr. Richards" literally cutting (with scissors!) Jane's movie while working with a Moviola.

We had an unexpected expense. While we were shooting the psychiatrist's office at my dentist's office, a spotlight placed too close to the office's ceiling light fixture melted the covering!
As Paul told Dr. Art Phillips we'd replace it, Art was more interested in knowing how everything turned out.
I was so relieved and having found a painless dentist I was anxious not to alienate him in any way! Especially since he'd trusted us and given us his office to use after office hours as a location.

And for me, I was again running around meeting with art directors showing my portfolio.
I was still also doing hair drawings for Popular Library.
Technology, so to speak, was different in art departments also in 1966. May Ng at Popular Library was, like all art directors then, using rubber cement, markers and pens for layouts. Whereas the last time I visited a magazine's art department a few years ago, the designers were in a dark room working with computers!

While editing our movie there was still time for Paul to socialize.
Mary Robin Redd was another UCLA friend living in New York.
She had played "Pokey," one of the principal characters in the movie, "The Group," which had just been released.

The film, directed by Sidney Lumet, was based on Mary McCarthy's book of the same name and had a cast of young actors starring Candice Bergen, Shirley Knight, Larry Hagman, Hal Holbrook and others who were little known at the time but who became very well known later. Robin had been an extra for us in the sequence at The Plaza.

For a break from editing and for old time's sake, we took Paul to Central Park after tea in The Palm Court. Sitting on rocks by the lake, she and Paul sang Noel Coward songs.
I wish we could've had this woman in our movie!
Amy had been feeling a bit down after the film had finished shooting.

She began to identify with "Jane" since she looked so drab in so much of the movie.
Actually the 1930's coat was her own and was one that frequently she wore!

Paul reassured her that it was just a character and that she'd done a beautiful job as Jane. Later, he sighed and told me that actually he himself had identified with the Jane character!

The paranoia was transmissible!
For a while after, Amy got over it by becoming the "fantasy Jane" and adopting a glamorous look!
During the time of our shoot, my old friend Jerry Rodder from Fresno married his fiancĂ©e from Long Island at the Regency Hotel on Park Avenue. His family owned the elegant specialty store in Fresno where I'd worked during one high school summer. Before the wedding date I gave Jerry's mother Pauline (one of my mother's best friends) a walk-on cameo in our movie: she's the second woman who walks out of the Plaza Hotel in our establishing shot. I thought it would give her something to brag about when she got home — being in an underground movie in New York!
At the wedding reception I was surprised to see Sam Antupit, the art director of Esquire with whom I'd done several assignments. He was one of my favorite art directors so I was happy to learn that he was related to Carole, the bride. It changed our relationship; he and his wife became my friends even as he remained a business connection. And more importantly, at Esquire!

So things were looking up for all of us and now the only thing left was to finish the editing and then promote The Secret Cinema.

Possibly the hardest mountain to climb!
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