Sunday, October 18, 2009


Art departments are funny little communities that spring up during film productions, flourish, evolve and suddenly vanish when they are finished with us. This is from the Fat Albert movie- but the version that didn't get made. Forest Whitaker was to direct, and he was great fun. Evidently he and Bill Cosby had creative differences and it didn't work out. I had to go and see Mister Cosby one day and he baffled me... he sat smiling under a giant picture of himself and asked me "Who is the boss?" I wanted to guess... Bruce Spingsteen? Tony Danza? Was this a trick question... ? His friend and interpreter, a tall black man whose name was Crosby as I reall explained the desired answer was "the Director" and I sagely and promptly agreed. It was a strange experience and I am still not sure what it was about. Bill Cosby told me "everything these days is niggamuthafucker niggamuthafucker" and that was not going to be the case with this movie. Not that I was trying to make that the case, mind you! Then he smiled and said "integrity". I sat there in mid-transition from thinking "WOW! Bill Cosby said niggamuthafucker" and "the man's insane! I've got to get out of here!" It was quite an experience but the whole thing was great and a version of the movie of course did get made... But I don't think any of the people pictured here were involved. Just another fun couple of months in storyboard land.
The room..

The Fat Albert junkmobile.

August and Mike.

Forest Whitaker, our director, the producer and Bill Boes, the production designer.

Bill a little bleary.

Me pitching to Bill Cosby and company.

Darryl Henley pitching to Mr. C.
Darryl Henley, the pensive artist.

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