Behind the Scenes of Pursuit
Michael wrote an article for TV Guide magazine called: “What happened when an author became a director and found himself dealing with two old pros”. Here is an excerpt:
“At one point, E.G. had to make a maniacal political speech. Before we shot, he said, “I do a lot of speaking around the country for health-care legislation. I’ll just do this the way I normally do.” I was horrified: he’s so reasonable, so persuasive. He put his hand on my arm. “I’m just kidding,” he said. I relaxed enough to suggest he do it as if he were a well-known rabid political figure. He said fine.
The cameras rolled and E.G. Marshall turned into a madman. His eyes glowed, he pounded the podium; he was unquestionably insane, and very disturbing to watch. When the shot was finished, he stood back and chuckled. “How was that?” he said.
The next day, when I saw the film, I realized that he had in fact used all the mannerisms, the gestures and movements, of the political figure I’d mentioned.
Ben was equally astounding. He wore glasses, placing a terrible technical burden on him. Often he couldn’t move his head at all, or his glasses would catch the lights. It never impaired his performance.
At one point we were shooting in the airport. Ben was among a crowd of passengers arriving from a flight. I wanted the camera to single him out in this crowd, and follow him. We tried it, but the camera operator couldn’t find Gazzara. Afterward, I said, “Ben, the camera can’t find you.”
“Okay, I’ll take care of it.”
“Yeah, but don’t you want …”
“Don’t worry. I’ll take care of it.”
And he did. Don’t ask me how.