I’ve referred to Haskell Wexler, ASC many times during the run of this blog, and with good reason. Beside being a great artist, he was a most unusual man (in a good way) and I considered him a friend. It’s a shame he’s no longer with us. In a time during which our society – indeed, the world – is completely off its axis, we sure could use a dose of his clarity and directness.
Below is an anecdote related by International Cinematographers Guild Local 600 President John Lindley, ASC. I’ve had a similar experience on one or two occasions and though I admire President Lindley’s restraint, Haskell’s response can’t help but appeal to my wilder side.
President Lindley relates the tale in his own words.
“When my youngest child was born, Haskell Wexler covered me on a feature in New York for a week. The leading actress had a demanding and annoying make up artist who often made lighting suggestions. I chose to listen and ignore him, which seemed to work although it was time consuming. On the first day Haskell shot for me, the make up artist suggested Haskell use some bounce light under the camera. His response? “Why don’t you bounce a light off my two fucking Oscars?” After that, the director called Haskell the Designated Hitter and the lighting suggestion box had closed for good when I got back.”
Man… If only the rest of our issues could be solved like that!
President Lindley will be leaving office at the end of this month. I send him sincere thanks for his years of service and wish him the best of luck in all future endeavors!