True, she's never been much behind the camera (I could show you our vacation snapshots), but a good DP can make up for that. What about her film, an art director asked? Mom prefers Polaroid instant.
A producer asked how she is with dialogue. I gave him Mom's number and said dial. She can talk your ear off for hours on end.
A writer asked if she can do kids. She's done two already, raising us to be like the kids in commercials. We're both doing fine, except I keep calling my brother, Jeff, Mikey.
"Speaking of Mikey, how's she with food?" asked a creative director. "Great," I answered. It's mostly pot roast, meat loaf, that kind of thing. Mom thinks that models in commercials are just way too skinny. She blasted out in no uncertain terms: "They'd never look like that in my house!"
Or on her set, for that matter. Mom asked me to invite Kate Moss over for some Hungarian goulash. Score one for anti-anorexia advertising. Score another for Mom.
A casting director asked Mom about her facility for talent. It's true that Mom prefers Ricardo Montalban, Andy Griffith and Buddy Ebsen to the likes of George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise, but give the gal credit; she has her finger on the pulse of the Geritol market.
Can she handle temperamental actors, the creative director asked? My brother was pretty colicky, so maybe she could put up with Dennis Hopper or Madonna on a commercial set. But I confess -- Mom never much cottoned to assertiveness training.
She never cottoned to natural fabrics either. Mom says if her clothes needed to breathe they'd have lungs. But polyester is retro now, and her closets are loaded with the stuff. Her commercials could introduce a whole new look that would give hip-hop a run for its money. Mom senses she's going to lose out on those Calvin Klein bids.
An art director asked what her latest production was; Mom said it was getting ready for her winter in Florida. He said that packing for a vacation isn't a production. He obviously never traveled with Mom.
"Can she see a finished spot in a rough board?" a writer asked. I told her Mom has good instincts. From her seat on the condo board, she can always spot a potentially successful candidate.
"Can such an old mind muster the concentration of a three-day shoot?" a producer wondered out loud. I told him you haven't seen concentration until you've seen Mom sit for five straight hours hunting for hidden words in a Wordfinder book.
Last but not least, "How will your 81-year-old mother resist the peer pressure of doing movies instead of spots?" a producer queried. That won't be any problem at all. Why would Mom want to direct a film when she hasn't seen one since Jaws? She doesn't feel it's safe to go back into the movie house.
She's got a point. Anyone got a board?
Cary Bayer is president of Bayer Communications, a bicoastal P.R. firm specializing in advertising agency, production and postproduction clients -- but