Barry freezes up on Munich!
It was the 11th week of shooting Munich. We had converted an abandoned hockey rink in Budapest into the Olympic Village set. The building was almost entirely underground and we were oblivious to night and day. Focused.
Alongside shooting, young Arab and Israeli actors were into their second week of stunt training for the Olympic assault sequence, which was a kind of peace process in of itself. It was at this point, as the person who had assembled and edited the documentary sequences, that I realized we were missing one link in the chain of telling what happened in the Olympic Village through news reports.
We”d been using almost all real footage from ’72 from all over the world, but we filmed a re-creation in black and white from a newsroom in Israel just to be safe. And now I felt we needed one more piece. Steven agreed. So we picked a guy, quickly built a little set, and then I asked Steven who should direct it, because he wasn’t going to have time. His answer kind of shocked me, “You. This is your area.” But I’d never directed before, except little push-ins on tv screens and such. Nothing with real actors. I swallowed hard and said, “Sure, you bet.” As you do.
When the day came, I spent too much time rehearsing with the 60 year old actor who started to get annoyed. The camera and lighting teams got ready, wardrobe, hair, make-up. We rehearsed on camera, and then it was time. “Ok, let’s try one,” I said. The room hushed. The sound man said “Speed.” The assistant director said rolling, and then it was time for me to say action. But the word wouldn’t come. I was struck dumb, literally. I tried again to muster it, but it just wouldn’t come. It was stuck down below and wouldn’t come up. People were waiting, looking at me, wondering what the delay was. I started to panic but at the last moment, before the take shut down, I had an idea. I pointed to the assistant director, and he called it, “Action!”
And we were off to the races.
I’m not saying that on the first take, Stuart will totally lock up like I did. It’s unlikely. Nonetheless, he’ll have a lot on his plate, and I’d feel better knowing there’s a kickstarter there to take care of business and get the ball rolling here.