Well, it wasn’t exactly Hollywood. It was San Diego. Like many kids going to college, I worked.
Not much for the public limelight but I had a chance to pick up a few bucks facilitating the use of one of a school’s field for a movie (which eventually was called A Minor Miracle ). At some point the 2nd AD asked if I could recruit a couple of friends (and I) to be the refs for a couple of days for the filming of the soccer match. The staff made a big deal that Pele and some guy called John Huston were starring in it. I had no idea who this Huston guy was. They just made a really big deal about him. They promised a lot to get us to show up. Been so long, not exactly sure all they promised.
We knew there were problems shortly into the first day. I have seen people with more respect for roadkill than they gave us. (At least most people make an attempt not to hit the stuff on the road. These guys from Hollywood just kept running over us.) We were about 6 hours into it when they broke for lunch. The only problem was they told us to take a hike from their catered lunch, just one of their many promises. We were also told we couldn’t leave since they needed us to film. (Hmmm, how were we supposed to eat.)
When our real bosses showed up around 4 that afternoon things had gotten so bad, our bosses decided to interject themselves into the situation. Within fifteen minutes the senior production crew realized they had a real problem. Our real bosses were “pulling” us from the next day’s filming.
Now I had been in every shot with Huston. If I wasn’t in the next day’s shots, they would have consistency problems. It became pretty clear, it didn’t matter if my friends showed up or not. For our Hollywood friends, with me it was a different matter. The 2nd AD and one of my bosses had been pretty close friends during college. That friendship was destroyed in less than half an hour.
The senior production crew basically started to panic. They would have to entirely reshoot the days footage if I wasn’t there. The 2nd AD asked if they could get another day to shoot. Our bosses told them Hell had a better chance of freezing over than them getting another day. The 2nd AD double and tripled what they would pay versus what they were paying. That wasn’t going to happen.
Since that failed, their only other viable option was getting me back. They promised more pay, that they would actually treat me as a semi-human and I could have lunch. I just wanted an apology, what they agreed to pay and lunch.
Huston ended up being a pretty cool old guy. I guess he made some pretty good movies.
This was probably not one of them. And I never saw the movie.
(The international version was called Young Giants.)