My 15 Seconds of Fame
In 2003 Hollywood came to Ashcroft to shoot the movie, An Unfinished Life. The main characters were Morgan Freeman, Robert Redford, Jennifer Lopez and Josh Lucas. I found out that a mural was going to be painted on the building that would be used for the restaurant in the movie. I also found out that they wanted to use some locals for different parts of the movie. So I tracked down the head of the art department. And guess what! I got the job!
One of the first things that happened was we had to sign a waver that stated they could use our names in the credits! WOW! I was so excited. The other people on the set told me not to get to excited because they rarely use them.
We got busy executing the mural. The wall is a prominent wall located on Main street. The desert heat was brutal and it heated up the cement wall really fast. It stayed that way all day. There were four of us that would be painting it. By the end of the first day one of the artists had to hang up his brushes. He had heat stroke. A few days later we lost another one to the heat. By the end of the week we were down to two painters. Then halfway through the second week the other artist that was with me also had to leave. The guys from Vancouver just couldn’t stand the heat…. I had to finish it!
Summer temperatures in Ashcroft can and have surpassed 40 degrees Celsius.
We were told that if anyone came onto the set we were supposed to welcome them. I was very, very deep inside the front legs of one of the buffaloes. It was a real challenge and it needed my full concentration. I had never painted anything like this before, and here it was larger than life! A man came walking over to me. He looked like a nice guy and was kind of reminding me of someone! We exchanged some words and niceties. I asked him if he was working for the movie. “Yes” he said. I asked him if he was enjoying Ashcroft and he smiled and said “oh very much”. He gave me a beautiful smile when he said that. We carried on with the conversation for a bit and then he said he had to go. Something had tweaked my interest in this nice gentleman but my thoughts were also distracted by the muscle structure of the buffalo. Our day finished and I went home. After dinner we decided to watch a movie. The opening scene was a full screen shot of Morgan Freeman! I realized that he was the nice gentleman that stopped by on the set! Oh my! One of my all time favourite actors! I remembered that smile he gave me. I wonder what he was thinking as he wandered off the set….
The movie came out a couple of years later. We went to see it with our best friends. We all watched the credits just in case we saw my name… and there it was under Art Department credits. Wow! That was pretty exciting! We jumped out of our seats and said “ there it is! “ And there it was, my 15 seconds of fame.