Don’t Believe the Skype?

Richard Marshall and I live in Los Angeles. I live in the Valley and he lives in S. Pasadena.

Today, Sunday, I drove to S. Pasadena to our office on the top floor of Richard’s craftsman house on a quiet, tree-lined street. We sat on a sofa and faced a computer and used Skype to see the audience in the theater of the Oklahoma City Museum of Modern Art. They have had a museum exhibit of reproductions of the paintings of Jonathan Winters and had just screened CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN in the theater and were calling us immediately afterwards. It was Q&A time.

The audience looked at us up on the big museum movie screen: a Skype image of Richard and me sitting on the sofa.

From Richard and my point of view, we faced people in the orchestra seats in a big theater. In the foreground, the host, Brian, faced us and popped in and out of the frame. As Brian said, they had as many football wives as possible on a Sunday in a museum in Oklahoma.

Richard and I were having such a good time with the new technology. Technology that made it possible for us to be in places we could have never been in. It was wondrous, really, as we could see ourselves talking to the audience in real time.

The museum audience seemed enthusiastic about the film. Said they laughed a lot. The questions were good. I didn’t answer the one about how much the film cost. I did say that “dadamentries” are more expensive than documentaries, and we talked about how it took seven years to bring CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN to theaters and the challenge of working with a bi-polar genius. There was a question about whether something was or was not was staged. Richard and I never answer that question. We talk about how our film is both a documentary of fact, like a biography, and a documentary of the imagination created by the subject of the film.

I wish I’d talked about that terrific “Arkansas Democrat Gazette” review of CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN written by Philip Martin, where he says sometimes you have to lie to tell the truth.

The questions and answers felt like 20 minutes. It was fun for us so I hope it was fun for the audience. We give good interview.

Richard made excellent expresso in small cups and saucers with a cube of brown sugar and a peel of lemon on the saucer. Elegant. Good taste. All Richard. I sucked the last sugary drops and raced off to North Hollywood to sneak into the second act of the final performance of my son Charlie’s triumphant production of Shakespeare’s hilarious “The Comedy of Errors.” Come to think of it, Comedy of Errors could be the title of how we came to make CERTIFIABLY JONATHAN.

-Jim Pasternak, Director

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