"Jason, we have a shoot tomorrow with Baz Luhrmann. His people have requested special lighting."
Here we go again I thought - another male Diva with an ego bigger than his entourage. I had mentally prepared myself for a day of falsities. Nodding politely to unnecessary public relations flunkies and setting up forty lights of which only three are required just to impress some wannabe producer fresh out of University.
Perhaps my expectations of celebrities have been eroded after 23 years in the industry but when Baz entered the room his demeanour and professionalism couldn't have impressed me more. His passion is his life. He excitedly grabbed my arm and dragged me across the room to show me a "great angle" for a shot. He has worked alongside the best actors and crews in the world and I was privileged to be in his company. We discussed lighting, framing and camera moves like old colleagues and although he was the subject of our story, he became the producer and director.
I admire passion in anyone. I believe it's a necessity for a full life. Baz Luhrmann has it in spades and he backs it up with a mountain of talent. While rehearsing for "Strictly Ballroom the musical" he juggled two studios of dancers and vocalists and still made time to direct his own profile piece on Today Tonight. My greatest challenge was getting enough vision of him for our story as his default position is behind the camera.
Thanks for a great day Baz. It was an honour to work with you. jj