Thursday, June 17, 2004


Andrea's 6/16 photo of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco just time-traveled me right back to 1986. I haven't thought about this in years.

My best friend, M., and I worked at a television production company in Marin County. I lived in Marin, she lived in San Francisco. One sunny Saturday I was at her place, waiting for her to primp so we could go somewhere. I don't know where her adorable boyfriend was, but he wasn't there. She had MTV on when I arrived and I sat on her couch, staring blankly at the screen while conducting a conversation with her while she was standing in front of the bathroom mirror. Suddenly, I noticed a promo they were running for a contest. They were asking viewers to send in videos of themselves telling why they should be chosen to go on the road with Genesis and act as a temporary MTV correspondent. We didn't give a rat's ass about Genesis, but I heard the words: " to Europe on the Concorde...spend two weeks in Paris...get $5,000 spending money..." and yelled to M. in the bathroom that we should enter her in the contest. (The winner got to bring a friend.) She was tall, blonde, pretty and photogenic. I hated being on camera, but knew she liked it (and she was a natural). I told her I'd come up with the whole concept, all she'd have to do is say a few words. We figured, what the hell?

So we went off and had our Saturday fun, all the while with me brainstorming ideas for this video. I quickly decided we'd shoot it at the Palace of Fine Arts. Her boyfriend owned a video camera (and most people didn't in those days); he agreed to shoot it. I wrote a script and a week later, we shot it at the Palace of Fine Arts on yet another sunny Saturday. I had her walking during part of the piece and the entire background cooperated perfectly. The wedding groups (it was always a popular place for wedding photos) weren't in our line of sight and the swans in the pond swam into the shot at the perfect moment. She stood in front of the pond as she said the last of the script and then her boyfriend pannned up slightly to catch the rays of the late afternoon sun. It turned out just the way we'd hoped. We mailed it off to MTV...and promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks later, M. got a call at work. She'd been selected as one of the five finalists for the contest. The videos for the final five were being shipped to Genesis in Barcelona where they were on tour. They band was going to choose the winner. They ended up choosing some dorky looking guy. I consoled M. by saying that I imagined it was the Genesis wives who'd probably nixed the idea of choosing her--that they probably wouldn't have liked the idea of this young hottie hitting the road with their hubbies for a couple of weeks. (Frankly, I wouldn't have liked it either if it had been me.)

But for a week or so (as we waited to hear who the band had selected) it was sure fun to fantasize about sitting on the Concorde, landing in Paris (one of my favorite cities) and spending all that cash...


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