Leonard Nimoy and The Stupid Museum People - Part 2
As with music videos, I never learn my lesson. Another museum project came my way a few years later. Did I turn it down? No. Despite the wear and tear on my fingernails holding on to the last few shreds of capability and patience for the industry, I headed into my late 50s with no clue as to how to remove myself from the job of line producer, which, as mentioned before, required that I perform as nursemaid to everyone except myself.
And I would like to tell you that at least this science museum did not fit the mold of the previous science museum which recently sandbagged me, but I would be lying. The first tip-off should have been in the name of the institution.
The [Famous Person] Museum of Nature and Science.
For some reason that did not set the alarm bells clanging at about 150 decibels.
A month into the project, we had the dreaded conference call. Once again, about 375 people with a similar 90/10 split between bloodsuckers and blood suppliers gathered. Jodie, Anna, and I dialed in, but before doing so, I turned to Jodie.
Me: “If you tell them I know Leonard Nimoy’s agent, they’ll never find your body.”
Jodie: “You talk a good game.”
Me: “I swear, if they mention an opening video, you can’t tell them about Leonard Nimoy.”
Creative Overlord 2.0, a woman with all the fine qualities of the previous Creative Overlord, came onto the call. I won’t bore you with how Jodie coldcocked me this time around. Suffice it to say, she did, but since she exposed me, and after the Chant of the New Sycophants died down, I took control.
Me: “Alright. I will contact Leonard Nimoy’s agent.”
Cheers from the sycophants.
Me: “But I want the assurances from the Museum that if Mister Nimoy agrees to do this, that we will hire him with no questions asked. Is that a deal?”
The cheers died a quick death.
Me: “My last foray into this arrangement resulted in two embarrassing phone calls to his agent, and I lay that responsibility on the last museum. All Mister Nimoy wanted was a donation (I gave them the amount . . . but doubled it, just in case. I had learned a few things in 30 years) to one of his charities. If you are not interested in making a donation of this size, please let me know now before I attempt this again.”
370 signoff beeps filled the air, as the sycophants fled the scene and any sort of possibility in being named as an accomplice. Only Creative Overlord 2.0 remained on the line with us.
Creative Overlord 2.0: “What if Mister Nimoy wants more than what you’ve mentioned?”
Me: “I’ll start the negotiation lower, and if they want to go higher than what I’ve quoted you, I’ll pull the offer. If they’re that interested in the project, his agent will figure something out. But again, unless you’re willing to go to at least the level I’ve mentioned, I do not want to make the overture.”
Creative Overlord 2.0 agreed to let me take the offer to Leonard Nimoy’s agent, who, once again, asked for the script and sent it onto Leonard. A few days later she called back. Leonard Nimoy would like to do the project but the request for a charitable donation did increase. However, not beyond the bounds of what I’d mentioned to The Stupid Museum People.
Elated and euphoric I scheduled a call with Creative Overlord 2.0 and a handful of his sycophantic followers, all of whom, from what I could tell from what few sounds they were making, stood several feet away from the conference room table and the speakerphone. I launched into what I thought would be followed by a parade through Times Square.
Me: “Leonard Nimoy is interested in the project and likes the script. His requirements are for the donation to the charity of his choice in the following amount, $XXXX, which I emailed to you prior to the meeting. We should schedule this as soon as possible.”
Creative Overlord 2.0: “Well, we’ve been thinking about it, and we aren’t sure we can afford this type of donation coming from a non-profit.”
[While I will admit to a certain amount of embellishment or hyperbole to this point in my conversations, this reply is verbatim.]
After the accusations concluded and Creative Overlord 2.0 reminded me several times as to who the client was in this relationship, I changed my attitude. Okay, I didn’t.
Me: “You agreed to do this. Got it? AGREED! Now, you’re telling me you were lying? What the HELL is going on over there?”
Creative Overlord 2.0: “Are you calling me a liar?”
Me: “Yes I am. You’re a liar. Would you like THAT in an email too?”
Again, verbatim. Creative Overlord 2.0 hung up. The production company, at the request of the client, removed me from the project . . . temporarily as it turns out.
NEXT WEEK: Owen Wilson to the Rescue!