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Shootout Producer’s Diary: Getting the Coens and Three Cameras on U2

Editor’s Note: Gary Marks, an executive producer with
AMC’s Shootout, is tracking his experiences doing the show from

It’s 2 am, day 4 or 5, depending on how you’re counting. Unfortunately, counting has become impossible. Here’s the snapshot of the last 24 hours.

What began as a disaster turned into huge smiles all around. Friday, after finally arranging our packed shooting schedule, the publicists for the Coen Brothers called us while we were at dinner. And, at that point, dinner was already two hours of waiting in a jammed restaurant, our having been served only undercooked artichokes thus far. The point of the call was this: the last chance to see the Coen Brothers’ movie before the interview was 11:30 am, right in the middle of a series of interviews we’d already scheduled.

But, we’re talking the Coen Brothers. So, five hours later (4:30 am), we rearranged the schedule to work it out.

Flash forward. We’re interviewing the Coen Brothers. The Coen Brothers don’t do a lot of interviews, and I don’t know how you feel, but – they’re the COEN BROTHERS. I mean, Barton Fink. Anyway, It was a great interview, and they enjoyed us so much, that they offered us Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald (the stars of the movie) for additional interviews.

Then, off to the party that AMC threw for Sunday Morning Shootout. Very gratifying to see Peter Bart, Peter Guber and Executive Producer (and good friend) Scott Sternberg get on stage to deserved accolades.

Later, I walked the red carpet and attended the premiere of the Coen Brothers’ “No Country For Old Men.” To walk the red carpet at Cannes, looking down from the top of the stairs to the throng and flash of cameras, it gives you a new perspective to the power of film and the power of celebrity.

That would have been a great day. But, our line producer, Jackie Hakim (who rocks – I mean, ROCKS), caught wind of a rumor that U2 was performing live on the steps of the Palais. She secured an apartment across to shoot it, and the night ended with a three camera shoot of U2 performing “Vertigo” and “Where The Streets Have No Name.”  So, all in all, just an average day in the life of a producer.

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