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Friday, April 24, 2009

His Name Is "Earl"

Young, aspiring filmmakers in their 20s are an impatient, though rather charming lot. They believe that if they manage to finagle some face-time with a great film director, they are allowed to give him or her their often poorly contrived scripts. But they look good doing it, and they are so darn earnest and who wants to trample on their dreams?

That's exactly what happened last night at Spike Lee's talk at the hyper-trendy Apple Soho Store in New York City. Spike, there to talk about the Tribeca Film Festival and his entries, was bombarded with beautiful 20-somethings impatient at waiting for celebrity, hoping to get discovered. As a result, "Earl," Spike Lee's longtime assistant Earle Smith who was tasked with collecting scripts and assorted tchotchkes from ambitious young filmmakers in the audience (and, no doubt, promptly reconnoitering them to the wastebasket) -- was a popular guy. From IndieWIRE:

"“This is like ‘This is Your Life’ meets a job fair,” the Museum of the Moving Image’s David Schwartz said to Spike Lee as he moderated their discussion at the Apple Store in SoHo last night. The packed event, which reached capacity well before Lee entered the building, saw an eclectic mix of audience members eager to share their six degrees of separation to Mr. Lee. Two audience members had gone to his Brooklyn high school, one had worked as a production assistant on 'Bamboozled,' while another thanked him for employing her family on many of his sets.

"Additionally - and more prominently - audience members had a wide array of gifts for Lee, from their scripts to their screeners to the posters of their films. Lee politely answered their requests for advice, and would yell over at his long-time assistant, Earl, to collect the gifts. By the end of the discussion, whenever a new audience member would request Lee to see their work, the rest of the audience would announce in unison with Lee, 'Earl!'"

Poor Earl. Then again, hard-working Earl probably got the last laugh afterwards, while leisurely deciding which tchochkes he would keep and which would be commended to the final mercies of the dumpster.

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