We recently had a film crew set up their equipment and shoot an interview with Whitley in our apartment–for the second time (the first time didn’t work out very well). They offered to send a car for Whitley to ride out to a studio to do the shoot, but because of his bad back, he didn’t think he could sit in a car that long, so they came to us.
Setting up a makeshift studio in a small apartment is a matter of tucking lights and cameras into crevices and moving furniture around. When you have a fairly small living space, everything fits together like a jigsaw puzzle and has to be returned to exactly the spots where it was originally placed or nothing works.
The crew filmed Whitley for over three hours, until we were all starving, so as soon as they left, we hopped in the car and made off for our favorite new restaurant in a "hippie" part of town. As we slurped down noodles, Whitley added some words to a "Scrabble"-like game he’s playing on his iphone with a friend who’s having chemo in San Antonio.
This sounds altruistic, and I guess it started that way, but now he sees it as a challenge (this gal is GOOD), so he looks forward to finding a word that will get him the most points. I have to dissuade him from playing the game in the car at stop lights or else, while he’s searching for exactly the right word, a chorus of honking rises up.
It’s not as bad in LA as it would be in New York City, where the cars (cabs, especially) honk their horns at you a few seconds BEFORE the light turns green.
A funny thing happened during the filming: Whitley came into the room after having changed from jeans into a pair of "good" slacks, only to have them immediately fall down to his ankles, because he’s lost so much weight from his illness.
It was like something out of an old Laurel and Hardy movie. As I admonished him (between guffaws), "This is a documentary, NOT a comedy!"
But alas, this is one scene you WON’T see because (thank goodness) the camera wasn’t rolling yet.