The Unit

Directed by Charles Rudnick

Nintendo, Inc., contacted Charles Rudnick of 3 Street Productions in San Francisco to create an industrial which demonstrates this "new product." It was shown at a convention where people waited for hours for a chance to view this new, exciting product. It was all very non-disclosure at the time of the shoot, not that I learned anything about it anyway.

We shot the piece on the 41st floor of Embarcadero One, and the views were fantastic, the craft table was bursting with goodies, the weather was blissful, and I seemed to be the executive in charge of this fictional office.

Here Charles takes matters and the camera into his own hands to check out the next shot.

And the next shot is me standing in front of a white board giving instructions to one of my more hapless employees played wonderfully by Bill Glanting. I couldn't help but see Bill Macy in Glancing's every gesture and expression. Here's Bill (right) and Richard getting ready to do some serious shooting.
I was told the sound would be on, but they wouldn't be using it. So, with every take, I gave Bill different instructions to react to: "Oprah called. She's had a change of heart. Buy beef." "Don't forget to call Martha." "Hydrogen cars are flooding the market. Buy air, sell gas." "Einstein's brain has been cloned. Buy genetics." The crew said it perked them up after a long day of setting up shots. I got a little relief as well from a typically long day of waiting. And as it turned out, they did use one of the lines.

Taken from the terrace outside the offices on the 41st floor of Embarcadero One. The view is nice from the top, isn't it? It was a much bigger vista, but I used my telephoto lens to hone in on the action. Can you see any of the wild parrots of Telegraph Hill?


Here, I take away the Unit from another of my subordinates. Am I angry at him for playing on the job? Do I hide it away to investigate later? Do I excitedly say, "It's my turn," and continue enthusiastic play? I do all of them so final choices can be made later. They used the "It's my turn," line. I ended up having two lines of dialogue in this short piece; the only dialogue in the piece.

I appreciated having the opportunity to play with all the alternatives. This was a really enjoyable shoot and the crew and fellow actors were all congenial while professional. Let's do it again sometime!