Pablo (2012) - full transcript

Pablo blends documentary and animation elements to tell the saga of "famous unknown" Pablo Ferro, a man with a personal journey that spans from Havana, during the pre-Cuban revolution to his current home, in the garage behind his son's house. The animation part of the film takes us through the dream-scape of Pablo's memories, while the documentary footage chronicles a very eccentric lifestyle of a 72 year old artist, once hailed by Stanley Kubrick as the father of the sixties look and the MTV aesthetics.



May I have your

attention please?

May I have your

attention please?

Thank you.

This is Pablo Ferro.

Pablo who?

Who is Pablo Ferro?

Kind of a wild eyed

romantic artist.

Very bohemian.

Gypsy, I had the feeling

he was a bit of a gypsy.

This...this is a pipe.

He's a red scarf.

He's really the 60s.

A leprechaun.

He's Yoda.

New pattern.

Just a little

askew of the center.

He's surprising.

And he's also just

your average guy.

He's ephemera man,

he's a miasmic.

He's an optical illusion man.

You ain't gonna

pin point the boy.

This is a garage.

Sort of frail, intense guy

who wanted to make art.

This is the bomb.

A very gentle, loving guy.

This is right after

Castro took over.

That's why I was surprised

when I heard about some

violence having to do

with him in New York.

This is a sauna.

The image of Pablo...

To see him, he's like a walking

work of art, you know.

This is the cloud.

Is it going to rain?

This is

the Art Director's Club,

and that comes apart.

The D and the A.

This is Stanley Kubrick.

This is Stanley Kubrick.

There's a kind of liberation.

Anything works with Pablo.

This is the video cutting

room and art department.

All the art work and research.

And here is

the Napoleon Dynamite.

The original drawing.

Did you do that of yourself?


A portrait.

Yeah, a caricature.

He doesn't have any

opinions about people.

He likes everybody.

Everybody's got his story,

and that's fine by Pablo.

These are naked girls.

Are two better than one?

Something about

the essence of Pablo Ferro.

He has a kind of revolutionary

feel to him.

He's like certain

shamans, you know.

When you evoke his name,

there's a kind of energy

and a humor, and a good will.

He's a true artist.

This is a phone.

Is it going to ring?

They're going to try to do

a little documentary on me.

So, I hope that it will

come out interesting.

Get the thing going, man.

A title sequence,

which he's done so many of,

can really set

the tone for a movie.

Of course, the positioning

of the credits in a movie

is huge because it's

the first thing you see.

Just like meeting people,

it's a first impression.

He's one of the very few

who've worked in his particular

matai, which is titles

who receives credit

for their titles.

Big tribute is going on

tonight for Hollywood

movie master by the name

of Pablo Ferro.

You may not know the name,

but I bet you know the work.

Been in the movie theater

in the past 40 years,

you've seen Pablo Ferro's work.

Have you ever walked out

of a movie and wondered

why you liked the opening

title sequence better

than the film itself?

The designer of trailers

and opening credit sequences,

his work is often more memorable

than the film itself.

How can you say don't worry

about it when every single

image including the title

and the way the title

is presented begins

to have an effect.

Neutral is negative.

If it's just okay,

"Oh, it didn't hurt anything,

we're just getting it,"

then it's negative.

I'm convinced to that.

One time I was accused

of subliminate advertising.

They would say, "Pablo,

I'm sure somewhere in there,

there's a frame that says,

Hire Pablo, hire Pablo."

Pablo, thank you

so much for being here.

My pleasure.

This is Pablo Ferro

arriving on the scene.

I love your stuff, Pablo.

It's just a great look.

It's great.

It happened by accident.

A friend of mine back

in the 60s did one for me.

Oh, so you just like,

it's like your signature.

Yeah, and became, I'd be

wearing it all the time,

and all of sudden he says,

"Oh, is that your sash?"

I said, "I guess so."

Well, it's a classi--

See it never dates when

you do something like this.

You can wear it every season.


Every decade,

and it's a classic.

It's fine, everybody

likes it when they see it.


You don't bump into those

people that are distinguished

themselves from that area.

You know, he was a...

he was a star.

He was a superstar

in that area.

Pablo Ferro.

Thank you.

He's one of those

guys that has a kind

of a legendary aspect.

Give it to Pablo,

leave him alone for two weeks,

he'll come up with something.

And he does a lot of

different things as you know.

Commercials, acting, films,

trailers, graphics,

whatever you want.

Plus he's funny...

to me anyway.

I think so.

Probably his most important

contribution to any film

he works on is just

the fact that he's there.

I think that it has to do

with the God given gift

of talent combined

with the kind of hard work

that goes into making

something look easy.

This is Cuba.

Okay, let's see,

what can I tell you?

I was born in a small village

in Cuba called Antilla in 1935.

Everywhere I went

I drew pictures.

Always drawing pictures.

Life was good.

But that always changes, right?

We're talking about,

it was Batista was in,

and it was just, you know,

my father being a student

and being rebellious.

He was involved in

that type of politics.

But sometimes, you know,

they don't like you

to voice opinions.

So, if he didn't leave Cuba,

I think they would have put him

in jail or done away with him.

This is Pablo Ferro

leaving Cuba.

Could you think

I wanted to leave Cuba?

I had no choice.

My father went first,

then we followed.

All six of us.

This is Pablo Ferro

arriving in America.

I never saw snow,

so when I saw it, I said,

"What the hell is this?"

Somebody like that

came over from Cuba

when he was 12 years old

and never wore shoes

before he came over.

That is to say we know very

few people who lived in

the country with no plumbing

until they were 12 years old

and then came to New York City

and was able to sustain himself.

My father, he'd sit down

and he'd have his daily drink

and then my poor mother would

come change into her house dress

and then she'd start dinner

because God forbid, you know,

in those days your husband

would help the wife that way.

I saw how demanding

and how unappreciative

the rest of the men

were in the family.

But Pablo was very thoughtful.

He always considered

your feelings.

After two years

of living in America

my father left us.

I said, "Pendejo,"

and that was it.

He was gone.

This is Pablo Ferro

becoming the man of the house.

My other brother

was in the service

and Pablo was the sole

provider for us.

Even though my mother

still worked, he worked.

My dad wasn't there.

I'm always looking

for more work to help

support the family.

One day I run into this

cinema, this art cinema.

And they offered me

a job as an usher.

And I said sure.

It was great because I was

able to see the masters.

This is Pablo Ferro

discovering cinema.

It was a foreign

film movie theater.

They only showed foreign.

And every two weeks,

there'd be a new billing.

I would watch the same

film over and over.

I really loved it.

There's a film that

is really good.

The best Vittorio De Sica.

It was called Miracle in Milan.

Here he deals with fantasy

and reality at the same time.

The film opens with this old

lady living by herself

when she found this baby.

And then she brought

the baby up and taught him

how to be a nice person.

He's like an angel.

And he would always be saying

bongiorno, good morning.

He likes people.

People would say,

"What's so good about it?"

At the end he asks

everybody to grab a broom.

And they get on and he

starts to fly away.

And they're flying away

and they have a song

and it says, "We're going

to a land where good morning

means good morning."

And that's the way it ends.

And it's beautiful,

beautiful film.

You really could relate to it.

I saved some money.

I got myself an animation book.

I taught myself how

to become an animator.

Now, the manager of the theater

figured out that

I knew how to draw.

He said, "Oh, I want some

sketches promoting the outside,

so people would come in."

Well, I did one that I like.

It was Bitter Rice,

where legs are spread

and it's wearing those

mini cut things like that.

So, I took the picture

and blew it up.

And then this part was

in the box office.

So, when you buy a ticket,

you buy it through the legs.

And they loved it.

We sold a lot of tickets.

This is Pablo Ferro

getting paid money.

And this is a sauna.


take some deep breaths.

You can relax now,

just normal breathing.

Pablo generally has

a real difficult time

during the winters.

Usually the cold weather

makes the pain a lot worse.

There tends to be

more inflammation.

He gets gets a lot of all

the muscular problems.

Muscle tension, muscle spasm.

It's just the heat

from the sauna helps

the muscles somewhat relax,

and the end result is,

well, a little less pain.

You used to get a massage

in the past, right?


On a regular basis?

Not now, I can't

afford it anymore.

How about the sauna?

This is Pablo Ferro's

doctor suggesting a sauna.

I got to get a,

I got to get a big job

to get the sauna.

A big job for that.

They always talk.

What about talking?


Well, I'm looking at

a strip now called Alley Ugh.

And it's a very

distinctive style.

It's somebody who has

a good sense of humor,

and also a sense of drama.

It's laid out very well.

The story telling is good.

And it doesn't look

like the average strip.

The artist who drew this

had his own recognizable,

individualistic style.

Obviously Pablo Ferro.

That's what I brought

over the Stan Lee to see

if he'd want to publish it.

When I showed him the portfolio

and he says, "Did you ink that?"

I said, "Yeah, I inked it

and I drew it, and I wrote it"

And he said,

"Okay, you're hired."

And I got hired in

the industry that way.

It was one of the few

industries where your

age didn't matter,

your religion didn't matter,

the color of your

skin didn't matter,

your nationality,

all that we would do was

look at the artwork.

And, "Hey, that looks good,

you're hired.

Here's a strip to do"

That was unusual.

Most of the artists in comics

stayed with the comics

most of their lives.

The fact that Pablo was able

to go from comic book art

to directing commercials,

that was a tribute

to Pablo's talent.

Welcome to a brief lesson in

the history of TV commercials.

This is a television.

A television commercial is

an advertisement in which

goods, services, organizations,

or ideas are promoted via

the medium of television.

The first television

commercial was aired in 1941

by Bulova Watch Company.

It displayed a Bulova watch

over a map of the United States

and the narrator announcing,

"America runs on Bulova time."

This is an average 1950's


I think we all agree

on Sugar Smacks.


It wasn't effectively

positioning its client

in the market place.

Folks, don't wait, get

Kellogg's new Sugar Smacks,

candy sweet.

This is Pablo Ferro's


Tempo frozen

garden peas.


Widely considered

the new standard

on Madison Avenue.


delightedly announces.

Good old fashion sourball

flavor is back.

He brought the comic book

sensibility to the TV screen.

The commercials that he did

were as imaginative

and as colorful

and as fun to look at

as his illustrations

in the comics.

What Pablo was doing was

injecting graphic design,

graphic design techniques

or comic book techniques

onto film.

Pablo is a precursor

of what's going on now

in motion graphics.

He was the quintessential,

experimental and exploratory

director, you know.

His sense of humor,

or his sense of the absurd

were very special.

This is a time

consuming detail.

The kind that could

eat up hours of a state

fund agent's time.

Animation teaches you

patience when you

can work things out.

Pardon me, sir.

How are you going to send

your children to college?

It's all taken care of.

Teaches you about the flow.

What works, what doesn't work,

in that image.

Oh, where is my

County Fair bread?

Hold out for County Fair bread.

I started treating

live action and graphic

like it was animation.

And I could cut the little

pieces together to just

get the right action.

Pablo was on the leading

edge of the fast paced,

quick cut cacophony of images.

He was there

and he was on that wave.

I was able to put graphic

lettering, live action, stills

all together into one film.

But I had to cut them short.

I made all the scenes shorter,

but a longer scene

would be a frame.

When you're young it's like

everyone wants to change you.

He believed that

people could absorb

and retain information,

either visual information

or written information

told in this machine gun style.

If it's anything to do

with fabric, we do it

at Burlington Industries.

And we do more of it than

anyone in the world.

He was doing things

that I wasn't aware he

was the first one to do.

I mean, things that had

a huge effect afterwards,

things that we take

for granted now.

He began working

at a studio called Electra,

which was a very high

design studio.

And then he was in business

with Freddy and then

with Lou Schwartz.

He just had a knack for it.

I would say it was a quick rise

to stardom there for Pablo.

We would go to these...

There was a couple of

belly dancer places over on

the Eighth Avenue somewhere.

And Pablo would be buying

a round, you know,

"Buy a round for the bar,

you know, for the band.

Buy a round here."

And he really splurged a lot.

We used to call him, Bucks.

Then the things got bad.

Then we started to call him

Pennies, ha-ha-ha!

We met at a party that

Pablo had been invited to.

And Pablo asked who I was.

And Jimmy, my husband told him

that I was his sister.

That Jimmy was--I was

Jimmy's sister.

So, Pablo came into a very

different state of mind.

This is Pablo Ferro

falling in love.

And I was pregnant

with Allen.

Pablo suddenly would be making

excuses for not wanting

to join us or come over.

And I was very upset about it.

You know, maybe in

the back of my mind

I wanted to have a break

with Jimmy because I was really

looking at Pablo differently.

I was beginning to realize

that he was more important

to me than just a friend.

And I left him, I left Jimmy.

Pablo said,

"Why don't we get married?"

And I said, "What?"

It seemed like

a great idea to me.

We got married in Cuba,

and then when we came back,

not only was I divorced,

I was married.

And for my mother...

I can not tell you.

I just was so

thrilled and happy.

I felt like I was

breaking out of an egg

and the sun was shining.

This is the bomb.

The '60s were

filled with anxiety

and filled with seeds

of revolution, in a way.

You'll have to know

what happens when

an atomic bomb explodes.

Everybody was frightened

of a nuclear war between

Russia and America.

You duck, then you cover.

Everybody was living in

a state of paranoid fear.

There are two

kinds of attack.

With warning

and without any warning.

It was difficult times.

♪ Kennedy for me

♪ Kennedy, Kennedy

♪ Kennedy, Kennedy ♪

And this handsome man,

this beautiful woman,

this perfect family.

As charismatic as he was,

you know, on screen

and TV and all of that,

when you saw him in person

it was electrifying.

Seemed to be only

talking to you.

There was a personal connection,

yet he was making that

connection with millions

and millions of people.

You know, this is our time.

This is it.

He represents us

and all the possibilities,

all the possibilities.

President Kennedy

died at 1:00 PM

central standard time.

Two o'clock eastern

standard time.

And when that happened,

it just was a heart break.

It was a heart break.

And it hardened you

for a long time after that.

It made for those cynical times.

It made for that drug culture.

It made for all of that.

The ground shifted, it shifted.

So, my agent got a call

from Stanley Kubrick,

who was working on the film

about the end of the world.

Some sort of a comedy.

He saw my reel and he wanted

me to do his trailer

even though I have never

done a trailer before.

This is Stanley Kubrick.

Yeah, he hired me

before I got there.

He says, "I want that person,

I want that person

to do this job."

Let me talk to him

and see what he wants.

He knew about me,

he knew about my work.

He did good research.

And I didn't know

anything about him.

He always took us with him.

We traveled a lot.

He was just absolutely

the best fun.

It was very exciting.

I think it was just...

He was just very, very cool.

Really, a real pro,

and yet, he has real talent.

Welcome to a brief lesson

in the history of trailers.

A trailer is an advertisement

for a film about to be released.

The first trailer was projected

in 1911 when the following

18 words flickered

on screen for 15 seconds.

This is an average 1950's


Yes, it came from outer

space to bring you

unforgettable suspense.


Who are the all powerful

creatures it brought

from outer space?

And what did they want on Earth?

Not effectively positioning

the film in the market place.

And this is Pablo Ferro's


Widely considered

the first trailer

of contemporary times.



Oh, oh.

Ten females to each male.

Every now and then somebody

will come along with something

fresh and different.

Hitchcock did his own trailers.

And in this house the most

dire horrible events took place.

And they're distinctive.

And they were very much taking

advantage of his public persona.

A split second

off timing and...

Cecile B. Demille

did the same thing,

and he had a large

public persona.

No, it's not make believe.

And of course Orson Welles

made a classic and famous

trailer for his first

film, Citizen Kane.

How do you do,

ladies and gentlemen.

This is Orson Welles.

But those were

the exceptions to the rule.

When Dr. Strangelove's

trailer came along,

no one had ever seen

anything like it.

It was sending a very loud

signal to the audience.

This movie's different.

We're showing you

a commercial for it

that's utterly contemporary

and completely different.

Perfect match.

We sold a lot of tickets.

And a theater in Texas made

an ad out of it saying,

"Come and see the wildest

trailer that was ever made."

Perhaps if they went

to see experimental films

at the Museum of Modern Art

or an Avant-garde film festival,

maybe they would have

seen something that

approached that technique.

Where's the bathroom?

Dr. Strangelove.

But even there they might

not have seen what he

pulled off in that trailer.

Love the bomb.

A moving picture.

When I finished the trailer,

Stanley asked me to stay on

a little longer

to set up the movie

with an opening title sequence.

To be the ultimate weapon,

a doomsday device.

We were having a conversation

and then he asked what

I thought about human beings.

And I said everything the humans

invent is always very sexual.

All the machinery,

it's always like that.

We looked at each other

and said B52 refueling

in mid air, of course.

So, that's when I got the idea

to do the tall lettering.

Together it worked.

You were able to see

the lettering and the plane

at the same time.

It set the tone for the film,

so that people weren't afraid.

Is it a black comedy?

Are we allowed to laugh?

Which is a big thing

that's right in the front

of Strangelove.

Seeing those two

airplanes and saying,

"I think this is funny."

They were so crude

and so child-like,

yet so sophisticated.

Dr. Strangelove

was immediately

celebrated by critics,

by a lot of members

of the audience,

by many social commentators.

As we learned years later,

even by some members

of the American government.

It was a brilliant,

and remains a brilliant

black comedy.

And Kubrick, a master

filmmaker at his very best.

At the height of his power.

To Pablo, he was

Kubrick's guy.

This creative odd fellow

that we'd never seen

anything like it.

Pablo Ferro was inducted

into the Art Director's

Hall of Fame in 2000.

An art director,

first of all has taste,

an educated taste.

An art director may not

take the photograph,

he may not do the drawing,

he may not write the copy,

but he knows how to put it

all together into a compelling

visual statement.

The first real

superstar was Saul Bass,

and that was someone who

did brilliant opening credits

and whose name became so

identified with high quality

movies that it was considered

a plus up front, in a movie.

It's a very small group

of geniuses that are known

for their brilliant

title design.

You can see that the title

design is so major a part

of the creative ingredients

going into that film.

Even the choice of graphics,

the choice of type face,

the boldness

of the presentation.

All of that puts you in

the right frame of mind

if it's doing its job,

for the movie to follow.

Pablo seemed to be

tremendously in touch

with the changing times

and tastes in the 1960s.

He's associated with key films

that really speak for their

time, speak for their era.

"Dr. Strangelove" would be one.

"The Russians Are Coming,

The Russians Are Coming",

which was the first time that

he worked with Norman Jewison.

I was trying to make a film

which was a political satire.

It be like making

"The Arabs Are Coming" today.

And so, we brought Pablo

out to California.

We discussed for a long time

about how we could

open the film.

We sat and talked

and I said, "What if we

use a musical opening?"

Yankee Doodle Comes to Town.

And put against that

the Red Army chorus.

And if we put that against,


So, we started

to play with music.

And Pablo came up

with the idea that maybe

we could have two flags.

And all of a sudden

things started to work.

He worked for months

on his little film.

He never regarded it as titles,

it was his little film.

It's quite brilliant.

He was doing

"The Russians Are Coming,

The Russians Are Coming"

when he met

my good friend Hal,

and he became a friend for life.

They were both so passionate,

so committed to film,

they would sit for hours

and hours and hours

experimenting with film

and cutting it

and smoke a little.

And it became a very

close relationship.

They were bonded very deeply.

Hal Ashby was tremendously

artistic, creative, passionate

filmmaker who was able

to channel his work

into the mainstream.

His ongoing collaboration

with Pablo was one

of the great little

passages in American cinema.

Hal looked like a hippy.

He had long hair and a beard,

and wore hippy clothes,

and this is in the 60s,

that's when there were hippies

and there were straight people.

And Pablo and Hal,

the two of them walking down

the old Goldman lot

was quite a site because

Hal with his beads

and long hair and beard,

and Pablo who looked

like he just kinda

stepped off of a nickel.

It was an interesting sight.

They were very similar

in their ethos.

Very compassionate people.

I think it has to do with

the soul of the artist.

I think true artists are

out to help each other.

Pablo and Hal were

on the same wavelength

in so many ways.

They enjoyed life

in the same way.

They just...they got

the 60s in the same way.

They were of the same type

of personality, you know,

which is not too many people

were on that frequency.

And they probably still are

even though Hal's

no longer with us, you know.

"Russians Are Coming"

became a great success.

And it was shown the first

time in Washington.

I was really nervous

because we were showing it

for the Vice President

of the United States,

and a huge gathering

of diplomats from

all over the world.

And senators and congressmen

and Supreme Court judges,

and I thought,

"What's gonna happen when

they see what Pablo has done?

When the Communist flag

fills the screen.

And what's gonna happen?"

And you know something,

they got it.

They started to applaud

the titles.

He wasn't essentially political,

but he saw the red

in both flags.

Yeah, absolutely.

Susan and I decided

to have a child together.

We named her Joy.

She was the most

beautiful girl.

As a father, I think

that for the most part

he was just too young.

So, there really couldn't

be much, you know, of--

of--of a--of a real father

as we would perceive

real fathers to be

in a traditional sense.

"I want you to go up

and clean your room,

and then do your homework,

and then come down

and have dinner."

You know, that' know,

that wasn't my father.

So, it's your birthday,

you want to go to the beach?


Get on an airplane,

go to the Bahamas.

That's my father.

Allen, come over here.

Come over here.

Come here.

When you're young

and you've got your kids,

and when you're married,

you want them to be

always there, which

really wasn't possible.

There were other people who

were vying for his attention.

And I just didn't

feel equal to that.

I didn't know how to--

Didn't know how to handle it.

His life was going in

a separate direction.

I think it was,

it was like values.

Like how do you want

to live your life everyday?

Do you want to be

on a 9-5 job

and come home and...

Or do you want to be

out with different artists

and free forming?

So, it wasn't like,

probably what Susan

had expected a marriage

to be like.

And then she pulled

against that.

She claimed that since

I was working with actresses,

I was doing things.

I said, "I don't have

the energy to begin with.

I'm very happy at home.

That's enough for me."

During that time there

were a lot of drugs and sex,

which was really

very commonplace.

And I think that

somewhere along the line,

he was enticed into that,

and I could not follow.

It was right after

we had our little Joy.

At that point he

wanted me to join in,

and there was no way.

I went to a hypnotist

to have the hypnotist

take away the aversion that

I had, you know, towards that.

And I know for a fact,

nobody can hypnotize you

into do something that you

really don't want to do.

No way.

It's got to be a seed in there,

otherwise it won't take.

That's when I...that's when

I felt I got to draw the line.

That's when I said, you know,

God if you help me,

I'll leave him.

When I did, he never

ever expected that.

And it was very hurtful to him.

I think it just knocked

the real foundation off of him.

It was devastating to me.

It broke my heart

and it's been a big issue

in my entire life,

if you want to really

know the truth.

He would often on come

in and out of our lives.

He inwardly really desired that

family that he could never,

he didn't understand that

the business was not

going to allow him.

As a star, he would

not be allowed.

He's expressed to me

many times how he's

cared for her.

He will never be able

to reconcile that.

And that's just the fix.

Don't deal with it

and it's gone away.

You make mistakes,

some of them you can't repair.

But time has a way of at least

healing them somewhat.

It was going great all

that time till she said, no.

And went, "Wow."

And I still don't understand.

So, I moved out.

I think what happened

was the '60s opened up,

and suddenly he wanted more.

He wanted his life

to be more open.

She wanted family

and he wanted a little

whoop-dee-doo in his life.

A little more excitement.

And why not?

This...this is a pipe.

And this is Pablo Ferro

scoring pot.

The thing about drugs

is it opens you wide up.

Your perspective

changes, you know.

These guys are living proof

that it certainly worked

for the art world.

It would've been very different

if they weren't doing this.

They wouldn't have

been who they were.

You never get an obvious,

anything obvious

or anything borrowed.

It would always be fresh.

And you never knew where

he was going to take it.

...devilishly ingenious

scheme work?

Will Angel's kinky miniskirts

prove too distracting?

See "Kaleidoscope".

Sometimes he would spend

three or four days

on one little word

in a title sequence

that it just didn't flow right,

or the crawl wasn't right,

or the way the images moved,

you know.

Like insects he's studying them.

They're pulsating even though

they're credits, or a trailer,

or montage.

To him they're alive.

You know?

I looked around

and ended up finding

this loft in the east village.

It was cheap with a lot

of space, and I thought,

"Yeah, I'm going to move

in here!"

That was on Second Avenue

and 12th Street

and another piece of his genius.

Well, when you walked in,

it was like a long hallway,

and you saw these posters

of JoJo The Dog Faced Boy and...

Old circus posters.

The Monkey Man.

Mona the Monkey Faced Girl.

There was no time

in Pablo's apartment.

Sometimes you would just

be there for days.

This was never, never land, man.

You kinda knew

an artist lived here.

It had to be an artist

or somebody very strange.

He had secret,

little stairways,

and compartments,

and it was wild.

I guess something in his mind

figured, "Wait a minute!"

He breaks through

his upstairs closet,

looks through and says,

"Oh my God,

it's another apartment!"

He put another bathroom up there

with a tub with mirrored walls

that didn't get foggy.

Very special.

It was a real, east village

happening place.

Girls coming in,

girls coming out.

A lot-- lot of young girls.

God knows where they

all are now.

It was open to everybody.

His home was like a--

kind of a cultural center

in New York for me.

I could easily adapt,

coming from Africa,

coming to Pablo's house.

The spirit was the same.

Giving, loving, caring.

Probably was like Paris

in the '20s.

As near as I could figure.

But I think he had

a barber chair or something

that had hydraulic lifts

on it or something that just

sent you way up higher,

and higher, and higher

that you would imagine

that a normal barber chair

would go.

The legend, the reality

of Pablo Ferro.

Who knows.

Good champagne, good grass.

He always had the refrigerator

was stocked with great stuff.

Dom Pérignon.

He always had Dom Pérignon.

He lived well, man.

He ate well.

I just used to love

to go there.

It was my favorite place to be.

There might be some stuff

in those drawers

that I might want.

So just tell me now

what you want in these guys

that aren't--

What are the first things

you want?

What should go in there?

Yeah, I just wanted

the labels.

Books for the living room.

Well, life can get tough.

Yes, there are--

years can go by

without a gig.

He certainly hasn't

had a big in vogue season.

"Oh, you gotta see

Pablo Ferro's work."

I don't know how many people

are saying that today.

You better be careful

with this award.

It comes apart very easy.

But there's a body of work

that would stun a lot of people

in this town who meet him

and don't know it.

This is Pablo Ferro

losing his home.

This is a garage.

Yeah, well, I just moved here

two months ago.

And then we're trying

to fix the garage

into a living studio.

This is Pablo Ferro

moving into his son's garage.

This is great.

I'm very happy here.

I feel more comfortable.

The other place was big

and all that stuff.

Just didn't feel right.

Pablo makes,

anywhere he lives,

he makes it his own.

He did make the best of it.

It was good for him

to be near family.

Hey, Grandpa.


What's up, grandpa?

How you doin'?

You've been doing a lot

of credits on the computer,



You've been controlling it

with relative ease.

They were a cohesive

family unit, and he was brought

into that.

So, it was nice.

And he made the best of living

in such a small space.

Next time I worked with Hal,

we had a big hit.

Both of us.

He was editing,

and I was hired to do

the multiples.

It was not business as usual.

That's what "The Thomas

Crown Affair" signifies.

It was something bold

and different,

and it's part of what made

that film so chic,

so stylish, so arresting.

By juxtaposing these images

simultaneously, we all

were thinking, "Wow, how cool,

how brilliantly fashioned."

What we in the audience saw

was this whole new

cinematic frontier

that had suddenly

been opened up.

It was just a caper movie.

Steve McQueen was masterminding

the thing,

and they didn't know him.

So, it was kinda

the perfect set up.

By putting multiple screens

on the same screen

where you were watching

five to six films

at the same time.

And it wasn't confusing.

Pablo just went crazy.

I made mattes.

Male and female mattes.

And after you're shooting

you put in the back,

and then you put your picture

behind it, and then you adjust

the picture to fit

into that mold hole.

I've talkin' through.

You shoot one panel,

and then you run back,

and then you shoot

the next panel.

Then you go,

reverse the film again,

and the third panel.

In one scene I had

about 66 panels.

Now if the guy would

have one mistake,

he has to do it all over again.

They looked at it,

they go, "Wow, Pablo,

it looks terrific,

but can you make it longer?"

The imitators, they tried

to capitalize on the excitement

of switching because everybody

wanted to see more of it.

It was considered that this

is something that's now

gonna be in most films.

It's certainly something

that the hippest films

wanna have in it.

Of course it got copied,


These things happen.

Everything gets trendy,

and then, you know,

beaten to death.

But he was the one

who first did it,

and he was the one

who did it best.

You know people

had never seen stuff

like that before.

Because then it was

I became a hero.

Everybody loved me.

And Steve McQueen

wanted to hire me.

He got me a fantastic apartment

in San Francisco

overlooking the bay.

I had very little time

to come up with an idea.

So I took

a black and white photograph,

and I cut out the word "Bullitt"

so you could see through.

I took it and I brought it

right up to his face.

And once he saw it,

he says, "Love it, let's do it!"

I wanted the camera

to always be moving

from right to left, always.

That was part of the design.

"Bullitt" was considered

the ultimate in cool

in the late '60s

and for many years to come.

Sony came out with this

portable black and white camera.

And I looked at it

and it was great.

So I bought two of them,

and also the deck.

So I could edit.

And I used those cameras a lot.

These cameras

were like surveillance cameras.

It was ancient,

archaic equipment.

Camera the size of a brick--

the same weight.

Heavy, reel to reel.

If one cable crossed another,

you'd get static,

and you know,

it was not easy work.

Well one of the great things

about half-inch video

in that whole period of time

was to be able to experiment.

Sometimes I'd have parties

and people came in

and shot at my apartment.

We did that for a lot of times.

You were shot,

or you're shooting.

It's great.

It was very spontaneous

and in the moment.

Very magical.

I felt like a part of me

was born at that time.

I met my wife

in that scene.

All those people

are still friends of ours.

We all do crazy things.

Some have it on tape,

some don't have it on tape,

but we all do crazy things.

You know.

He shot that of these

two girls rolling

around on the bed.

The mirrors, you know,

and it was poetry.

We were just--

we were right on the line, man.

We were just--

we were flowing.

The hair on my neck

stands up.

I'm not shitting you

when I tell you this right now.

The hair on my neck

stands up.

And it was a work of art.

By having this, kind of,

orgiastic scene,

and people were downstairs

seeing what the cuts were.

They didn't want to be

in the orgy, they wanted

to play with the mixer

instead of it.

You know what I mean?

And being pretty stoned

at the time.

Now, what I wanted

to tell America is

that the time has come

to realize

that we're all aware.

Every one of us know

what's going on.

And no secrets can be kept.

Because we all understand.

We're all aware.

We all know what's going down.

We might as well have it

all out front.

These are naked girls.

Are two better than one?

He didn't like it

that I wanted him

to be jealous or possessive.

He said, "You gotta be crazy.

This is as great as life gets."

You know, he truly believed

in this new dynamic

of life.

With someone like Pablo,

I don't expect anything.

You don't know, when you walk

in there, if there was three

half-naked teenyboppers

in the hot tub, you know?

Who he wouldn't talk to.

It was just like, I don't know,

part of a scene of a movie.

Why do you have

good vibrations with someone?

You just can't explain it.

Why do you look at someone

and you feel an attraction?

That's your vibrations in tune,

or sympathetic

with the other person's

vibrations, you know?

And many times nothing,

no word has to be spoken.

Pablo used to say to me,

you know, back in the days

when we were dating,

you know, "I'm strictly

a two-girl guy."

And I got that, I mean,

anybody that can express it

that well, it's like,

oh okay, I get that.

The music was on.

There was amyl nitrate poppers,

and I thought I was going to

die of sex.

I saw the front page

of the paper saying,

"Eighteen year old girl dies

of orgasms."

I swear to God.

I think that's pretty great.

I didn't, I lived

to tell tale.

I don't know, I gave up

trying to fix him up years ago.

Never worked out.

Seems like the next time

I'd seen him he was

with some fantastic woman.

And the next time I saw him,

she'd be gone.

I don't know.

I've been told

in all my wild,

new age metaphysical studies

that there's about a third of us

really cut out for intimate,

monogamous relationships,

and about a third of us cut out

for serial monogamy,

and another third of us

cut out to not even like

mess with it at all.

If you are who you are

and you admit who you are,

you're gonna find the people

who love you for who you are.

This is Pablo Ferro

opening the door.

We would like, I don't know,

I like the sauna

to be seven feet

so that you could lie down.

Okay, let's try this then.

This is Pablo Ferro

Googling a sauna.

Let me look at that one.

Look at this?


I would imagine that's

going to be very expensive.

See they won't even tell you

what the price is on that.

Then forget it, that's--

They want you to call up

to give you the bad news.


All these saunas

that we're looking at

that are two people saunas

that they're saying are little,

you know, are too small.

Five hundred dollar,

two person sauna

is a monolith.

You know, it's a coffin.

I mean, six by eight.

The way you had it before.


You know?

You don't utilize

a sauna traditionally.

You stay in there

for three hours.


So you gotta lie down

in this thing.

Let's see what we got here.

Oh yeah, this is easy

to lie down.

Yeah this, Eucalyptus.

Ah, it's the best!


The saunas come

in a variety of woods.

This one, for instance

is a Alaska Yellow Cedar.

It comes with prefabricated

walls that lock together

very simply.

And it's all got the insulation,

vapor barriers.

I had one like that,

but this is better constructed.

Yeah, this is, in my opinion,

this is the best constructed

sauna in the industry.

Like this one here.

Right, $3,500...

Three-- four thousand, sorry.

Four thousand, five hundred

is for the six by six.

I'd also, I was thinking,

maybe in the future I guess,

because that sounds kinda high,

a television.

Oh a television

inside the sauna?


How much time do you spend

in the sauna?

Uh, it depends.

Two, three hours.

Well that's a long time

for spending in the sauna.

Yeah I need it.


Because of my injury

I have on my back.

Oh, that was--

Well, I guess Pablo

told you about being shot?

The accident?

We had the video tape

machines ready to do

a playback.

We were looking

for some investors,

people gonna come over

and see some of the stuff

we had shot.

And um, I was on my way

over there and Frank and Pablo

were already there,

and somebody rang the door bell,

and Pablo answered it,

and he got very confused

when he saw Pablo.

The guy went bang!

Bam, got shot in the neck.

The next thing I know,

there was Pablo on the floor

in the most strangest position.

He was holding his neck

like this, he had two legs

on the ground, and one hand.

And he was going around

like in a circle.

I cradled him in my arm,

I could feel the wetness

in the back of it

from the blood.

I called the police,

and they came in,

and all these cops

were around me with guns drawn.

You know what I mean?

I mean like six of seven

of them.

Sir, back away

from the victim!

Show me your hands!

Get a fucking ambulance!

He's gonna die!

This is Pablo Ferro.

By the time I got there,

Pablo was in Bellevue Hospital,

under arrest.

Frank was in jail,

because they found some grass,

and things just went

in a different direction.

We thought it was somebody

was out to get us.

We didn't know why.

He was really

at death's door.

And so he was administered

the last rites

late that morning by a priest.

Pablo was on life support.

He was gonna die.

Yeah, and of course,

everybody, because Pablo

was such a wild character,

just had all these theories,

and this and that.

We'd talk about the dark side

in my mind, it was like

why did this dark thing

happen to him?

Why could something

that evil just come out

of nowhere?

Why-- who was it?

You know, there were lots

of strange things happening

in the country at the time,

you know,

the Manson thing was happening,

and other bizarre things.

Who knows.

You know, I mean they shot

John Lennon, right,

for doing what he did.

They could have just decided,

you know, I don't like this guy.

Some friends took him down

to the Virgin Islands

to recover for a few weeks

or a couple of months.

I was worried, you know,

will they follow us down here?

And I said to him,

"Pablo, you know who shot you?"

He said, "No, I don't."

And I made a decision then

to never ask him about it again.

But it had to happen.

Can't escape what's gonna happen

to everyone.


You just roll along.

Word it with your best

word you can.

This is a cloud.

Is it going to rain?

He doesn't feel well

if it's raining outside.

He feels like crap.

Because I'll say,

"Hey, how you doing, Dad?"

And he says, "Oh, I'm okay.

I'm better, I'm better today.

I wasn't feeling

too good yesterday.

I feel okay today."

And it's usually related

to how moist it is outside,

how cold it is.

In those days,

back in New York, weather

was just wreaking havoc on him.

He wouldn't have survived

another year there.

He would have not have survived.

I think it was time for him

to leave.

He was afraid,

and he didn't know

what was happening next,

and his kids were gone.

We were gone.

We didn't know

what was going on.

I could imagine him

upstairs in his room

by himself crying.

It was bad,

it was a bad time.

And of course, that didn't

help Pablo in the industry.

There was a certain fragrance

that came out of that I think

that didn't help Pablo

getting work.

And people thought,

"Well, you know, what's

this guy into?"

We may not be able

to do this.

Why not?

Because, um, we just don't

have enough, you know,

capital to do this.

We need to-- we need

to figure out a way

of getting enough money

to do this.

In this spot where you want

me to put it,

I have to put in foundation,

and plumbing, and electric.

And it's just gonna be a little

too much money at this moment.


Unless we get some

other work in, you know.

I don't see how we're gonna

be able to do that.

So, his wife is gone,

his kids are gone,

his business is gone,

and he's got the freakin'

hardly any use of his hand.

It was very shocking

to his system.

And it, you know,

just knocked him off his game

for awhile.

And he looked very different

at that time.

He had cut all of his hair off,

it was very, very short,

and he was very thin.

I knew that he was in pain,

and I knew that he had fallen

on hard times.

His reputation was not good.

And that was as simple

as it was.

You know, you adjust.

We all adjust to the reality.

You know, you operate

in whatever the reality is

at the time.

I just said to him,

"Pablo, you're too skinny.

You know what, it's okay

for you to let your hair grow.

It's okay for you

to be gorgeous.

Just because somebody came in,

hurt you once, doesn't mean

you have to be invisible."

Well, I wasn't getting work.

You know, I don't know.

Maybe because of the bullet,

who knows.

And that's where I was lucky

I got a call from Hal.

When Hal became a director,

he said, "Come out here,

and work with me."

Every film Hal made,

Pablo was the guy

to do all the campaign,

trailers, all that stuff.

No matter what.

There are very few,

great characters out there

who are loyal like Hal was

to Pablo, and Pablo to him.

This is a phone.

is it going to ring?

This is Pablo Ferro

looking for a gig.

Well, somehow

it always seems like

the job you just finished

is the last job you'll ever do

'till the phone rings again,

you know.

Hi, Grandpa.

Oh hi, sweetheart.

I brought your mail.

Thanks, just put it

over there.

Take a look here.

I'm making business cards.

See, when you do

handwritten cards

people appreciate it

because all they see

are the other ones.

Nobody ever makes it easy.

Life is not easy

for anybody who wants to create

some sort of vision

of something, or tell a story.


We do everything

by eye here.

My eye.

I was alone in New York,

and thinking it might be time

to pack my bags.

This is Pablo Ferro

splitting the scene.

He says, "Come over!

I got this job for you."

I said, "You've got me, man.

We'll put everything

in the truck."

He's been saving my life

all his life.

He's one of the very few

who've worked in his particular

metier, which is titles

who receives credit

for their titles.

Hal Ashby was one

of the great directors

of the 1970s.

He was one of the most

daring directors of that period.

He was somebody who addressed

taboo subjects in a very direct,

but humanistic

and often very funny way.

When Pablo came from New York

to L.A., he stayed at Hal's

and they spent a lot

of time together,

and were inseparable.

Things weren't going

so great, so I gave him a call,

and he immediately got me

on a plane and flew me out,

and I hadn't seen him

in like five years.

It was kinda a strange

reconciliation, but it was--

it was like I never left.

You know, we were back together.

We were working with Hal,

and a phone call came

into Hal's house.

It was a call for my father.

And it was Stanley,

and he was saying

he wanted him to come

and look at this film.

And my father's very honest

about what his situation is,

and he always has been.

"You know, I'm working with Hal,

and I've got this schedule

and everything."

He said, "Well, don't

worry about it, we'll just--

you could get on the Concord.

Get on the Concord!

It's a great ride!"

And I think my father

was used to being accosted

by Stanley at the time.

I mean Stanley would just

kidnap the whole family,

and utilize Pablo's--

in his work, and his ideas

until he was done,

and then say, "Now you

can go home now."

And it wasn't in

a malicious way.

I mean, he would take care

of us, I mean he flew us

all over there, put us up

in a nice place.

I went to school there.

It was all on Stanley's dime.

But I think that, maybe

my father, he may have voiced

a little resistance at the time.

Who is it?

Excuse me, can you

please help us, there's been

a terrible accident.

It's a matter of life and death!

I'm sorry, but we don't

usually let strangers in--

He showed me the picture,

and I went home,

went to the hotel,

and I locked all the doors.

Because I was very paranoiac

from the film.

And I heard

the "William Tell Overture".

I said, "Oh,

that's interesting."

One frame is in,

and one frame's out.

Looks like...

So the effects look

almost three dimensional.

"A Clockwork Orange"

was one of those movies

that had people talking.

It was a buzz at the moment.

And so for months you had

people saying, "Have you seen

"A Clockwork Orange"?"

I mean some people

were appalled, some people

were reviled, some people

were bowled over.

It had a whole range

of opinions but everybody

had an opinion.

It was one of those films.

So, 1981, the Rolling Stones

had what was then the biggest

rock and roll tour in history.

They traveled the world

playing only stadiums,

and Mick Jagger decided

that he wanted to make

a concert movie,

and chose Hal Ashby,

and Pablo Ferro to direct it.

This is Pablo Ferro,

and Hal Ashby co-directing

"Let's Spend

The Night Together".

I remember,

I was 15 years old,

and my dad was working

with the Rolling Stones,

and he wouldn't let me see them.

They would come to the house,

and he wouldn't tell me

because he didn't

want me to be there.

I guess because I'm

a 15 year old girl, you know.

Young, you know, Mick Jagger

and all those guys.

One of the things

that plagued Ashby's career,

particularly in the 1980s,

was allegations of drug use,

of him being sort of completely

out of it,

and of being unhireable,

uncommunicative, and just

totally impossible to work with.

As a result of that,

his career definitely

saw a major decline.

And he was diagnosed

with pancreatic cancer.

When he got cancer,

we busted him out

of the hospital back east,

and brought him to Malibu.

And opened up his Rolodex,

and called all

of his closest friends

and said, "Come any time

you want to."

Well, Pablo came every day.

There was a group of us

that would take shifts,

you know and just go,

and just be with him.

The time we all spent

together with Hal,

those were really amazing days.

Paradoxical that we,

on one level, were losing him,

but on another level

we will have him with us forever

because of that time.

He was so devoted to Hal,

as Hal was on his way out.

Unlike anyone else,

it was his own special way

of giving to Hal,

and Hal received it,

and he knew.

This is Pablo Ferro

being there.

All our lives,

we're told by people

in positions of authority,

older folks, that if you want

to be happy in life,

if you wanna be content,

you must find security.

And how unfortunate

when there is no such thing

in life as security.

In fact, the only thing

you can really depend on

is that all things

are gonna change.

And the sooner

you throw yourself

into the sea of change,

the better off you're gonna be.

Let's face it, life is

a freakin' rollercoaster, man.

When you're down, you think

it's the shits, this is the end

of the line, I can't go

any lower.

I'm miserable.

Oh, Jesus Christ.

And it always seems like

this is it!

I ain't getting any better.

And then it turns around.

What happens, I don't know.

But, the rollercoaster

keeps going.

You know?

You have to weather the downs.

It sure is an interesting life,

I gotta tell ya.

One thing about this business,

is you never know.

Just as long as you keep

coming back to the tables,

you stay in play.

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was

♪ Same as it ever was ♪

So when it comes

to "Stop Making Sense",

we were talking about

what kind of credits

should we have,

and it just tickled me so much,

and it tickled David Byrne

so much to say,

"You know what, we've got

the guy that did the credits

for Dr. Strangelove.

The greatest credits

ever seen on any film.

I don't care what

the budget was,

what the film was,

these are the great credits.

Let's shamelessly,

not rip off, but shamelessly

make an amazing salute

to Stanley Kubrick

and to Pablo Ferro

by recycling this concept

for our movie.

It tickled him to death,

and we went forward

and did that.

We've been working together

for 16 years, 16 years now.

I've been representing him

as his agent,

and we're still going.

He's a consummate

creative person,

so he's difficult

to deal with sometimes.

But um, you know,

it's come along.

It's come along.

Like in '97, we got

all four projects,

all got Oscars, that was huge.

You know, it was

really exciting.

Working with him has been good.

You know, because

it's a labor of love.

Because there's more work

than pay most of the time.

You know, I work hard

for him and with him.

And uh, it's turned out well.

Only recently have we really

seen an appreciation

of his work as art.

That is the colleges,

professors, you know,

art students.

I think that he's an incredibly

under utilized talent.

As there are probably many

out there like him.

So, with a few gigs,

and a little help

from my family,

we were able to work it out.

I'm still working

on getting a television.

This is Pablo Ferro.

He sees art in everything.

Everything can be used.

He doesn't discern

high art from low art.

No, no, no.

No, no, no.

He sees meaning in everything.

He's very sophisticated

in his ideas.

I think he lives in a world

of ideas.

Who is Pablo Ferro?

He's a red scarf.

He's a warm heart.

He's a good man.

When you evoke his name,

there's kind of energy,

and a humor,

and a good will.

Pablo Ferro himself

is a rather unique force

of nature.

He's like a walking work of art,

you know?

The best feeling

in the world.

Sex, drugs, and money.

Better than all

of those things.

The feeling of creating

something completely different,

and you are the first one

who's looking at it.

It's better than

all of those things.

Oh, what a beautiful day.

Catch ya later.

♪ Well if you want

to sing out, sing out ♪

♪ And if you want to be free,

be free ♪

♪ Because there's a million

things to be ♪

♪ You know that there are

♪ And if you want

to live high, live high ♪

♪ And if you want

to live low, live low ♪

♪ 'Cause there's a million

ways to go ♪

♪ You know that there are

♪ You can do what you want

♪ The opportunity's on ♪

We all end up

living in the back

of a garage somewhere.

May I have your attention,


Would your life

make a good film?

Hmm, an epic?

Maybe a short film.

Would your life make

a good newspaper headline?

A medicine prescription?

A suicide note?

A lottery ticket?

A passport to far,

far away lands?

Is your life outrageous?


A rollercoaster?

Maybe your life

is a cautionary tale.

A what if?

Is your life a work of art?

And what happens

after the fade out?

Is there gonna be a sequel?

Change that.

You wanna say "Cooba"

or "Cuba"?

That's what I figured.

Good, I'm good.

That's what I wanted to know.


Oh, it's animation!

Oh, oh, okay.

The whole thing is animation,

all of it!


This is kinda

a silly question, but uh...

How much is that one?

This is a sauna!

These are naked girls.

Are two better than one?

He wanted a little

whoop-dee-do in his life.

A little more excitement.

And why not?

This is Pablo Ferro

falling in love.


Lotta young girls.



Lotta young girls.



Lotta young girls.

God knows where

they all are now.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

Is your life...

...a work of art?

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

This is Pablo Ferro.

Pablo who?