August 26, 2014 | humor |

The Night I Met Robin Williams At My Front Door

Robin Williams speaks to the press in 2002.

(AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)

Robin Williams in 2002

I lived in New York City for about ten years working in the film and TV business as a freelance assistant cameraman and then cameraman. We’d often go out on the town partying till the wee hours. On one of those foolish, wild nights I was making my way home to a downtown loft apartment. It was after 2 in the morning.

As I walked up the steps to the entrance, there was a man in the shadow facing me. I recognized him immediately – “Robin Williams! What are you doing here?” I asked in astonishment. He smiled and pointed behind me.

As I slowly turned around, I saw movie lights, Panaflex camera and crew, and an army of filmmakers. They weren’t shooting at that moment; otherwise they would have stopped me from walking into their shot. I could not see them from the street. I was merely entering my loft apartment building.

When I turned back to Robin, I said “Sorry” which he shrugged off – it’s alright. Then I started to tell him how much I loved his work, but realized this was not the time for conversation. He was working and even though this was my doorstep, it was their movie set.

I later learned that the film was the 1984 “Moscow On The Hudson” directed by Paul Mazursky. In it Robin portrays a Russian musician who defects in Bloomingdale’s, the famous New York department store. His character yearned for the opportunity of freedom, prosperity and success we call the American Dream.

To become this character called Vladimir Ivanoff, Williams studied Russian till he was nearly fluent. He also learned to play the saxophone. He was coached in both for months before the production began. According to his music instructor, Robin learned more about playing the sax in a couple months than most learn in a couple years. About the Russian language, Williams said “It is wonderful working in another language. It forces you to really be exact about what you want and what you need.” His Russian was good enough to communicate with some of the Russian actors in the film who spoke no English. Like much of his work, this film is not only funny, but has a heart.

Thank you Robin Williams for all the joy and laughter you’ve given us. We will miss you.


Keep Reading...

Kodachrome – A New Magazine from Kodak

“Kodachrome” is a limited edition magazine geared toward people who love “art, film and analog culture.” It goes beyond the world of analog photography and filmmaking. Kodak says it also about film, writing, sculpture, music, graphics. It is about art and analog culture. Issue 01 is being published in a “limited edition run” with 76 […]

Read More
ChromeCast brings YouTube videos to your TV.

Chromecast – Internet Video and Music in Your Living Room

Google's new tiny digital video Internet receiver is called

Read More
NTSB says drones subject to FAA

NTSB says Drone Flights Subject to FAA Regulations

NTSB says drone flights are subject to FAA regulations. Disappoints aerial videographers who fly quadcopters and fixed wing model aircraft.

Read More
black betty camera

Black Betty Camera

The Black Betty Camera looks like a 16mm film camera, but it's a custom-designed housing that includes a Silicon Imaging SI-2K Mini Camera Head and an Apple Mac Mini. The camera head produces digital cinema class 2048x1152 resolution. The SI-2K Mini camera head has been as a second camera in films like Slumdog Millionare and 127 Hours.The small form Mac Mini is Apple's first computer to include an HDMI video port.

Read More




Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • Forbes Magazine calls VideoUniversity one of the best business-to-business sites for digital video production.
  • WINNER
    Videography Magazine's
    "Website of the Month" Award
  • WINNER
    PC Magazine Online "Best Desktop Video Site" Award
  • WINNER
    CyberFilm School's "FOUR STAR" Award