october-201972

happening-in-africa

In addition to writing, producing and directing his films under his own name, Zygmunt also co-starred with his pretty young girlfriend under the name of “Darr Poran”.

This was a strange, short-lived job by any standard.  I found the posting on a UCLA bulletin board, dropped off some writing samples and got the job.  Driving home from the interview, I remember joyously singing to Cat Stevens’ song “Sitting” on my car radio.

sitting

I truly believed I’d just broken into the big time. It didn’t take long for reality to return.

mystery-woman

For one thing, I didn’t really have much to do. Zygmunt was immune to feedback other than praise. Any suggestion for improvement was met by the myriad reasons it was impossible to improve upon his cinematic masterpiece.  So why pay me the vast sum of $2.50 an hour when I had nothing of value he wanted?  My guess is he didn’t like to work alone.    For a while he employed my fellow film student and friend Gail as well and we both sat there, on either side of him, watching the film on his Moviola, our combined efforts making absolutely no difference at all.

A Moviola is a device that allows a film editor to view a film while editing.
A Moviola is a device that allows a film editor to view a film while editing.

It was fun, though, in its own goofy way. I’ve never heard his name or seen his films outside of his suite and Moviola but they did exist. He and his actress girlfriend were larger than life characters – a book or movie about the two of them would’ve been far more entertaining than any of his crocodile-wrestling classics. Does anybody in cyberspace know anything more about either of them?