Clinton's walk

Doug Henwood dhenwood at
Wed Aug 16 14:09:57 PDT 2000 - August 16, 2000

Clinton's High Noon Walk Through Convention Choreographed by Hollywood Producer By Kim Masters

Producers Harry and Linda Bloodworth Thomason did more than create the third in a series of heart-warming films about Bill Clinton to introduce the President at the Democratic Convention on Monday night. Harry Thomason also choreographed The Walk: Clinton's dramatic solo stroll -- which seemed to last almost as long as the eight-and-a-half-minute film itself -- down the white-walled corridors of the Staples Center into the adoring crowd.

What inspired the idea? ''I think I saw High Noon about a month ago and I thought... 'They've been gunning for him for eight years,' '' Thomason says.

He had to convince the Secret Service to go along so Clinton would appear to be alone. The corridors in the Staples Center were sealed, of course, and a couple of agents were positioned behind the camera, walking backwards.

'I think I saw High Noon about a month ago and I thought... "They've been gunning for him for eight years,''' producer Harry Thomason says.To make sure it all would work visually, Thomason secretly taped a run-through of The Walk (so to speak) in the dark of night with a double. ''You could look at it and tell it was good,'' he says. In fact, Clinton called from the White House on Tuesday night to tell Thomason that everyone had been talking about The Walk.

Thomason was irked that the networks dropped a series of taglines, visible on monitors inside the convention center, listing what he calls Clinton's greatest hits (e.g., the low unemployment rate). Without the captions, Thomason frets that viewers didn't understand the meaning of the intermittent bursts of applause from the crowd. On the other hand, at least the networks carried The Walk. The film didn't make it on the Big Three.

With director Spike (Being John Malkovich) Jonze having made an as-yet-unseen short film for Al Gore, the possibilities are endless. Maybe the cameras will follow Gore on a wild ride through one of those portals to a spot right on the podium.

Thomason doesn't know about Jonze's plans. He figures Monday night's show was his farewell to politics. Asked whether he'll miss the Washington scene, Thomason had this to say:


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