Tim Robbins, August 23, 1991, Santa Monica

At Conal's studio.  Robbins is commissioning Conal to do a painting and poster for his upcoming film Bob Roberts.  Shaffer is photographing Robbins.


CONAL. Ah, come in the back, come in the back.  I forgot about you...  These guys are doing a documentary on me so they want to shoot a little bit.

SHAFFER. I have number seven.

CONAL. You have number seven?

SHAFFER. Hook, Line, and Sinker.  So, I keep forgetting.

ROBBINS. It's like us.

PRODUCER GUY. I think it is like very neutral.

ROBBINS. I am not a crook.

GUY. The campaign posters and brochures and stuff, they're gonna have the most.  I mean usually the, the, you pick the strongest image and then the campaign posters have a lot of this shirt sleeve stuff.  You might try that.  That's what they usually do.

ROBBINS. Oh, the shirt sleeve thing.

GUY. You might try that, they usually have and then you got the phone, you can use that, like he's on the phone, you know...

PRODUCER. Get some of the shots and then we'll find out when we lay all of them out and what that means.

ROBBINS. Let's try.

PRODUCER. The short sleeve, you can also do the shirt sleeve.

CONAL. Yeah, great.  A lot of this stuff, you actually decide what we want with the face and how we want it.  We can steal the costume, you know.   We can just, it's a pain but for nothing we don't do all the time.  I went looking like crazy for Jimmy's palm tree shirt.  I finally just made it up.

ROBBINS. Melrose.  But what did you do that was so bad?...

CONAL. ...or if you need a logo.  If you need logos, she will do them.


CONAL. Bob needs logos.

PRODUCER. We need a dark corporation ones.  Dark.

CONAL. Yeah.

PRODUCER. Dark on his wall and his life

CONAL. Yeah, she can do that.

ROBBINS. Bob umbrellas

CONAL. Yeah.

ROBBINS. What does that mean umbrellas?  Some Nazi reference.

CONAL. It's just, it's a new rap group.

SHAFFER. Ready? and action.  And action.  There we go, good.  And action.  And action.


SHAFFER. And Action

ROBBINS. And action.

CONAL. I like the salute.

SHAFFER. And action

PRODUCER. Maybe maybe you're sweating and you are tired.

ROBBINS. We're wrapping. Okay.

PRODUCER. .. And you're at the peak of your.

CONAL. Action.  Maximum Bob

PRODUCER. ...sweat but he gets worked up, doesn't he?

ROBBINS. Do we say, we just tie and then still the tie, right?  Still the tie?


CONAL. Ties are good.  You can do things with ties.

ROBBINS. And also Robbie.  Well, you know, we should talk about the color of the tie. What is a power color right now?

CONAL. Absolutely.


PRODUCER. Yellow's been the power color for over a thousands years.

ROBBINS. I know, but yellow was the power color.

PRODUCER. Is it?  Okay, because of the '80's war?

CONAL. Yellow Ribbon?

ROBBINS. No it was before that.

CONAL. I think the Bush administration, you know he's big into Yale colors.  He wears his Yale tie.

PRODUCER. Yeah, he's a Wall Street kind of.

CONAL. So, we can, that's the fun part, we can really play with the acoustics and maybe carry secondary meaning...

SHAFFER. Second shot.  What about Kodachrome, a couple more roles.

CONAL. But if you want one.  I didn't notice that stuff about you know, about post-colonial dress and Jeffersonian demeanor, he's into that?

ROBBINS. Well, we're doing a video where he's in colonial dress and he is a walk-off duel with a guy with a pen.

CONAL. I love it, I love it.

ROBBINS. Yeah, yeah.  Kind of....

CONAL. That'll be fun to paint.  Put them in Jeffersionan garb, for me, because this is a traditional portraiture, you know, all the way from you know, all the way from George Washington on up, it would be a riot, but it's not exactly the yuppiest thing.

ROBBINS. No, no.

CONAL. But we can.  We can do,  I, I would really get a kick out of that.

ROBBINS. You would?

CONAL. I mean, I can't do much with Robbins.  Too young, you throw paint at him.  It doesn't stick.

ROBBINS. It's messy too.

CONAL. Yeah.

ROBBINS. I know we've been working hard.

PRODUCER. We've been talking about, the church...

ROBBINS. Come a little closer.

PRODUCER. And you are really mad about that.  You're also having to, certain...

CONAL. Let's get that hard working Bob, too.  He loosens his collar.

PRODUCER.. You've been out there kissing babies.  That's good, it's kind of the diva Bob.

SHAFFER. How about we loosen the tie.

CONAL. Yeah, pop that top up.

ROBBINS. The thing about this colonial thing.

CONAL. Yeah, what about it?

ROBBINS. You know in Pennsylvania, there are a lot of opportunities, in Pennsylvania...

CONAL. It would tie up nicely with its tradition.


PRODUCER.  Well the question for me is, is it gonna be, he's gonna do the video.  The question will be how silly it ends up looking?  Right off the bat.  If it's looking at it and go, ha, ha, ha.

ROBBINS. Chances are, we're going to have to do that video earlier, in the script, then where it is.  It's pretty late right now.

CONAL. Well, that might be part of your change, if you are going to change tactics.  You might have them in colonial and then the next time, he's gonna be in his power suit.


PRODUCER. We even thought about having him dress like this and maybe overlying some other kind of picture behind it.


CONAL. Hello?  Yes.  Yeah, we will, when is it?  Ooh, 7:30.

SHAFFER. How about some with praying.

PRODUCER. Kind of jolly.

CONAL. I would love to, but I am in the middle of a shoot with Tim Robbins... That's okay.  But let me, okay.

CONAL. Those are good, I like that.  Have him crossing his, yeah.  If we get him.

PRODUCER. Our man, the teacher.

CONAL. Our man hammer.

PRODUCER. Pencils, that's how he made his money.  He sold pencils at the...

CONAL. What are we doing?

PRODUCER. This looks good.  My only last thought is that you can get a couple of shots that are almost full size.

ROBBINS. Yeah, let's do some on the patio.

CONAL. Why can't you do it in here?  I just thought, you know, just, what did you think?

PRODUCER. I just wanted to have a couple of shots that are with him full size just so that I see his whole body.

ROBBINS. Standing or sitting?

PRODUCER. Standing.

ROBBINS. I don't know.  It seems to me that.

PRODUCER. Maybe he's only that big in reality.  Okay.

ROBBINS. But you know what I think we should do is some in a chair with a phone, kind of contemplating.

CONAL. How about with your portable?

CONAL. They are really nice, something like people have been using 'em for dart boards.

CONAL. For you stand-up thing, you've seen those big cardboard things, that they are selling now, like taking your photo with George Bush?

SHAFFER. Standees.

PRODUCER. Yeah, and they have the guy. I think we should do a cutout of Bob and have him in store windows and stuff.

CONAL. I think it is great and I really like it, it's so symbolic.  You get this photo of somebody that's just cardboard.

PRODUCER. And there's also this scene of when somebody walks up with this cardboard cutout and starts talking to him.  Then there's the Bob with the other body with no head and you get a photograph.  That'd be hilarious on the streets of New York.  Ooops, I just spent more money, goodness.

ROBBINS. You know how much money you spent this morning?

PRODUCER. I didn't bring up the wedding.  But I think that rice is cheap.  You can get the rice.  Now, the wedding dress, I don't know.

ROBBINS. A thousand dollar wedding dress.

PRODUCER. Yeah, and the limo.

CONAL. Well, you can just, what do women do. They borrow them form Nordstrom for the night.  You know, they buy 'em.  They say "okay, I buy it."  They go out, wear it a night and then return it to Nordstrom the next day and say, "no I don't want it, doesn't work with me."  That's a big thing because Nordstrom has this policy of complete return.  That's a big deal.

PRODUCER. I've rented props that way.

ROBBINS. Many times.

PRODUCER. Yeah.  Just didn't work.

SHAFFER. My mother didn't like this.

CONAL. My mom wouldn't let me go out wearing this...

PRODUCER. I put in, graphics.  He says that worries me.

CONAL. Well, we'll what, see how much of me you can afford.  It's not going to be a big painting like that.  It's can be one of these.  And actually, also, once we do the head, the rest of it is, pick one, pick two and maybe we can work out other ways to pay for it.  Once it is done.

CONAL. Yes, it goes that way.  Distribution.  Maybe we can make that a step.  I can talk to.

PRODUCER. That's like. They don't have distribution yet.

ROBBINS. Good, I think we've got it.

CONAL. Yeah, if we didn't yet, man, like, now I know why film companies make so much money.


PRODUCER. I gotta to run but I'll call you Monday or so.

CONAL. Yeah.  We'll get together.

PRODUCER. Tim, talk to you soon.

ROBBINS. Hi, Jodie.  Come in Jodie.

CONAL. Come in, Jodie.  That's it, Jodie.  That's it.  Jodie?  that's it Jodie?  No picture?

JODIE. Jodie Gotley, nice to meet you.  This is fabulous.

CONAL. This is Alan, my photographer and a person in his own right.

SHAFFER. Sometimes.

JODIE. This is great.

CONAL. Thanks, look around.

JODIE. Look at that.  It's just wonderful.

CONAL. This is the person who really runs Tim's operation.

JODIE. Well, I don't know about that.

CONAL. Well, we do.

JODIE. This is just wonderful.

CONAL. Well, thank you.

JODIE. I am just taking it all in.  Before I leave.

ROBBINS. Yeah, Santa's workshop.

JODIE. Nice meeting you.  See you then.

CONAL. Nice meeting you too.  We will, we will.  Bye Richard.  Thanks for the action Richard.

ROBBINS. I'll be there in a half hour.

CONAL. Here is our inspiration.

ROBBINS. The crook Dick

CONAL. And a few of his crooks, pals.

SHAFFER. Close personal friends.

CONAL. Yeah, it's an icon.  It's an altar piece actually.  You can fold it.  You know how they have wings....

CONAL. Did I miss something?

SHAFFER. Don't fold it.

CONAL. This one's actually Al's.

SHAFFER.  I'm a little concerned...


ROBBINS. That's great. 

CONAL. That's a pretty arty item.

ROBBINS. Yeah, I like that.  Really nice.  I'm going to frame this.

CONAL. Now he's picking on the right people though.  The government, a hundred and seventy one million dollars for the N.E.A..  It's like peanuts to them and for his constituency, he's just making so much hay.


CONAL. Picking on them.  And he can't loose.  But um, he's really a dangerous guy.  Maximum Bob.

ROBBINS. Maximum Bob. (signing check) Don't photograph that.

CONAL. Love Jesse.  Great, thank you.

---------------------- interview

ROBBINS. So you want to ask questions or something?

WALKER. You should just tell us what you are doing here.

(Tom Simmons arrives with 4 x 5 of DAMAGE CONTROL)

CONAL. Oh, here's Mr. Simmons.

CONAL. This is my great printer.

SIMMONS. Could you uh,

(Simmons has Robbins autograph a baseball)

ROBBINS. Oh, sure

SIMMONS. Autograph hounds all the time.  All bogus except for yours.  Thank you. 

ROBBINS. Frightening.

CONAL. That's before.

SIMMONS. We did one before that.  The color was a little bit off, a boyish, pinkish look about it.

ROBBINS. That glow.  That Vice-Presidential glow.

CONAL. Yeah, really.  That fire behind his eyes.  We don't loose any of the yellow by putting the pink in.  Okay.


WALKER. You should just say who you are first.

ROBBINS. No, ha, ha, ha.  That's okay.

(Conal and Simmons talking in the background.)

ROBBINS. I am here to talk to Robbie about a picture I'm directing that is a satire uh, about a, a folk singer that's running for the Senate.  And so what were talking to Robbie about is to design a campaign poster that is rejected by the campaign.  Because it's not good for his image.

WALKER. Are they going to be posted in the style of his other posters.

CONAL. Yeah, I hope so.

WALKER. The campaign will reject the poster and then you will start seeing the poster show up throughout the film.  So the artist has taking it and changed it somewhat.  Now it has become a protest.

WALKER. It's going to be painting or a photo image?

ROBBINS. I don't know.  It's up to Robbie.  (sings) Don't know, don't know, ding dong. 

WALKER. You know they were talking quite a bit in the background. Can we possibly do that again.

ROBBINS. Okay, I'm here to talk to Robbie about the possibility of him doing a campaign poster for uh, this fictional candidate that we're doing a movie about.  Kind of a satire about a folk singing reactionary running for the United States' Senate.  And so, Bob, hopefully Robbie will come up with an image that will be presented to the campaign and rejected by the campaign and then, the idea is to start seeing that image pop up throughout the cities in Pennsylvania where we are shooting it.

WALKER. Why did you pick Robbie?

ROBBINS. Well uh, I'm a huge admirer of his work.  He is a provocateur.  He's what art should be, you know.  I think, people that make you think, make you uh, that offend you, that inspire you to thought that might make you change.

WALKER. Do you think his posters have any political weight.  Do you think they make any difference?

ROBBINS. Well, I always feel better when I see them on the street.  Nice to know that there are people out there that are not only doing the art but putting it up.  And uh, that think of these people as what they are.

WALKER.  So, basically, he photographs you so he can make a headshot type of thing. And people are going to stop you on the street and say, "aren't you a corrupt politician?"

ROBBINS. Yes, they'll hate me. Ha, ha, ha.

WALKER. Who else is going to be in the film?  You are going to be in the film and direct it?

ROBBINS. Yes, and we are in the early stages right now, so I can't really say who..  And I wrote it as well.  And hopefully it will be a pretty hard hitting satire, come out during the election in '92.

WALKER. Yeah, that's what we are hoping this will be on TV by.  That's our target audience.

ROBBINS. I think it is interesting that there is um, I think there's a lot more dissent in this country than the media gives credit for.  Well, I don't think the media acknowledges the dissent in this country, that there is constant dissent.  And it's evidence by opening your eyes if you live in a major city, whether it's 50 people or whether it's 50,000.  There are a lot of people that aren't happy in this country and are choosing to speak out and uh, we often times do not hear about them.

When we went down to Washington, to the march against the war on January 26, I can guarantee you there was over 350,000 people there and the New York Times said, 75,000 and put it on page 26, you know, so.  It's all a matter of how information is perceived and uh, I don't think you can really have change until you have honesty in the media.

WALKER. Yeah, I know, that's the way it is.  With the homecoming parade, 2 million people showed up says the L.A. Times.

signing release form

WALKER.  It says you'll make cash payments to us on a weekly basis.

ROBBINS. I'll have to run that by my agent.

WALKER. We always bring the one Robbie signed to show people.

ROBBINS. It'll be no problem. I may have to reword a few things.


CONAL. Did you get what you want with him?  Was he nice. God, he's really a sweetheart.

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©2004 Clay Walker & Plan B Productions®