Conan O'Brien and E.T
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On his birthday, Conan O'Brien was here at ILM to record segments for his upcoming, week long show in San Francisco.
Earlier in the day, I ran into Conan, and our introduction started by him spotting my Leica, and informing me that the picture I quickly grabbed of him would not expose very well since I had the lens cap on. This was a first. A first for meeting Conan, and a first that I forgot to remove the lens cap in a rush to grab a quick shot. We talked Leica for a few, and then he went off with his crew to have fun with the animators.
Later that day, while setting up one of the gag shots for his segment on his visit to ILM, Conan and his crew were pondering their moments with ET, who happens to have a permanent home with a fixed gaze that beams directly into my office.
It was my chance to make up for the black cell that occupied an early spot on my roll of Delta 400. The light was blasting in from the sky-bridge to the right, and cast a perfect halo around Conan's gigantic head, and onto the matte-painting on the wall behind him.
The image is candid, and not staged. He was reacting to a conversation from his producer, and the camera men that were talking about what they were going to shoot.
I attended the show in the audience. Afterwards, backstage, I presented a framed print of this image to him. It was a true honor, and I am so flattered that he honestly loved the print.
Also by Joel Aron
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