The Daily Clog posted a brilliant review of a recent appearance by wounded sparrow Johnny Depp at Wheeler Hall. The cloudy actor was in Berkeley for a screening of The Rum Diaries, Depp's second foray into the dude world of excruciatingly pretentious and insecure Hunter S. Thompson, followed by a Q&A with Cal students. After one kid asked a (stupid?) question about boom mikes, the 48-year-old actor reverted back to his snippy Winona Ryder days. Thank God.
The Daily Clog's (splendid) Lynn Yu reports:
We all have a THAT guy in our classes — you know, the one who obnoxiously points out the professor’s mistakes and attempts to correct the person with the Ph.D. So, boom mikes. Yep, there were a couple of scenes in the movie where the boom mike dips into the shot. Clearly this is just an editing flaw. Clearly you don’t point this out to the director and star of the film in front of hundreds of people when there are many better questions you could be asking. Clearly this will create an awkward situation.
Well THAT guy gets up to the microphone and asks, “So what was the directorial decision to include boom mikes in the movie?” We at the Clog simply sat in our seats, cringed and face-palmed ourselves. What boom mikes? Robinson is confused about the question; the audience can tell that the director doesn’t know. The audience is calling for THAT guy to just stop. But THAT guy persists — he really wants to publicly call out Robinson. “Why did you put boom mikes in the shot?” he asks again.
Depp (like us) is getting very annoyed at this point — young man, you do not insult this bad-ass director; how many Oscar nominations do you have? Oh that’s right, none. “What the fuck do you wanna know about it?” Depp demands. THAT guy still doesn’t get the point. He keeps pushing it. Robinson goes “Oh, that was a ceiling fan” (mmhmm). THAT guy gets discouraged, throws up a peace sign and takes a seat.
But Depp won’t let it go. The next question is: what’s your favorite Thompson novel? “Anything with a boom mike in it,” says Depp. And from here, we get boom mike jokes for the rest of the night (the answer to the aforementioned question, if you’re interested, is “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”). THAT guy leaves in disgrace.
(Side note: boom mike visibility is usually the fault of the projectionist.)
In Depp's defense, college kids can be horrific, B.O.-laced blobs too smart for their own good. Have you ever had to speak in front of a gaggle of college kids? UC Berkeley college kids? Sweet Moses. We have. You're lucky if you get one that's bathed and paying attention. (We kid! But not really.) Anyway, we implore you to read the rest of Yu's piece. Excellent stuff.