I was 25 in the summer of 1996 when I landed a job as a personal assistant to Joel and Ethan Coen. Their sixth movie, Fargo, had come out to rave reviews and good box office that March. Now, they were headed from New York, where they lived, to L.A. to film their next movie, The Big Lebowski. I’d worked on three movies as an apprentice film editor, but happily took the personal assistant job. Later, during post-production, I was one of the assistant film editors on Lebowski.
It turned into one of the most enjoyable experiences I had in my brief time working in the movie business. I’ve written a long profile about watching the Coens at work: The Dudes Abide: The Coen Brothers and The Making of The Big Lebowski, for Kindle Singles.
Here’s a nugget to whet your appetite. It’s early December ’96 and we’re in Joel and Ethan’s West Hollywood production office. Jeff Bridges (the Dude) and John Goodman (Walter) are meeting with the brothers for the first time to read through the script.