By far one of my favorite projects to date is this short documentary on The Sheats/Goldstein house & its enigmatic, avant-garde owner and sole resident, James Goldstein. This man is legendary & a complete mystery all rolled into one. Nobody knows how much money he has or how he acquires it. The only thing we know is that he has plenty to throw at his 2 favorite hobbies, basketball & this house, which you may recognize from The Big Lebowksi.
He holds court-side season tickets to the Lakers AND the Clippers, and I believe the Houston Rockets, too. He's also a staple at every NBA Playoff & Finals game and also manages to be seen at various World Basketball competitions like the Olympics.
I approached Goldstein's house with my camera in hand, immediately lost in the incredibly lush jungle of tropical plants. Jim greeted me at a giant glass door and quickly explained that the front door was down the long walkway of glass that stretched over a huge koi pond, "Noted" I quipped. Apparently I was standing at the kitchen door... to be fair, the house is one giant window, so I figure I couldn't have been the first to make this mistake. He politely explained that he would give me a tour once he finished reading the newspaper, but I was permitted to roam around and shoot whatever I pleased until then. I chose to spend that time filming him, which I'm sure he delighted in. After 'breakfast' Jim gave Tavia, my producer and I the Grand Tour of the entire estate, including his own, personal 'Naked Eye Observatory' created by artist James Turrell. Then, he let us run around and film whatever we wanted, for as long as we wanted. I took this very seriously and didn't leave for 2 days.
It is by far one of the most unique homes I've ever stepped foot inside. Originally designed & built by John Lautner, Goldstein re-hired him to renovate it, since it been heavily distressed and modified with bright green shag carpeting. The way that James has spent immeasurable amounts of money and time to bring it back to glory still astonishes me to this day.
At the end of our second day of shooting, as we were packing up, Mr. Goldstein approached us and hinted that his car was in the shop and he didn't have a way to get down the canyon to go pick up a rental car. He was definitely nudging the young & beautiful producer, Tavia... but she was not taking the bait so I piped up and said, 'I'll take you down there!' He shot me a look that signaled his dissatisfaction, but begrudgingly accepted my offer. I will never forget the day I drove Jim Goldstein to the Century City Mall to pick up a rental car...