Frappe! Frappe! (knock, knock)
Qui est la? (who’s there?)
Lors (Lors: short for Loraine)
Lors Qui (Lost Key)
Exactement (I’ve lost my key, let me in!)

It’s all been organized: letters, phone calls, faxes. We are coming to shoot a story about Mercedes repair shops using ICI Aquabase paint for re-finishing. We want to see damaged cars being repaired and spray painted – but most important, we need an interview with the head of the paint shop.

What do we get? Say hello to straitlaced Dieter. He’s been told by his gruppenfurher not to give any interviews to no one, no how.

“Please Dieter.”

“No, sorry, impossible.”

“But we can still film, can’t we? It was organized weeks ago.”

“Yes, you may film but no interviews. My gruppenfurher has given strict orders.”

I shoot his guys spray-painting a car with our client’s paint.

“Great, I’d like a shot of the two of you chatting in German.”

“OK in German but no interview.”

The ICI sales guy is wearing a radio mike. He stands close. Dieter talks about the benefits of ICI Aquabase: it’s the best paint, so environmentally friendly.

“Sorry I couldn’t give an interview, I have my orders.”

“No worries.” Did he know we were recording his every word? I guess not.

We make a hasty retreat to the waiting taxi. “Stuttgart airport and hurry!”

We enter the Ferrari repair shop. Are we in the right place? It looks like a showroom. A row of sleek, bright red Ferraris stretching back to infinity. There’s no one here except Roberto, the owner, and he doesn’t speak English.

I turn to the local ICI Autocolor rep., “What’s going on? Where’s the repair shop? The spray booths are empty.”

“He says they worked all of last week to have these cars finished and ready for you.”

“No, no, no. It’s a terrible mistake. I need to film repairs and spray painting, not a static row of cars.”

Heated exchanges in Italian follow. I throw in, “I NEED TO SHOOT SPRAY PAINTING!”

Roberto agrees to spray paint a Ferrari that’s already been painted. One is wheeled out of the lineup and into the booth. I gown up and film inside. Roberto is not happy.

“Tell him that was perfect.” Then, thinking there is a workshop full of damaged Ferraris, I add, “It’d be nice to see the repair shop.”

“You want to film damaged Ferraris?” queries the ICI rep..

“Yes, please, damaged Ferraris.”

Roberto gets a hammer and smashes some holes in a Ferrari’s hood.

Suddenly he can speak English. “Happy now?

“Not really, looks like hammer blows. I’d imagined damage from a traffic accident.”

He grabs a sledgehammer. Whack! The Ferrari’s hood caves in. Now it’s the turn of the headlights. Whack! Crunch! Breaking glass…

“Want an accident? Film that!”

I am in shock. He leans over and taps me on the shoulder, “Don’t worry, they can repair it next week. “

I’m Just A Soul Whose Intentions Are Good:
Oh Lord! Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood…

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