9:57 PM, Monday, March 16th, 2015:
And suddenly my car breaking down last week and needing to reschedule for today was an enormous stroke of luck. I just met Kobe Bryant at the Starbucks next to his house. Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
So the reschedule was for 7am and it's over an hour drive. So I took off around 5:30 and thankfully everything worked smoothly and once I was on the rode? Man, it was nice. Empty highways... thought I'd see the sunrise, but even beat that! It was as relaxing a ride as I've ever had in the Delorean. Of course the coffee hit me mid-ride and I knew I had to pull into the shopping center to destroy a bathroom instead of doing it at the mansion. Just seemed unprofessional. I never park this thing at public places but had little choice. The crowd was instant. I rushed to do my business, then came back out focused on the crowd. I went out and turned on the car's lights as people asked questions, etc. A guy came up to me and said he was going to be working with me later as he was directing the video. COOOOOOOOOL. I said:  "So this is really in Kobe's neighborhood?"
"Yup. He's right in there."
<points inside Starbucks> "He's right there, man"
I hate this shit, because damnit - these really are once in a lifetime opportunities. You never get Kobe Fucking Bryant, ALONE, with no one around him, chilling in public... but being in the professional arena for things like this? There's literally nothing you can do in a positive fashion in this situation without coming off amateur. If you want an interview, you have to go through agents/publicists and respect those channels. Circumventing that is busch-league and will burn your bridge. Asking for an autograph, no. Asking for anything - or doing anything even remotely "Fan"? Done.

Interestingly, 20 years ago, I was in a similar situation with Michael Jordan. In the locker room as part of the press and I gave two fucks. I hid a jersey under my shirt, got him to sign it, took video when I wasn't supposed to... Fire me. Burn me. Throw me in jail, I was GETTING THAT SHIT.
The difference now? I actually believe an ENORMOUS celebrity will do "Hats & Minigolf". I think they will watch it, laugh, and say "Why not... that's awesome." So I wasn't going to risk that.
Let me also add, that it was extremely dark, pre-sunset, no lights around the Starbucks and even had he stood next to the car, I could never have gotten a quick video. He was in all black as well, it was very clear that he was sneaking in to get some coffee and then jetting back into the early morning. So, here's what I did:
I walk up to him about to grab his drink.
He looks.
"Did you see the Delorean Time Machine out there?"
"I did"
"That's mine. I just wanted to tell you that, smile and shake my head knowingly."
He does the Kobe smile and chuckles.
For whatever reason, I realized that the only thing I could really compare to all he represents in those short few seconds? Was that car. I mean he has to understand the audacity of the situation. He knew there was a 10 year old kid inside me just wanting to impress him. It's like the moment Butthead tells the Flight Attendant he has a beer in their movie. "Uhm, do you think this is awesome? Because, I really want you to think this is awesome."
Thankfully he did. In fact as he walks out, he says just that:
"Wow, that's really awesome man. Nice job"
He wisely used the attention of the car to allow him to zip away unnoticed to his SUV. I will make every effort to contact his agent/publicist and see if I can at least get a note to him about "Hats & Minigolf". I mean, he's injured. He has a little downtime... you never know. But he has to respect that I didn't pull the normal fan shit. Had it been a bit lighter though, I make no promises on my discipline. ;-)
I get to his neighborhood for the shoot and, yeah, it's remarkable to say the least. Unbelievably the house we're shooting at is one house away from Kobe's. Considering the size of the neighborhood, this was pretty spectacular. The shoot went well and while waiting for everyone to get there, I saw the sun poking up over the mountains. I quickly set up a static shot across the street and when I got home to load the footage? It was a dream...
My goodness. Very glad I got my full-frame 5D in time, because my T3i would NOT have been able to handle that lighting. The car would've been black. That was just perfect timing and of course, the commercial wrote itself once I saw the footage.
So yeah, a pretty magical day. A shoot at a ridiculously expensive house, using the location for my own commercial... and meeting Kobe. Ahh the adventures this car has brought...