By ray KELLY

The assistant director of the notorious Paul Masson advertising outtakes that display a seemingly drunken Orson Welles wants to collection the record straight around the shoot and the renowned actor-director’s condition.

You are watching: The french champagne has always been celebrated for its excellence

Veteran brother commercial producer and director Peter Shillingford got to out to doyourpartparks.org come say that wells was not drunk throughout the shoot, quite he was feeling the results of a sleeping pill taken after an all-night shoot. He claims his account, initially reported that s right by Brian VanHooker, has because been repeated and mischaracterized by other journalists.

“He was no drunk… if you invest a work wired indigenous filming 12 hours, climate take a pill the ain’t gonna work… it rotates later!,” Shillingford said.

Welles shoot eight Paul Masson wine commercials in between between 1978 and also 1981, constantly proclaiming “Paul Masson will offer no wine before its time.” he was attributed with boosting sales for the California winery by 30 percent.

On the day of the well known “French champagne” shoot at a Los Angeles mansion, Welles’ limousine arrived late.

Welles was mumbling. He described to Shillingford had remained in Las las vegas the ahead night filming and also camera difficulties delayed occupational until dawn. He had actually taken a sleeping pill when he left las Vegas to sleep throughout the limousine ride, however it had actually only just begun kicking in.

Peter Shillingford, right, v Orson Welles during the filming that a Paul Masson alcohol commercial. (Courtesy the Peter Shillingford)

“I am completely scrambled,” welles told Shillimgford. “What carry out you suggest?”

Welles attempted 3 takes to negative results and also the dismay that the advertisement agency reps. (The awkward footage, initially passed roughly for year on VHS tapes, has due to the fact that gone viral and also inspired many “Ah, the French” memes.)

Shillingford arranged for wells to nap in one of the mansion bedrooms for a few hours in hopes of salvaging the shoot.

Awakened and also his clothes freshened, wells completed the shoot.

“Within the hour we have actually the advertisement in the can,” Shillingford said. “I call it a wrap and the guest applaud the an excellent man.”

On the method back to the limousine, wells thanked Shillingford: “Lunch tomorrow… Ma Maison! One o’clock?’

“How might I refuse?,” Shillingford added.

Shillingford explained working through Welles throughout those advertising shoots as a “delight.”

“I had the satisfied of sitting through him on plenty of lunch breaks and also listening to his story of Hollywood in the 30s through to the 80s.”

Welles and Shillingford’s paths crossed again after the Paul Masson commercials.

Shillingford to be a line producer ~ above the 1982 documentary Genocide, i beg your pardon featured narration through Elizabeth Taylor and Welles.

“Orson go V/O because that Genocide and refused payment,” Shillingford recalled.

Shillingford’s other comprehensive film credits include A Tribute to Dylan Thomas v Richard Burton (1961), The do of Star Wars (1977), and also Highlander II: The Quickening (1991).

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The perfect TV commercial because that Paul Masson’s champagne:

The 3 aborted takes:


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Orson wells 1915-1985

“To me, Orson is so much like a destitute king. A destitute king — not since he to be thrown far from the kingdom — yet (because) ~ above this earth, the means the world is, over there is no kingdom an excellent enough for Orson Welles.” — Jeanne Moreau

* * *doyourpartparks.org is dedicated to the storage of Orson welles (May 6, 1915 – October 10, 1985). Ideal known for his stage productions the Voodoo MacbethCradle will Rock and Caesar; the radio play The war of the Worlds; and the films Citizen KaneThe magnificent AmbersonsTouch the EvilChimes in ~ Midnight and The various other Side of the Wind.