“Oh Captain, My Captain”

by Ron Phillips

old_9752“Robin, remember us shooting “Old Dogs” in New York and Connecticut in 2007 where we all spent 14 hours a day together for 12 weeks. You’d come to the set in the morning for a “first team” rehearsal, walk by me and greet me with “’morning RW” and I’d respond back, “morning RW”. You’d go back to your trailer for hair, make-up, wardrobe and back to the set to shoot. As soon as you stepped on the set, you’d break out with your Robin Williams comedy routine! You never stopped until the cameras were rolling. Many times I ‘d have to wipe the tears so I could see through my camera. As soon as we cut, you’d go right back into it, keeping the whole crew rolling on the floor. In between shooting the scene on the set, you would sit in your chair and do Suduko on your portable device. You had an air about you that you didn’t want to be disturbed, to just sit there in your own little world and we all respected that. You’d come back to the set and be on fire once again after recharging for a while.
One day a little girl came to the set from the “Make A Wish” foundation who’s dream was to meet Robin Williams. You spent the whole day with her even with a director’s chair you had made, sitting next to yours. Even at lunch, she sat with you and you gave her your best and lots of love. I documented it with my camera and gave her all the photos. It was the day of her life with two years to live. Thank you Robin. One day I sat with you in your trailer and you mentioned you were going to do a reprise of “Mrs. Doubtfire” and wanted me to shoot it. It probably wouldn’t roll until late 2014.
Four years later you began touring with your comedy act all over the world. When you came to Memphis, Detroit and Honolulu, I called you and were invited to come see you with VIP tickets and joined you back stage. You’d be completely worn out, sweating from every pore of your body and was still on. “Hey RW, good to see you”.
Robin, you were the funniest man I have ever met and I’ve worked with a lot of the best comedians. You didn’t have an ego, you were a compassionate and tender man. The world misses you and thank you for all of your energy, wonderful performances and being part of our lives”

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