Fire and Rain

Bob Rector
Why does this young couple have the world's most limited wardrobe?

Although this film for James Taylor's Fire and Rain has several flashbacks scenes in it, the young couple are always shown in the same outfits. Why? Because costuming was the one production detail that the writer/director (yours truly) was a complete dunce about. I usually left costuming up to my 'stars' telling them something very generic like work clothes, play clothes, dress up, etc.

Also, the day we shot this film the weather was very apropos for the song; it rained on and off all day. We spent more time waiting for the rain to stop, usually in the car, than we did shooting. I was able to cheat several shots because rain does not photograph well, so even though it was drizzling, you can't see it. We brought several towels along to wipe things down before each shot. With all these problems and, as always, racing against the clock, the fact that the same costuming was being used for both present time and flashback scenes never entered my mind. Duh!

The young couple in this film appeared in quite a few of my Now Explosion films. They were married and had a baby girl and were part of the group of friends my wife and I hung out with along with the couple in United We Stand, who also had a baby girl. My wife and I had a baby boy at about the same time so we all had a great time together, working hard and playing hard and doing a lot of laughing. Golden times.

I can't give you the names of the couple in the film until I've gotten permission, but they were the all-American couple, high school sweethearts from Arkansas. She was the homecoming queen and he was the football hero homecoming king. They both had a great sense of humor. Watching this film almost a half-century later, I was surprised at how much feeling they put into their roles, especially since my direction consisted mainly of, “Okay, it's stopped raining. Quick, lets grab another shot!”

As far as story was concerned, I followed James Taylor's lyrics as much as I wanted to, but it's a pretty loose interpretation and one of the few films I made that didn't have a happy ending.

This was shot in Atlanta at the couple's apartment (check out the now-classic cars in the parking lot) and on a side road overlooking a creek near what is now Cumberland Mall.