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The Studio > > > Features > > > Behind the Scenes: a look at Jerome Fauci and "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee"
Behind the Scenes
a look at Jerome Fauci and "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee"
written by Jim Hamilton


From "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee":

Dan: We really have nine hockey segments tonight?
Casey: Three shootouts, two penalty shots, Stefan LeCourier--
Dan: Jerome'll be happy.
Casey: Who's Jerome?
Dan: Jerome.
Casey: Right.
Dan: He'll be happy.
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: Sure.
Casey: Who is he?
Dan: Jerome?
Casey: Right.
Dan: I'm talking about Jerome.
Casey: You can say his name as many times as you like, I'm still not gonna know who he is.
Dan: Camera two.
Casey: What about it?
Dan: He's the camera operator.
Casey: Who?
Dan: Are you prepared to do a broadcast right now?
Casey: Yeah.
Dan: The camera guy!
Casey: What about him?
Dan: Is Jerome. Jerome is the operator on camera two.
Casey: And he likes hockey.
Dan: Now you're with it.

During the episode, "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee," Casey learned to appreciate the many people who produced the show. At the end of one of their broadcasts, Dan and Casey thanked and named many behind-the-scenes people. From wardrobe to editing and even to the camera operators, the names were not made up- they were the names of people who worked on "Sports Night."

The "Jerome" mentioned at the beginning of the episode, was a reference to Jerome Fauci, the steadicam operator who had worked with Thomas Schlamme for several years before coming to "Sports Night." When "Sports Night" was in its infancy, Schlamme called him about a new show with hundreds of feet of corridors and moving sets for uninterupted steadicam shots, and Jerome knew had to be a part of the series.

Jerome worked with Schlamme in designing long, complex steadicam shots, which received much attention from producers and executives at Disney.

Today, Fouci's television credits also include: "Friends," "Mad About You," "Spin City," "Chicago Hope," "Alias," and "The West Wing." He also has over thirty feature credits as a Steadicam Operator / Cinematographer including such films as "People vs. Larry Flynt," "The Trigger Effect," "Escape from L.A.," "The One," "The Time Machine," "One Eight Seven," and "Jackass - The Movie."

Along with working occassionally with Schlamme and Aaron Sorkin on "The West Wing," Jerome is currently in development to direct his first feature film, "BOY." A film he wrote was honored as a finalist at the 2001 Disney Screenwriting Fellowships, the 2001 MTV New York Latin Film Festival Screenwriting Awards, and the 2001 Academy of Arts and Science's Nichol's Screenwriting Awards. Jerome, his wife Amanda, and 4-month old baby boy, Liam, currently live in Los Angeles and New York City.

As for the story behind "The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee," here is what Fauci had to say:

"Aaron Sorkin, the very talented, but slightly out-of-touch creator of "Sports Night," was hearing a lot about this guy 'Jerome,' the steadicam operator, who was designing long, complex Steadicam camera shots with Tommy Schlamme that were getting a lot of attention from the other producers and executives at Disney.

Now working 14 hours a day in his dark office, kicking out episode after episode, Aaron didn't even know the names of many of the "Sports Night" crew, much less a Steadicam guy named Jerome.

So, I think in a very creative way Aaron used Peter Krause's character and Josh Charles's character as his and Tommy's alter ego. If you notice in the episode, the characters are fighting because one was too busy and self-absorbed even to know the names of the crew who worked hard everyday to support him and get the show on time.

Ultimately, the character realizes that the show was not just about him- and he realized how he much his crew meant to him.

I think it was Aaron's way of showing his appreciation.

The strange thing for me was that Monday morning while shooting on the episode began, I hadn't read the script; and had no idea why Tommy, who obviously did read the script, was snickering all morning whenever he told me about the first shot up that day.

So there I was strapped into a seventy pound camera with a crew of four running backwards on the set while Peter Krause and Josh Charles were doing their dialogue. And all along my assistant, Chris Bangma, was nudging me as their dialogue started talking about this guy 'Jerome.' Being a little out of touch myself- I didn't even notice, until Tommy and half of the crew started cracking up - it was pretty funny as I remember. Getting your fifteen minutes and not even noticing it."

For more information on Jerome Fauci:
Internet Movie Database

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