Who I am: Marvin LaRoy Sanders, forty-eight
Where I live: North Portland
What I do: “I am an executive transportation specialist. I take care of actors and directors and see that they have safe, expedient, and comfortable travel from point A to point B. This can be to and from their homes, hotels, studios, the set, and other locations.”
How I got my first gig: “My initial work in the industry was as an actor and stuntman. I went to a production office here in Portland to see if anyone was hiring; one of the producers suggested I check in with another department to see if they were looking for crew members. The first door I came to was the transportation department. I told the coordinator that I knew Portland like the back of my hand and that I had a good driving record. I left my number, and two weeks later he hired me. Twenty years later, I’m still going strong.”
My first big show: Men of Honor, starring Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr., which was filmed in Portland in 1999.
How much I make: “It’s a union job. I make $31.75 per hour, with an eight-hour-a-day guarantee.”
How hard I work: “The average movie day is 14 hours long. Workweeks are five or six days. The average week is 84 hours. My longest week was 136 hours.”
Job perks: “Food! Every feature provides free breakfast, lunch, and dinner to the crew. There is also craft service, but that’s more like a 7-Eleven on wheels, though the latte machine is usually in high demand. Also, hanging out with Hollywood’s A-listers as if they are friends and neighbors is great.”
I was in LA and drove Penelope Allen around on the film Hurlyburly. At the end of the day she introduced me to her friend: ‘Al, this is Marvin. He’s from Portland.’ It was Al Pacino!
Worst on-set snafu: “I was driving Academy Award–winning director Barry Levinson on Bandits, part of which was filmed in Oregon. One day in Beverly Hills, I had to pick him up from the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel from Pretty Woman, and I see Mr. Levinson come out the front door. I back up the SUV, hop out, and accidentally lock my keys in the car. I’ve never been more embarrassed in my life.”
Brush with greatness: “There are so many. I was Robert De Niro’s personal driver on Men of Honor. Another great one was when I was in LA and drove Penelope Allen around on the film Hurlyburly. At the end of the day she introduced me to her friend: ‘Al, this is Marvin. He’s from Portland.’ It was Al Pacino! It was one of those moments.”