OJ movie a behind the scenes look that will keep you watching
Local man produces documentary questions media coverage
January 12, 2011 - By Don Rush
In October of last year, Springfield Township resident Mark (Norman to his friends) Pardo was inspired into action. Actually he got mad, mad at a "stupid TV show."
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As he watched Oprah Winfrey interview former Los Angeles homicide detective Mark Fuhrman, Pardo knew he had to make his move and finish his movie.
"I couldn't believe Oprah was trying to rehabilitate Mark Fuhrman's image. I got mad at Oprah," he said recently. "I always knew I was going to make an OJ movie, but I was going to wait a while."
Life happens and he put together a little over two hours of footage into a documentary called, OJ Simpson: The American Cover-up. Pardo has over 70 hours of Simpson footage from when he worked as Simpson's manager/promoter (1999 until the entertainer was arrested in 2007 for armed robbery and kidnapping).
In the documentary, Pardo, a generally jovial individual with a southern Florida accent, shows a side of OJ Simpson's life not many have seen -- a raw look at the celebrity going from town to town, from "gig to gig" making money, signing autographs, doing radio interviews and opening nightclubs.
Much of the footage is taped from the back seat of a moving car, some at airports and hotels. From the experiences with OJ, Pardo has come to a conspiratorial view of the American media.
"I was with OJ. People loved OJ. They wanted their picture with him, they wanted his autograph. And, whenever I saw what was on TV it was always people protesting -- that's not what I saw," he said.
Through the documentay Pardo raises the question about the media and race in America that can be summed up by OJ, when he opined on new coverage of himself, "How do you know it's not true?"
Pardo goes even further, "You basically have two men who control the media -- one is liberal and one is conservative and whatever they do, it is to make money. My experience with the media as OJ's manager was when they wanted a live interview, they really just wanted a scripted interview. They wanted you to fit into their script. And, when you didn't, they'd turn off your mic(rophone). It isn't right. I want someone in the middle who is just gonna give me the news. It got to a point that I wouldn't let anybody know where we were going to be until the morning we were going to be there. I didn't want the media to know."
Throughout the documentary, OJ tells what he thinks about the murder of his wife, Nicole, and Ron Goldman, how the media handled it, about growing up, mixed in with outbursts at Pardo.
"When you watch, you can see I am trying to get OJ going. I wanted people to see him -- all sides of him. This is OJ, basically in his own words. We were going to do this movie. Then he was arrested in Las Vegas. Then we were going to do the movie when he got out. But, that could be in 33 years," Pardo said.
Pardo believes the timing of OJ's trial in Las Vegas, hurt him.
"When OJ was sentenced, that was only a few weeks before the November election in which Barack Obama would be elected President of the United States. The media needed a guilty black man to offset their positive coverage of Obama. What you didn't see at OJ's trail was Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson or the Black Panthers all coming to show their support. They couldn't. OJ knew that. He knew he was the sacrifical lamb so Obama could get elected. And, OJ went along with it."
OJ Simpson: The American Coverup is produced by TMI Pictures, in Detroit. TMI is short for Too Much Information. Pardo said TMI is getting ready to produce another movie about the holocaust.
"We are not afraid to show people information and let them make up their own minds, not just about OJ, but about how things really work, American politics and the American media."
Pardo said he will take OJ Simpson: The American Coverup to the Cannes Film Festival this spring. A private screening is planned for noon, Feb. 5.
For more information or to schedule another screening, call 248-625-4893. To view the movie trailer, go to TMIpictures.com.
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So, what is OJ like?
"OJ is ornery. You'll notice in the movie that everything is OJ's way . . . but at the same time, he does what everybody tells him to do."
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What really happened to Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman?
"OJ told me, that I didn't want to know what happened that night. He always told me, 'Let it go.'"
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Did OJ confess in the presence of his old promoter, Mike Gilbert.
"No way. In his own mind, he doesn't believe he did it. I got him good and drunk and asked. No way, he would confess. He doesn't believe it"
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Is Mark Fuhrman a racist?
"In the movie, continually, we have quotes from Mark Fuhrman where he used the 'n' word. These are all documented. Why Oprah would want to rehabilitate his image is beyond me."