Beda was pleased when we filmed him. Looking in the mirror, he smoothed the hair sticking out behind his ear, so that “Hollywood wouldn’t have any claims on my appearance.”
“You are shooting and I don’t know whether it’s worth it – am I such an important personality and am I a personality at all? I drew for myself. If you paint to express your thoughts and states, so this is not for money. Everybody knows me as a nice guy, a joke-cracker. But this is a mask. Nobody knows what is inside.”
The studio was allotted to Beda, so he could spend all his time there. From this time, one should subtract a lunch break, an afternoon nap, a game of bridge from time to time and two art lessons which he gave a week.
We filmed him teaching his students, in their seventies or eighties. Beda’s authority was indisputable. The students called themselves “children of Mr. Mayer.” His “studio” (a small room in the basement of the seniors’ home) Beda styled Montmartre .
“These people had never drawn, they didn’t know that they could, didn’t have time to try. Now, twice a week, they can create something. Sometimes they irritate me, not always do they listen to what I say. And I allow them to do what they want. To teach them perspective, composition – it is impossible! I give them freedom – if you can write, you can draw too.”