“Dad used to take me to different [TV and film] shoots,” he said. “I was totally immersed in what was going on behind the camera — how they were directed, special effects … that’s where my passion was.”
Sid Yu, Revel’s senior vice president for brand and revenue, contacted him in 2010, and he started working as an independent contractor. That led to his full-time gig brainstorming in interior design, entertainment programming, marketing and promotion.
Gorshin said he was eager to work with Yu, who had carved out a sterling reputation as a hospitality-industry marketing exec. Which brings us to the ball.
Yu had told Gorshin, “We have to put something on the building, but I just don’t want to put our name on it.” That started Gorshin’s creative wheels turning. Then fate, and pizza, intervened.
“I got a slice of pizza at Tony Boloney’s and walked back to our Atlantic Avenue office,” he said. “I just kept looking at the slope of [Revel’s roof]. To me, that was the unique feature.
“Without thinking, I had rolled the foil [from the slice] into a ball. Then I held it [toward the building]. It created a visual tension where the ball seemingly wants to roll down.”
Also, a ball “is a symbol, whether you’re a child or an older person. It conjures images of play and fun. It brings extreme pleasure,” Gorshin said.
By day, the orb looks like a giant golf ball, 40 feet in diameter and composed of almost 1,000 triangular panels. It contains a quarter-million LED lights that can be programmed from an iPad or smartphone. It is said to be visible from 10 miles on land and 200 miles from sea.
As for life with his iconic dad — who died in 2005 and whose credits also include the classic 1960 spring-break flick “Where the Boys Are” and who had guest spots on “The Munsters,” “The Untouchables” and “The Alfred Hitchcock Hour” — Gorshin has only fond memories.
He recalled how he and his sister would try to make their dad laugh, because the maniacal cackling he brought to his Riddler role was not just an act. “That’s his natural laugh,” said Gorshin. “We’d sit there and say, ‘Here comes the Riddler laugh!’ ”
Contact Chuck Darrow at 215-313-3134 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This story first appeared on his CasiNotes blog at philly.com/philly/blogs/casinotes. Follow him on Twitter @chuckdarrow.