Mekas was both a prolific film-maker, and an energetic guiding spirit for the New York independent film scene (whence many of his extensive list of friends and accomplices — his ‘second family’). Maciunas was a lifelong friend from Lithuanian schooldays, Warhol another close associate — he credited Mekas for getting him filming. Among other friends were Vautier, Breer, Anger, Cassavetes, Frank, Brakhage (filmed making pancakes), Ginsberg (filmed singing an anti-war song), and Ono and Lennon (filmed in bed). Dalí sought him out, Polanski drove him around Paris. Pinter distracted customs officers so Mekas could sneak a banned film into the U.S.