Scouting locations for a film is usually a bit of a magical mystery tour.
Venturing into unknown territory and discovering hidden facets of our world. I think that was the inspiration for this fantasy painting/photograph I made of one of the island parks we discovered on our visit to Prague.
But more than places, the fascinating and diverse people you get to meet along the way are always the things that stay with you.
Film professionals are film professionals the world over, with a common language and inate predisposition to solve problems. Two of the best in the business in their countries are:
Ildiko Kemeny of Pioneer FIlms in Budapest
Andjelka Vlaisavljevic of Work In Progress in Belgrade
It was great spending time with them in their native lands and learning their histories in the business and educating ourselves about local films and filmmaking traditions.
Got to go - the magical mystery tour is waiting to take me away!
Lunch today in the wonderful Gerloczy cafe in Budapest.
Inspired by their collection of old local advertisements on the walls, and tried to grab a few snaps of same to share with you here, in between spoonfuls of the Goulash soup and bites of their streudel!
The headstones were mostly pre-war, and were crowded together, and covered with the dust of a recent snowfall. But for every soul that was resting there, it felt like there was at least one corresponding black crow perched in the barren trees overhead, like harbingers or sentinels watching over the dead.
Their loud birdsongs filled the air, and suddenly they took flight, filling the twilight sky with their peregrinations. It felt like there were thousands of them, darkening us with their shade, even as darkness descended.
The "Disconnect" editorial team is cutting away (a false metaphor these days as all our "footage" really consists of digital bits of data) in preparation for upcoming screenings of the movie for our financier, test audiences and ultimately distributors.
A nerve-wracking process but one I thoroughly enjoy as the ability to "write" a film for the third and final time with the almost infinite ability we have to stretch and reorder and recolor and manipulate the film with music and sound never ceases to fascinate me.
Next up is the upcoming production of "Therese Raquin" which has been adapted by writer/director Charlie Stratton from Emile Zola's prescient, modern and nor-ish 19th century novel of an adulterous-turned-murderous affair in the lower depths of Paris.
Scouting, budgeting and casting are underway, as am I, off to Eastern Europe in search of remnants of Zola's epoch in these post-modern times.
Another favorite script and project I have been laboring on with my partners for years looks like it is almost set to go at the same time, so watch this space for more news, and for my inevitable 19th Nervous Breakdown to quote the song as I struggle to juggle all the various demands of these shows.
I hope I can keep up the blog posts and don't disappoint you with what I bring back from my travels and experiences to share with you here.
For those of you who have never seen the Marcel Carne version of Therese Raquin from the fifties, with Simone Signoret and Raf Vallone (as I had not until getting involved with this project) it is well worth checking out. In some ways radically different from the book, and therefore quite different from our version which stays true to the 19th century setting, Carne's film is set in the time it was made, the 1950's, and wholly invents a blackmail plot for the third act of the narrative. But it is quite intense and the performances are terrific, two virtues we certainly hope to equal!