Monday, February 22, 2010


It's a beautiful day.

A day of reckoning. And recognizing.

A while back, I talked about how at one point the film itself starts dictating what it needs. How, regardless of external forces or preconceived notions, there comes a time when the film starts calling its own shots.

A very vivid example of this phenomenon happened last week - around the casting of Marion.

Let me say here that Theresapedia assures me the kind of "call and rejection" process we've been dutifully pursuing happens on all kinds of projects all the time. She said that on almost every other production she's done, countless numbers of impassioned and sincere letters go out to remote "names" on a list - proposing the given role, one at a time, to a raft of potential actors who have some kind of "cachet" according to some of the people, some of the time - until some one of them finally says "yes".

Well, by last week, by my calculations, we'd invested a very respectable amount of time and energy going down a respectable, yet remote list. And except for the very genuine interest expressed by Rachel Griffiths, we still had not much to show for our efforts - except experience.

And if experience has taught me anything, it's to listen to my gut - or the film - whichever talks the loudest. So when it happened that we put out a breakdown for the role of Stella and hometown darling Macha Grenon was submitted for the part, my gut started growling. Or maybe it was the film confabulating... Either way, something had spoken.

Macha and I first met last summer just as she was finishing filming a biopic about André Mathieu, a famous Quebec child prodigy. Back then you might remember, we had just received the bulk of our financing and we were actually considering maybe trying to shoot by August. Macha and I had a wonderful meeting of minds. Shortly afterward, she told me that she would have loved to get on board as Marion and I would have loved to have her, but the role required a flawless English with a little prairie music to it. Although she is completely bilingual, Macha is still a native francophone so was uncomfortable taking on such a role without more preparation time. So we agreed to stay in touch and she went off to shoot "Barney's Version" with Paul Giamatti and I went off to wend my way through getting this film made.

Much water has passed under the bridge since that first meeting and there's been a drifting into unchartered territory on our part. But Macha's always remained the "prototype" for Marion - for the kind of actor I should be so lucky to make my first film with... And when she came back into this film's life by way of submitting for Stella's role, well, let's just say - it suddenly felt like coming home.

So to finally cut to the chase then, the wonderful Ms. Macha Grenon has just been cast in the role of Marion. She has a heart and soul as wide and open as the prairies where this film is set and we are all thrilled to have her, to have Marion - right here in our own backyard.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy President's/Family/Louis Riel Day

Although last Monday was our official deadline on Will's offer, the deadline came and went and there was no news at all and then there was "all hope is lost" kind of news and then there was, no wait, no news doesn't necessarily mean no and then there was - no news. And then there was President's Day.

Wonder what tomorrow will bring...?

Worse than no news, there was also some sad news last week - yours truly got her computer stolen. Nice. I'm still a little discombobulated and generally out of sorts with the kind of world that actually invents a device discreet and sensitive enough to detect the presence of a laptop in some random dark and locked car.

Apparently, all thieves have to do is walk through a parking lot with this thing and they can get an exact read on whether there's a computer in any given vehicle and where exactly it is hidden. Then it's one quick smack of something (probably the same device that detects the computer in the first place - sort of a multi-purpose, Slap Chop kind of thing) to break the window and presto -

Pure chaos.

At least that's how it feels for the first while after it happens. But order is slowly being restored now and all my energy and attention is back on making the movie - as well as a few new memories (that you can be sure I'll be backing up)!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Making Time

It's only 3:00 pm in L.A. ... still 3 odd hours before our offer to Will Arnett "expires". So far however, the silence is kind of deafening.

Not that it's been a complete vacuum... After a few false starts, we successfully made contact early last week. We were informed that Will's "people" indeed received our package. The appropriate agent subsequently read the script and agreed to pass it along to his client. But he threw us no other bones.

So, we shall see... and I will, of course, let you know when I do.

Meantime, I am preparing to shoot a commercial tomorrow - a tampon commercial!! As one of only a few women directing commercials in Quebec, I figured it was only a matter of time before I got tapped to do one of those. But it's completely cool - a fun concept, sort of "in your face", anti-advertising kind of thing. A nice challenge. And helps to keep my mind off waiting to hear from Will He or Will He Not...

Having been down this road a few times already, however, I am ready for anything. No matter what happens, there will be a next step to take - the main thing is to just keep moving forward... (any resemblance to Wile E. Coyote making good time running in mid-air over the chasm - until he looks down - is pure coincidence). 

Meep! Meep!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Blog blah blah

This is one of those.

A touch-base, update...

No news from Will or Will's people yet.  Our electronic package has been getting to see a lot of beautiful downtown Beverly Hills though; passing from one agent's assistant's laptop to another - very scenic route, I'm sure.

Meantime, we're starting the casting in Montreal for some of our other key roles - Stella, for one. Ideally, we wanted to try and cast her AFTER we had our Marion as the two characters are intended to be "counterpoints" to one another, but seeing as the role of Marion could still be said to be waiting for its perfect fit, we have decided to move ahead on the other characters. We tell ourselves that by putting one thing in place, we are bound to create an avalanche of action on several other fronts. 

More than that though, what I'm really starting to believe is: There just comes a time when - above all the hoopla and blah, blah - that the film itself will finally tell you what it needs... . And you just have to be quiet enough - long enough - to listen.