Meet the Mayfarers

Madness and Creativity


King Ludwig II. I visited his castle in Bavaria recently. Picture this: He had a wild idea – to build a number of castles, surrounding his kingdom, fairytale castles at that, in a time (1800′s) when castles we going out of fashion. In addition, he did this all in tribute to Wagner’s operas. Each castle would be designed in one way or another with Wagner in mind. One of them even went so far as to put a Grotto where the operas could be performed for the King.

Everyone believed he was mad.

In many ways it is no different from a producer. Spending an insane amount of money trying to create fiction out of reality, and in some cases succeeding. The only difference here is that Ludwig was killed under mysterious circumstances, while your average producer is usually just killed at the box office.

So was he really mad, this “Mad King Ludwig?” Well, he was creative. And ambitious. And that in itself is its own form of madness.

But hey, look what he created!

Lasts updated on June 2nd, 2009. Tags:
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Location as Character

rockport-photo-shoot-101One of my favorite aspects of film making is using location as a character. This stuck me when I recently visited Bruges, Belgium. I had just seen “In Bruges” and, as the title suggests, the town is an integral part of the film. When walking the tiny, ancient streets, I already felt as if I had known the town. The location was necessary for the story, and was a fine combination.

Of course this is done frequently, but not as much as one would think. Woody Allen does this, most notably with “Manhattan” and “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” It’s something that I tried to do myself in “The Wayfarers” in the shots of a seaside fishing community – using the ocean, fishing boats, and small harbors to support the story of a family of lobster fishermen.

With new inexpensive and small equipment, I think it could be a tremendous opportunity for filmmakers to travel the globe and make stories about cities most people have never heard of, with visuals few have seen. However,  I also wonder if the increasing use of green screen and studio shooting is going to take away some of these location based films.

To me, the wide shot establishing the local flavor is as important as the close up of one of the faces of the leads…

Lasts updated on May 26th, 2009. Tags:
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