the girl with the dragon tattoo

the girl with the dragon tattoo
Yes, I have a dragon tattoo as well

Σάββατο, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2013

Why we made The Noir Project

I am the kind of writer that has a big shelf, large enough so it can accomodate all the stuff that I write that "still need more work". This phrase is my mantra. I am both amazed and giddy when I think of the fact that The Noir Project, a film that started out as a 5 page script that I wrote back in 2007, put it on the shelf and never thought about it twice for years, is on its way to find its own audience. It's like watching your child walk for the first time.

Gregory, the director of The Noir Project, is for sure, the reason this is happening. His patience and his perseverance are notorious. He was the one who managed to pull the story out of me. First, by challenging my imagination, with a single question. And then, be being there every step of the way. His question was simple: "could you write a short film that has a Noir feel to it? Cause if you do, I would love to direct it". I took the challenge and wrote something really fast. His question sparked something in me that I never thought it was there in the first place. 

Then, after three years of Gregory's coming and going, of studying abroad and the like, he reminded me of the story again. It had gathered some dust on the shelf but it was still there. So we applied to the Microfilm program (one of the best programs for the funding of short films in Greece - probably the best ever) et voila, we were selected.

Now, the hard part (for me) came along. As part of the Microfilm program, we had to attend two 4-day seminars and produce a first draft and a final draft. Then the program would decide if our story was good enough to finance. 

The seminars were a revelation for me. My idea for The Noir Project, was something quite complete, in my head, but I was not at the same place anymore, in my life, as when I first wrote it. That 5 page draft of the film felt too fatalistic for me. Violence was answered with more violence, it was a vicious circle that never ended. I wanted to write about domestic abuse, but I wanted it to be about something optimistic and in the end, liberating. 

And I did it. But not without a lot of grief and moments where I wanted to hit my head against the wall. 

It was not easy at all. First I had to pitch my idea at the beginning of the seminar, to the other participants who, like us, were there to pitch and write and try to get the funds to produce their films.The sense of competition was kind of choking me.

And then, there was the grilling of our mentors, directors and writers that acted as filters for the Microfilm program, who were basically there to discuss our ideas with us and guide us to write a complete draft. They would question every aspect of the film and the story, and not only that, but they would literally come up with very, very different ideas about what our story should be like.  There was Nikos Panagiotopoulos, a realist, who wanted every part of the plot to be driven by sheer necessity. And there was Dimitris Yatzouzakis, who was an idealist, and who would stress the importance of character and how he/she drives the story. They were the absolute polar opposites of each other. 

But the hardest part was not all that, not the endless questions and all the doubting that came along with them. It was what was in my head already that was difficult and hard to let it get out.

Shadows of the past.

There is a scene in the Noir Project teaser, where the son is listening to his mother and father fight, behind a glass door, their shadows looming in the long corridor that leads from the living room to the kitchen.

This moment is real. It happened. It is also one of the most traumatic moments in my life, that feeling of helplessness, as I was listening the noise my father made as he was hitting my mother.

And the scream that followed.

It's something I'll never forget for as long as I live.

The terror. 

I was only a ten year old kid then.

That feeling of helplessness followed me through most of my life. Made me unable to think straight and act accordingly too many times.

Now it was the time to get rid of it. Finally.

So, this is the story of The Noir Project. A story about a kid, whose deepest, most profound desire, is to save his mother from his father and stop the violence.

Will he also use violence to do it, or not?

This is the question the audience faces head on when seeing the film for the first time. We never know what actually happens, until the end of the story.

I won't spoil it for you. You have to see for yourself.

I spent two months of my life writing and re-writing the screenplay of The Noir Project. It's 20 pages now, and the movie is about 25 minutes long.

Two months of thinking and agonizing all over this script, of its every detail.

And then another two years of working to make this film happen.

Go to Vimeo and watch our videos

Then, if you like what you see, visit indiegogo.

Let me know that this agony I went through, was not for nothing, that you want to see this story reach out to the world.

I will be forever grateful to you, if you do.

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