Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A little bit of French movie making loveliness

One day, she ran off of the movie set to go into town to get a few things, like croissants, cookies and of course, facial spray...

There are several things I love about France, one of which is their value in esthetics, like flower arrangements, beautiful gardens, lovely furniture, dressing well, fine wine, and (hydrated skin?). I like pretty things and appreciate them, I like good food and appreciate it. It creates a sense of comfort and pleasure, which I think we all crave.

So, she came back from the store with our goodies and an aerosol spray can of water... for your face... it was Evian... It cost 5 Euro... At first I laughed. Of course, I think this is ridiculous, and a funny waste of water, but my French friends, hmphed and said, 'no no... it is very nice for your face'. None of them were surprised by this bottle, like it is an everyday thing, and as I took it around the set to spray on peoples faces they all closed their eyes and enjoyed the comfort of a cool light mist of water on their faces... And then, so did I..

Friday, August 13, 2010

Goodbye France

We left the chateau with a very nice farewell. Lot’s of hugs and kisses. I was ready to leave. When I travel, I mostly have that feeling, when it is time to go, it is time to go. Yesterday was that day and I was ready. A friend from the chateau drove us to Toulouse, the scenic way and it was beautiful along the small winding road through SW France, a great way to say goodbye and move on from our intense 3 week movie making experience. Our friend dropped us off in Toulouse, near the bus station and for hours, we sat at a caf√© and had a nice lunch and nice French wine and slowly unwound. We talked about how we felt and I cried a bit to let go from the intensity. And then we made our way to the bus station. We took a bus to Barcelona because it is a straight shot, no transfers and we learned our lesson on the way to France, transfers with as much luggage as we have, is not a good idea.

The bus ride was strange and beautiful. Strange because there were about 10 people on this huge bus, the driver was super anal about everything, like he wouldn’t let us take our carry-on on the bus, because it was too big, but there were only 10 people on the whole bus, and then after 6 hours on the bus, we stopped at a truck stop for 45 minutes, when we were only an hour outside of Barcelona and the bus driver wouldn’t let us get to our carry-on below the bus, even though our food was in it.…. A bit frustrating, but Steven convinced him. Then, he almost left without us.

The ride was gorgeous, we drove through the old part of the Pyrenees between France and Spain. It is harvesting time, August, so the fields were cycling through their life, the sunflowers had seen their peek, which we were lucky enough to just catch the tail end of when we arrived 3 weeks ago. The rolling hills were dotted with old chateaus and old red brick homes with blue shutters. I think it looks a lot like Wisconsin although, the old buildings and CHARMING towns with tiny streets really makes it a bit better…We drove through the rain and a fantastic lightning storm lit up the sky the whole way, I enjoyed thinking about our experience making the movie and thinking about what is next..

Saturday, August 7, 2010

um.. macarons, not so much

Ok so the last few days, we’ve been on location in the city and there just happens to be 3 patisseries (bakeries) around the corner. I’ve been sneaking away and trying the sweets and oh la la… I’m in love! Today, I tried the famous colorful macarons. And well, I’d have to disagree with Jamie Schler’s romantic and supremely positive article in Huffington Post.
But nonetheless it was fun to try the very French macarons. Colorful fluffy meringue, filled with sweetness. I looked in the case filled with √©clairs and pain au lait and fruit tartes and there they were the easter egg colored macarons. I chose framboise (raspberry) and I think this was my mistake, it is filled with raspberry jam and it was so sweet I only took a bite before the sugar high set in. The texture was not to my liking (a light crunch and then sticky goo) and well, they just aren't my choice within the plethora of options. They may need another chance, I may have to try a chocolate one from a different patisserie and see what the result is, but for now, I will stay with the chocolate filled croissants and tarte tatin….

They sure are cute though.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Meltdown in Toulouse

I don’t know what happened. We were on location in Toulouse this afternoon shooting a scene outside a ‘fancy’ hotel (and it was fancy). The neighborhood was very very French. Small streets people walking and talking and kissing and sitting at cafes, there were shops all around and a little park in the middle with a carousel and a fountain and people sitting on benches. Oh la la…

Anyway, everyone was talking and because I am the person with the black and white board with all the info about the scene on it, I have to know what part of what scene we are shooting. So, I have to be paying close attention at all times all day and it is taxing, especially when everyone is talking and suddenly we are doing a take and I have no idea where we are because no one informed me, and I didn’t get my nose up into what they were doing (which doesn’t work so well anyway)… So, I yelled, “ EXCUSE ME… WE ALL NEED TO BE COMMUNICATING WITH ONE ANOTHER.” Everyone just looked at me and said, ‘oh, oh we are here we are doing this’ etc… I did that take and for some reason started to cry and I just set the clapper (my apparatus) down and left the set, without telling anyone. I walked around the block and cried. I don’t know why… other than the fact that we’ve all been working intensely together for the last two weeks and I just needed a moment to cry. I came back and everyone was being very kind and sweet to me. And then, I still didn’t want to be there so, I handed my clapper to someone else, ran around the corner to a shop I had seen and bought a really pretty and expensive dress, in about 3 minutes flat… And if you know me, you know that is not my way of doing things. I am slow, at these kind of decisions. I came back to the set, retail therapy happy, and I continued my job.

We had a few more takes, and some scenery shots. So, Steven and I went into a fromage shop (cheese) and bought a bunch of French cheese… it’s mmmmm and stinky.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Coffee in a bowl and Crusaders in the House..

A little bit of chaos this morning, and I don’t know what my job is yet, so I have sneaked away to write. It rained all night, and this morning a beautiful fog with rain is sweeping over the land. I have been enjoying the weather so much, it reminds me of Wisconsin summer although, not as humid, not as hot and no mosquitoes… Kind of perfect!

Each morning we sit out under the large trees and eat our breakfast (except today because of the rain). The breakfast is not so thrilling, but we do engage in a very French activity, which is drinking our morning coffee (tea for me) in a large bowl savoring it, talking and enjoying the magic of caffeine.

Today we are going to the coolest house ever. It is quite old probably around 500 years. Anyway, it is beautiful brick on the outside and old cobb and wood on the inside there are 4 levels and the man who lives has quite the artist eye. It’s one of those houses I would LOVE to live in. It is at the confluence of two rivers and it is said, that during the time of the Crusaders it was used as a lookout because you could see both rivers from the top floor…

Ok, I should go back to see what is happening with all our things and get on the road to shoot.