We Hunt for a Set Designer
1) First we were promised the famous Eloise, who had just finished a fully-funded feature. Our Director, who had just worked with Eloise on the other film, said Eloise was locked in; Eloise was all over it; she was down with it; she was on board; she was not only attached but signed; Eloise was hep to the gig.
“Eloise promised me.”
But our Director had inconveniently forgotten to ask Eloise if she actually WAS down with it. Turns out Eloise was committed to a project in Prague.
2) Then the big shot Monsieur le Directeur promised us Samuel, a great friend of his, a constantly in demand big-budget set designer who was dying to work with Monsieur le Directeur on a small film; but Samuel apparently was … ahem … committed in New York.
3) Then, I met with Barbara in a coffee shop. I looked at her sketches; I knew some of the local indie films she’d worked on.
Barbara told me, “I know that being on a small film project is a lot of work and stress. I know you don’t have a whole department. I’m ready to do all the work myself; I don’t mind getting my hands dirty. All I ask is to be paid mileage.”
When I got home that night, there was an email waiting for me from Barbara.
“I believe my destiny is to be a director, so I’m going to be making my own film next week.”
4) Slightly less fussy now, I met Greta. Greta had not done set design, but she brought her portfolio of interior design, fashion design and posters. She had read the script. She was particularly attracted to this credit-only project because of the environmental theme. She showed me sketches of a proposed simple set.
She looked into my eyes and said, “I love your story. I love indie film. I am all, like, spiritual with the environment bit.”
I explained how tough it was to work on micro budget films. She understood. It was to be a spiritual adventure for her art.
The next day Greta called me.
“My guru in Vancouver is quite sick and I must go and sit by his bedside. I am all spiritual with that relationship, like, you know.”
…tomorrow…more set designers…