By Nicola Rose
This is Part 1 of a two-part series by Nicola Rose on filming her short film, Creative Block aka Bloc et Blocage, in Paris, France. Check back net week for Part 2.
6 A.M. The day starts with the sounding of my alarm, an evil presence I have long since learned to ignore. But today is no ordinary day. I am in Paris, France, and it’s the first day of shooting for my short film, Creative Block. Sure, I only arrived last night and have enough jet lag to fell a walrus, but no matter. There’s no time to lose: it’s 6 A.M.! Time to get up!
6:48 A.M.: Get up.
6:49 A.M.: Plod semi-consciously downstairs and eat French cereal, which is globally recognized as the nectar of the gods, only better. This perks me up a bit.
6:59-7:00 A.M.: Intensive professional preparation.
Nicola Rose (with balloons) and director Veronique N. Doumbe (All photos ©Arnaud Galy)
8:00 A.M.: I arrive at the metro stop Passy, chosen because it features a beautiful view of France’s most iconic and pointiest monument, the Eiffel Tower. There I am met by our exemplary production team, including talented director (and NYWIFT member) Veronique N. Doumbe, production assistant Nolwenn Lallart, and set photographer Arnaud Galy. Our goal today is both simple and complex. Simple, because all we have to do is shoot a silent montage of my character wandering around Paris. Complex, because we only have one brief window today to do it right before we all head to other places, projects and obligations. So time is tight and pressure high. As an actor, my goal is to forget about this; as a producer, my first priority is to remember it.
We begin by shooting multiple takes of me walking past the Eiffel Tower with a bouquet of balloons. In the film, the balloons are practically characters, so I keep a supply of extras in my backpack in case they pop. It occurs to me this is what all producers should do: keep a supply of extra actors in your bag in case, for example, you step on one and it pops. This is probably a strange thought. Sue me; I have jet lag.
9:00 A.M.: We arrive at the Boulevard Saint-Michel, home to my favorite bookstore, which is our next location. (We are filming only outside the store, as we don’t have permission to do so inside.) Remarkably, this is the only place anybody gets pissed off by our unobtrusive little crew – a rarity in a place where, although I love it with all my soul, getting pissed off about nothing is practically a national sport. A few tourist-types call attention to us by admiring the balloons. This causes an employee, working outside, to huff in French, “I am NOT in accord with you being here.” I feel like the correct response is, “I’m not in accord with YOU being here,” but I hold my tongue. Besides, being the film ninjas we are, we are already done. As the French say: badda-bing, badda-boom.
10:30 AM: Our next stop is the Luxembourg Gardens, named for the fact that somebody forgot what country they were in. Here, we are joined briefly by a sweet-looking, older gentleman who peacefully watches our filming for several minutes before heading on his way. I don’t know what brought him there or took him away, but I sort of wished I could somehow make him a character in the film. Also at the gardens, there is an incident where I refuse to give my balloons to a very insistent small child. We exchange heated words over the matter. I win, but it is not my proudest moment.
End of Part 1. In Part 2, coming next week, I’ll cover several more important topics, including our encounter with the police, what kind of dog I get most easily distracted by, and some cool French filming words you should know. À bientôt! (= See you soon!)
And support the film’s IndieGogo campaign! Donate online by January 21st to help Nicola & team cover the costs of the New York part of the production.
Welcome to NYWIFT, Jade Dressler! Jade has imagined, designed and created for mass and niche pop-culture and luxury lifestyle clients for over 30 years. From nature-inspired body jewelry on major couture runways to award-winning landscape art spanning acres in Brazil, she is known for producing touchpoints of meaning that connect and energize all our lives. The Jade Dressler Agency is NYC-based with global partners. The agency is known for lifting the dreams of personalities, brands and businesses clients with creative services that deliver compelling design, messaging, events, and experiences that thrill. Jade spoke to us about daring to be a disruptor, amazing moments with Karl Lagerfield, and her brand new screenplay!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Candece Tarpley! Candece Tarpley, of Sissipahaw/Tuscarora/Tsalagi descent, is a World Champion Powwow dancer, an actress and a poet-storyteller-playwright who has been writing since childhood. Holding her heritage close, she's been a featured performer nationwide, weaving her crafts with the patrons of the Public Library of Boulder Colorado; Middlebury College in Vermont; Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts; the Pequot Museum in Connecticut; the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Natural History in New York City, as well as other creative venues. Candece spoke to us about how her Indigenous heritage influences her work, the response to her television series, and her next major projects.READ MORE
New York based filmmaker Melissa Morales is a first-generation Puerto Rican Latina alum from CUNY Brooklyn College with a BA in Film Production, holding a magna cum laude GPA. Melissa is an aspiring writer, director, producer and production designer, and multimedia content creator. She has written, directed, & produced four short films in 2022, with her thesis "Bigger" winning a NYWIFT Emerging Female Filmmaker Award at Brookly College and a NYIFA Best Student Director Award both in 2023! Melissa tells us about receiving the NYWIFT Emerging Female Filmmaker Award, her role as a writer, director, and producer, and more!READ MORE
Welcome to NYWIFT, Hyonok Kim! Hyonok is an award-winning filmmaker and choreographer who creates innovative and experimental film. Hyonok was born in South Korea, then studied film and dance in Paris and New York. Rather than dialogue, her films use dance to express interactions, bringing the emotional experience to the viewer. She choreographed and directed 15 dance films including Weeping Water, For Sunrise, Dance with Horses, Ode on a Korean Urn, Isle of Waiting Souls, Passion & Rebirth, South Sea to Isang Yun and L’Heure de Coq. Her films were shown at international film festivals and broadcasted in France, Germany, Australia, China, Korea, the Netherlands, and the USA. Now, she lives and works in the Bronx. Hyonok shares her inspirations in nature, as a choreographer and as a storyteller here!READ MORE