Those of who who started with this blog detailing the funding of Travel Day have often read about Shirley Petchprapa, the filmmaker and director who partnered with me on the project. We met when she was looking for screenplays and read one of mine, a drama called Secrets of the Salmon.
We almost instantly got along, the young, smart New Yorker and the Canadian writer and director. It wasn't long before we decided to make a feature film together with me producing one of my screenplays that she would direct.
One of the things that impressed me, besides her talent (and I rarely use that word) was that I don't know many filmmakers who can actually grind a lens, you know special glass and "sand" to make an optical lens. Shirley did that and she has designed and created several other camera accessories.
Shirley comes from Graphic Design and Art Directing eventually editing a documentary and producing, shooting and editing several documentary pieces as well as a narrative television short that was pitched to the SyFy channel in 2006. It was around then that she decided to pursue filmmaking exclusively.
Earlier this year she received the Best Soundscape award for her short film 'Tuesday' (http://www.issara.net/tuesday) from the Dresden Filmfest in Germany. She is currently traveling around the globe with her newest short, 'Roxy' (http://www.issara.net/roxy), which had it's World Premiere at the prestigious Festival del film Locarno in Switzerland. 'Roxy' is headed to the Mill Valley Film Festival in October as well as in competition at the Lucca Film Festival in Italy and the Marbella Film Festival in Spain.
Iain Stott of 'The One-Line Review' says "There are echoes of J.D. Salinger’s A Perfect Day for Bananafish (1948) in Shirley Petchprapa’s intensely sensual and ethereally beautiful self-financed short film…" (Full review: http://1linereview.blogspot.com/2010/09/roxy-2010.html). You can also read some insights about her experience making 'Roxy'.
You can read some other recent press at the following:
Our first project was Travel Day and after a few disagreements, one of which I blogged about that nearly ended the project. Since TD went down (at least for now), we continued to talk about other projects.
We both come from different worlds and yet can agree on particular films and themes even though I'm a lot more commercial in the sense that I have done primarily TV movies and several of my screenplays are pretty offbeat and shall I say, artsy?
It wasn't long before we both agreed that The Last Station (previous title was slightly wrong) would be a good choice as I had done a workshop with it years ago and it got a glowing review at Sundance with the reader calling it a combination of Robert Altman, George Lucas and Horton Foote.
You don't get better than that.
We both agreed that the singular location would be greatly helpful in funding the project which will be dependent on cast; better actors cost more, although SAG has low budget programs that will definitely help us.
For now, I'm working on both projects, Casualties of Love and Last Station to film in late fall or early winter.
So, for now, have a look at her short films and demo real (http://www.issara.net) and read the reviews on Roxy, all under Materials.
(Thurs: The Christmas Movie has wrapped)