Friday, October 31, 2008

Film project 2: The King Who Sought Immortality

This film I had been wanting to make for some time. I concieved the idea around Christmas last year, as a project with simple props, telling a mythological story with a voice-over, storyteller style. Eventually I decided to use the end of the Gilgamesh epic and compose a tale of my own with some kind of morale at the end of it. The finished script had a nameless king seeking the one man who had achieved immortality in order to find out how to be immortal himself. The story was told by a guy in the desert, claiming he was this king. The tale is full of heroic deeds; The king fights demons, challenges dragons and eventually enters the underworld with the aid of the godess Ishtar. I wanted the look of the film to be quite simple and difficult to place historically. It's a tale set in a world of loincloths, copper swords and sandals. I did sneak in some Sumerian references here and there, such as certain symbols in jewelry, backgrounds and even the monsters, that look like demons and dragons on old Sumerian tablets.

I knew exactly who to ask to play the king -Dag Persson, poet, actor, musician and strong-willed individual. We had collaborated on many projects when we were both members of an art society that went belly-up a few years back (more about that sorry story later). However, Dag is a very busy man, so the date I had planned for shooting, sometime in April, was hastily postponed. I called Dag again in May and we decided to give it a try in July. Problem was I had another film project already booked in July, but as I knew it would be difficult to get Dag's attention again I decided to go, go, go -even if it meant a lot of unplanned, extra work.

So go, go, go we did and taped the entire live-action part of the film in one exhausting day! I'll get back to that day in a post entirely dedicated to the shooting of the film. Against all odds it all turned out well. The entire film (save a few minutes here and there) were shot against a blue screen, meaning that I can put the actors in any environment I choose. More about the blue screen work too in a while.

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