Thursday, September 23, 2010

Boedromion Full Moon

VERY rainy here in Duluth today. Big storms moving through, MORE flooding possible.

Gwendolyn has been fierce about the importance of shooting the rituals over the next nine days to correspond with the ancient schedule. The Eleusinian Mysteries were held during this month (they called it Boedromion) for nine days... probably starting with the full moon and the autumn equinox.

That would be today.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Insomnia Borealis

Peeked out of my tent in the early hours to see the green fingers of the Aurora Borealis wiggling in the sky. Our intrepid crew sure could use a blessing from above right now. Maybe Gwendolyn's sweet grass offering actually did some good.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Back on Track > cast party tonight!

After a few weeks of delay, and repairs to the ruined temple... The Mysteries is gearing up to shoot again at the Temple to Demeter set. Julia wanted to throw a party for everyone (spirits have been low) ...especially to thank the local Duluth community who have opened up their homes and hearts to us. (Some even providing housing for the cast and crew who were displaced by flooding at the Bible Camp.)

I ended up pitching my new tent (the other one floated away) in the backyard of some really nice local artists. Much better shower situation there!

Looking forward to the party tonight. I will be shooting some stills and interviews for use on the bonus disk later.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sacred Way > too green

Went today with Julia, George, Krys and Gwendolyn to the location for the Sacred Way scenes. It's a beautiful wooded creek with a trail. It would be perfect for the shots of mysteries initiates walking with torches on the way to Eleusis... except that it's too green for Greece. Julia is going to try to put off the Sacred Way for a few more weeks, or a month if necessary.

I'm starting to realize that this project might stretch on longer than I thought.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Temple Interior

It's been fascinating to watch the scenic crew construct the interior temple set. I love spending time there. It's easy to imagine coming to pay tribute to the goddess.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Caryatid Repair Shop

Finally back up north again. Spent much of the day with the scenic designer and her small team. They were working on rebuilding the caryatids and other sculptural elements for the temple. Andrea Hardy has a background in theatrical set design. She can work magic with almost no budget. Good thing.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mt Olympus Wisconsin

George is looking for alternative locations for shooting the Temple exteriors. He asked us to check out the Mt Olympus resort theme park at the Wisconsin Dells...on our way back from Chicago. I guess the insurance money for the flood damaged temple set is not coming through as quickly as he hoped.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Triptolemus at guitar store

I guess the younger brother of Stephanie Hopper has been cast in the small role of Triptolemus. (A 2-fer special this week on child actors?)

Daniel Hopper was promised a new guitar as part of his contract.

At least the stage mother seems pretty relaxed, not too controlling. Yet.

Monday, August 9, 2010

At the Palmer House with Hades

Jonathan Frank insisted on staying at The Palmer House, a cool old hotel in Chicago. I didn't realize he and Stephanie Hopper had never met until now. I'm not so sure about the chemistry, but maybe that's ok, since he's the abductor. She's sweet enough, but there's a grumpy little teenage princess underneath that wholesome midwestern surface.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

News from the Set > Flood Damage

It's been really hot and muggy here in Chicago, but today the rain is passing through. Just got a call from George who is still in Northern Minnesota. They had bad flooding last night in the Duluth area. Part of the temple set was washed away and the two caryatids were buried halfway in mud. Mysteries shooting is suspended until the repairs can be made.

George sent us a pic. He says our housing at the Bible camp was particularly hard-hit. Mine was one of the tents that floated away. Krys and Julia were pretty shaken up by tree branches landing on their trailers.

Ofcourse Gwendolyn is saying it's the Curse of Demeter.

With everything on hold, George and Jonathan are flying in to Chicago today. George is meeting with the insurance guy down here to figure out how quickly they can process the claim. Meanwhile, the crew is renting studio space for some photography with Hades and the new Persephone. (Stephanie Hopper, the replacement for Louisa Grey). I'll meet up with them tonight at their hotel.


Thanks to the camera crew, I have been filling my ears with new tunes, my belly with treats, and my eyes with surprises...

Beats Antique at the DJ stage

Lollapalooza is the bomb!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lady Gaga rites

Here I am at Lollapalooza and I can't stop seeing the connections between this massive gathering and the ancient Greek rites. People gather for an intense experience. They parade in long lines. They make their sacrifices (pigs, money, what's the diff). They get their wristbands (in the Mysteries it was a saffron ribbon). They revel. They reveal.

I wonder if the Eleusinian Mysteries ever reached the ecstatic peak of Lollapalooza... Did Persephone do a stage dive after rising in the flames of the Telesterion... Did Security protect the priestess when crowd went wild?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Hanging with the Camera Crew

Made it to Chicago. Slept in the van most of the way. The camera crew got me a pass into Lolla, as their guest sherpa. I'm learning as much as I can from them about cameras, lighting, and set up for mobile shoots like this. But mostly I'm learning about how much lugging you do, even to shoot a documentary. Not sure I'm buff enough. Is this why there are so few female camera operators?

On the plus side, they've really been teaching me a ton. Dave even offered to let me borrow one of his DSLR cameras for shooting some of the Mysteries Bonus Disk features. (Did I mention that I got another assignment from George?).

I know I'm really lucky to get this opportunity. I just hope I can shoot and edit something that is Bonus Disk quality.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Getaway Weekend

The DP and camera crew have to go down to Chicago for a few days to finish a documentary they have been shooting about Lady Gaga. One of the cameramen took pity on me after seeing Julia go berserk over the missing piglets. They have one extra seat in the van and offered to take me along.

I am outta here, for a day or two.

Whoooo Hoooooo! Lollapalooooooooza!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Home away from home away from home...

ok. check. The Gitchee Gumee coffeeshop is now my lifeline.


Have I told you about the old Bible camp that is now accomodations for cast and crew of THE MYSTERIES? The stars get their own trailers at least. But Krys Douglas was so mad she ripped her name off her door.


Other than the showers that smell like rotten eggs, it's not all that bad. I can live with the mosquito bites and the aggressively friendly chipmunks (former christian campers trained them to run up your leg for a graham cracker). A few bodacious black bears are a concern to some, but I am careful to NOT bring any food into my tent. Hank and Janine speculate that the bears had a paw in the disappearance of the piglets this weekend.

Thunderstorms can be problematic, especially when using electronics in a tent. I learned that the hard way.

So, from now on, I will be blogging from my favorite new java hut. The log cabin theme is sooooooo old world.

testing wireless at coffeeshop

I am at the Gitchee Gummee Coffeeshop on the northshore of Lake Superior. Just up the road from the bible camp. See if this posts to my blog...

Monday, August 2, 2010

Prop Shop

Spent most of today in the props dept.
I like the props dept.
Those are my kinda peeps.

When in doubt : CGI

Couldn't we use Computer Generated Imagery as a substitute for every single AWOL animal and sulking cast member?

Just wondering.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sucky day overall

Some tears on the set today.
Though not in the script, and none on camera.

Pigs on the lam (b)

I swear I am NOT the one who left the cage unlatched.


Hank just announced that every available port-o-potty in a 50 mile radius has been reserved for the Duluth Tall Ships Festival this weekend. The Inspector General (of Health and Human Services?) told him that our location would be in violation and very likely fined if we gather the crew and extras to the beach site as planned today.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Free Range Film Fest

Just back from my first real film festival with the VIPs tonight.
Julia and George discussed the possibility of having The Mysteries premiere at this regional film fest next summer. She likes the the agricultural connection. He likes the low-budg aspect. Both of them were a little surprised by the intimate setting, even for an indie festival it was pretty casual. But it was cool to be there with Jonathan Frank. People kept coming up to him to get autographs.

I also got to meet Janine Summer who is the animal specialist (pig/dog/horse wrangler) for the production. She met us at the Free Range barn to transport the piglets we need for the purification scene.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Persephone with Pirates

A few hundred girls responded to the casting call for Persephone. Louisa Grey was originally cast in the role, but our delays meant she had to withdraw from the project. Julia finally settled on a local Minnesota actress for the part...Stephanie Hopper. She is finishing up a touring production of Pirates of Penzance here in Duluth. Later in August she will join us on the set. Sweet girl.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

An emessage from Zeus ?

Lightning Over Duluth
Lightning hit the local Aerial lift bridge, causing it to be stuck in the up position for hours yesterday... Unsure whether we would get trapped on the wrong side of the bridge, we have postponed the pig scene shoot until later this week. We will need to travel back and forth over the bridge to reach the beach location way out on the sandy strip of land called Park Point. Hopefully all the electronics will be in good working order by Saturday.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Graphix in da house

Today's additions to my job description:
1- check the weather hourly, report to George with updates
2- design tshirts for crew
3- ooops, design an identity for The Mysteries movie to be used on the crew tshirts
4- while I'm at it... take the newly designed Mysteries identity and apply it to other promotional materials... like website, posters, hats, buttons...

Rained all day today, torrential, with promises of tennis ball sized hail. The location shoot was canceled, so I spent the day on my laptop, searching for fonts and working up a type treatment for THE MYSTERIES. George pushed for me to use DALEK, a free font off the web. I could hear my design professors groaning.

But I think it works ok, if you like that sort of thing. Still testing colors and variations. Suggestions?

Making signage for the trailers and the locations. Making ancient greek signage for the agora scene. Whipping up a little website for The Mysteries. No end to projects to keep me busy from 6am to midnight on a rainy day. Somehow I am now their inhouse graphics dept.

Artemis rises

Gorgeous full moon over Lake Superior last night. I could watch it rise from my hotel room. Then this morning George informed us that the budget for housing has been revised. I guess the honeymoon really is over. We are moving up the shore to an abandoned Bible camp tomorrow. The talent will stay in cabins. The rest of us in RVs and tents. George assures me that I can charge my laptop in his trailer, that my stuff will be safe in my tent, and as long as I don't keep any food in my bags, the animals won't bug me. (by animals, does he mean bears?)

Monday, July 26, 2010

My Internship starts NOW

Flew in to the Duluth International Airport today. Yikes! And I thought I grew up in the boondocks. I feel like I've time traveled, again. Only this time it's like 1980 or back when my mom was in college. This town is... quaint.

Met up with Julia, George, and some of the crew members at the hotel near Lake Superior. That is one big body of H2O.

I am trying very hard to make believe it is the Aegean.

I explained to Julia (THE MYSTERIES director) my situation with the internship and my last 3 credits. She agreed that she could sign off at the end of the summer, providing I stick with the production until the wrap. She didn't really know that I have been keeping this blog... (eventhough I'm pretty sure I told her in Athens). Now she wants to look at it and approve what I post.

Meanwhile, the producer George Smith was all fired up about this new social networking tool for film promo... and wants me to help set up our Mysteries Movie website AND manage the content for our page on Movieset:
MovieSet - Behind the Scenes Access to Films in Production

My internship duties keep shifting. Oh well, I guess I'll keep busy!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Packing for Ancient Greece (aka Minnesota)

Leaving tomorrow.

Don't forget to pack:
water bottle
camera + charger
sketchbook + pens
laptop + powercord
printout of internship job description

patience + my best tude

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Longer MIA

Where've I been and wtf have I been up to?

Final Projects
Final Papers
Final Exams
Final goodbyes to 5 years worth of college friends, lecture halls, and energy drinks... Final photo ops with profs and rents in front of Old Main.

Dad looks proud. Mom looks worried.

Yes, they did finally allow me to do the pomp and circ thing, eventhough I still have 3 more credits dangling toward my degree. We won't go into the long saga of my petitioning the university to allow those 3 credits to transfer in from community college. All I need to do now is FINISH THIS INTERNSHIP. My prof says I need to document everything I do on this blog, then I can have the director sign off on my paperwork, send it back to the U and then I am done. Done.

I leave again in two days for The Mysteries set. No, I'm not going to Greece this time. Julia keeps sending me email updates with changes. (We were supposed to start shooting in June!) First it was going to be Upper Michigan because of some tax incentive. But the studios there were all backed up. Instead, we will be shooting in Northern Minnesota. I guess it's my job to nod enthusiastically when she insists that Minnesota looks just like Ancient Greece.

Nine weeks of shooting.

3 credits. Easy.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

SO derivative !

SO... I've been back at school, desperately trying to catch up in my classes after taking extra time for my internship over spring break. Still working on my psych paper (research topic: Persephone Complex?), two giant final projects due in MediArts and DigiStu, and trying to work ahead on some stuff for Andrea (who actually liked some of the sketches and storyboard ideas I showed her in Greece!).

Got some negative feedback in DigiStu crit yesterday. She-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named really slammed my last series of images for being SO derivative. ouch. But then today in VizLit, we had a discussion about copyright law and art. My prof showed this from youtube...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Good Buy and Good Nite

On our way to the airport the city suddenly went dark. Thought it was a utility strike at first. After all that time with George and Hank begging the authorities to dim the lights on the temple in the Agora... and we could have just waited for Earth Hour.

Yia sou + kali nichta !

Saturday, March 27, 2010

7 Wonders

7 Wonders of the World ???????
* Great Pyramid of Giza
* Hanging Gardens of Babylon
* Statue of Zeus at Olympia
* Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
* Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus
* Colossus of Rhodes
* Lighthouse of Alexandria

Seven wonders of my world:
1. I wonder why the Parthenon is not on the list above
2. I wonder how they make Greek yogurt so creamy and delicious
3. I wonder if I will be able to find Greek yogurt when I get back home
4. I wonder what I will do with my last few hours in Greece
5. I wonder how we are all getting to the airport
6. I wonder what was up with Julia last night
7. I wonder if we will pay for revealing the secrets of the Mysteries

Family of Org

When I scan the list>> WHAT WE OWE TO THE GREEKS I think about how my Psych prof keeps harping about family of origin. Starting with Freud, how it is what all that psychology theory stuff is based on. Freud, I'm seeing how much it all comes down from ancient Greek philosophy and theater... myth and religion.

Maybe I will write my final Psych paper on the screwed up family system of Persephone. Classic kid of divorce, two houses, accusations of abuse...
full bibliography coming soon

Here's another short film from YouTube that tells the story of Persephone in an arty black and white style. But THIS ONE is much sexier. A third video, Kiss of Lord Hades may have some copyright issues. And this one is just plain problematic.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Euro up / Budget down

Back in Athens now. The Greeks seem happier today with the news of some economic help from the rest of Europe. The Euro is up. But the Greek economy is still teetering on the brink. Either way, George says it's not really great news for THE MYSTERIES production budget. He agrees that it's important to act on fact not on fiction.

I'm off to run around Athens on my own. My last full day here... I want to go see a few museums, pick up some trinkets, and meet up with the crew at our favorite cafe near the Agora. This recce trip is zipping by like a Prius with its gas pedal stuck...


Did I mention that the sacred Mysteries of Eleusis were kept strictly secret and an initiate could reveal nothing of the rites, on pain of exile... or even Death.

In Athens they voted with pottery shards when exiling someone... (see Ostracism).

The great playwright Aeschylus was born in Eleusis. Later in life he was put on trial for revealing the secrets of the Mysteries in his plays. One defense was that he had never been formally initiated. He was acquitted. whew. I mean... you shouldn't be executed for breaking an oath you never made, right?

even more research...
In search of the Divine: Philosophy and the Eleusinian Mysteries in Plato’s Symposium *This is a work in progress. Please do not cite or quote without the author’s permission.*

Legomena (Things Said)

The rites inside the Telesterion were made up of three elements: Dromena (things acted), Deiknumena (things shown) and Legomena (things said). These were known as the apporheta (the unrepeatables)...

Repeat them, and it's curtains for you.

I'm not so sure that's true for THINGS WRITTEN though. I mean, you can find an awful lot of info on the internet these days. Like here's a scan of the whole rambling Hymn to Demeter. So... if ancient texts don't fall under copyright law... do ancient secrets? Seriously, would anyone really give a hoot at this point...if you told what happened in the Mysteries? WTH.

Deiknumena (Things Shown)

Supposedly, the rites at Eleusis were started for sharing agricultural secrets...

Here is the giant bas relief from the Eleusis museum. I guess that's Demeter and Persephone showing Triptolemus how to plant grain? I'd like to know more about Triptolemus. Was he some sort of god-child? does he represent the next generation?

Julia hasn't even mentioned his role in the film.

And, in terms of showing sacred objects... what were the deiknumena? What was in the Kiste Mystica?
When they opened the chest... did they show the crowd... sacred symbols like... serpents and seed cakes, pomegranates and poppies, stalks of grain and statues of...

Dromena (Things Acted)

No body knows for sure... but in the DROMENA the initiates might have acted out the myth/story. Maybe the priest was the original foley artist, hitting the gong to invoke the Underworld. Maybe they pantomimed the abduction of Persephone, the grieving of Demeter, Persephone's visit with Hades, the mother/daughter banquet when she returns.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rerouted Parade

Our trip back into Athens was a bit pokey. Backed up traffic and people lining the streets, another detour. Thought it was another protest, until we figured out it is Greek Independence Day. Duh!


The hotel clerk explained that the Greek Independence Day Parade was less impressive this year because of the economic crisis. No helicopters flying over the Parthenon like last year. He seemed sad and tired.

Show and Telesterion

A few thousand years ago, there were quite a few buildings at site of Eleusis. The largest was the Telesterion of Demeter. It served as the initiation Hall and Temple for the Eleusinian Mysteries. Built, destroyed, and rebuilt a number of times over the years, in its largest incarnation it could seat 3000.

That seems like a lot of folks to keep a secret.

It was sure big enough, (8 tiers of seats on 4 sides divided by openings for 2 entrances on each of 3 sides) for a good show. Oooops, I meant Telesterion. Telesterion, not Telestrion... comes from the greek > for initiation, equiv. to teles-, s. of teleîn to fulfill, initiate (see tele-2) + -tērion neut. n. suffix denoting place.

Maybe it was the ancient place to go for a tele-vision? Or at least a vision of death. Going through the rites was supposed to help you transcend any fear of death or afterlife... Sophocles wrote : " Oh, thrice blessed the mortals, who, having contemplated these Mysteries, have descended to Hades ; for those only will there be a future life of happiness — the others there will find nothing but suffering."
I found this text by Dudley Wright THE ELEUSINIAN MYSTERIES & RITES

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Even Slaves and Women

Julia is not the only one who wants to make a movie about the Mysteries. I've been finding some other efforts on YouTube:

Happy to learn that The Mysteries was pretty class leveling. Anyone who spoke Greek could be initiated, even SLAVES and WOMEN. Pretty sure I'm both. Και μπορώ να το Google Translate ελληνικά!

Hey Mom... I got your message. Thanks for the great news about the Health Care Bill. We have been on the road, and no one picked up the Herald Trib in the last few days. GOBAMA CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now I can finally graduate and you can take me off your plan.

BTW : Don't worry about me. I'm safe. Can't call. Still no cell charger. Only 2 more days in Greece. Back to Athens, then home on Sunday. (You are still picking me up, right?)

Kykeon Chemistry 101

Ok, this is kinda trippy.

When she was grieving, Demeter was down on Dionysus and so she refused to drink any wine. Her beverage of choice became something called Kykeon. It was some kind of mash up of barley and herbs... probably non-alcoholic. But there are some alternative theories about Kykeon's psychoactive properties. I will do more research on Entheogenic Theories. Jonathan suggested I read The Road to Eleusis and another book called Persephone's Quest. (I'll get them on interlib loan.)

The Hidden World - An Interview with Prof. Carl A. P. Ruck, who wrote a bunch of other books and is a professor in Boston. He invented the word ENTHEOGEN which I have never heard until today.

The podcast host keeps mispronouncing Eleusis as Ulysses. (a bit too much Kykeon??)

El·eu·sin·i·an /ˌɛlyʊˈsɪniən/ [el-yoo-sin-ee-uhn]

Looking for supplies... maybe try here

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Curse of Demeter

Julia Hauenstein standing with the caryatid in the museum at Eleusis.

It was one of two giant female statues that flanked an entrance to a decimated building on the sacred site. I thought it was Demeter. But the brochure says it is not a sculpture of the goddess, but of a priestess is who carrying the mystical objects on her head in a basket. (Called a KISTE?) No one is sure what was carried in the basket/chest, but the objects were sacred and secret.

The matching caryatid was smuggled away to a museum in England. A British professor found it buried up to its neck in a pile of manure. It was keeping the fields fertile. The locals have been trying to get it back for years. Our waiter told us that some people believe the theft caused the CURSE OF DEMETER. The area became an industrial cesspool of sorts. There is some movement by environmentalists to raise awareness and restore the area.

Philippos Koutsaftis made a film about Elefsina called Agelastos Petra (Mourning Rock). Julia said she's been trying to get her hands on a dvd of this documentary, but hasn't had any luck. I found a clip on YouTube.

Notes from the Underworld

Today we finally made it into the Eleusis sacred site. Not crowded at all, I took quite a few photos and some video of the remnants of culture here. I will eventually upload all the pix and video but the ancient greek internet in our new hotel must be dial-up. I'm not even going to try now.

Posted later>>>

George pointing to the actual cave of Hades on site...

Jonathan Demann is the actor who will play Hades in film. He is really well known in Canada I guess. He flew into Athens over the weekend and joined us for the trip to Delphi and Eleusis. He seemed unimpressed by the cave at the Eleusis site...thinks it needs to be much bigger, more believable.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Detour on the Sacred Way

Got up really early so that we could shop for traditional theatrical masks on the way. Julia thinks they are made by inmates at a correctional facility near Corinth. George says they are probably made in China, by slaves. But Krys shelled out for at least twelve of the authentic ancient masks. She also bought me a small hand-painted vase (geometric period). Very sweet of her. Said it was a gift for locating a farmakeío that was open on Sunday. (I did finally find a place that would fill her anti-itch prescription without costing an arm and a leg.)

Krys, Julia, George and Hank... in jesting.

We did make it all the way to Elefsina in time to meet up with Hank and the others at the Eleusis archaeological site, only to remember that it is Monday. ΚΛΕΙΣΤΟ. No duh.

Krys said it was meant to be. That it was time to consult the Oracle. George said it might be better to consult wikipedia and get some reasonably useful info, but off we went on our detour to Delphi. Which was NOT closed today! Two car loads of us now... with Hank, the scenic designer Andrea, and what's-his-name the actor who will be playing Hades.

Delphi was SO amazing. Krys was right. We needed to go there. George was happy, really good cell reception way up in the mountains. Go figure. And Julia had an epiphany. Or at least that's what she kept saying on the long drive back down. She kept laughing and shaking her head. I'm sure it will all be made clear ... eventually.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

First Aid

We heard that the austerity plan has killed off ten thousand Greek businesses in two months. Taxi drivers and petrol station owners keep going on strike but George still figured that hiring a cab is better than renting our own car (gas prices tripled here recently). We lucked out and found a guy who would take us all the way from the Piraus ferry dock to the Pelopennese penninsula. The great thing is that the cabbie speaks English! It’s just four of us now. Hank went back to Athens to meet up with Andrea who is flying in tomorrow. I guess they will meet us at Elephseena on Monday?

Everyone took turns napping on the drive to Epidaurus. There was a Yanni concert playing on the taxi dvd. Mom, you would have loved it. We twisted and turned along the way, passing near the REAL PLACE where the Greeks defeated the Persians, right after the 300 suicide mission. The rocking motion of the cab (and probably the Yanni) kept putting me to sleep, then jerking me back and forth from weird dreams to the snaking landscape.

The fourth day of the Mysteries was was dedicated to the god Asklepios. He’s the one with the staff and serpents we see on health care logos. Apparently even ancient doctors were time-challenged. Arriving late for purification, he held up the whole Mysteries schedule.

When we finally got to Epidaurus, Krys and Julia woke up from their snooze complaining of itching and burning around their ankles and legs. Yesterday they were sitting under a pine tree on Aegina... George thinks it could have been those goofy greek caterpillars. Now Julia and Krys are off in search of topical cream. George and I are heading to the ancient Theatre while I charge my laptop.

oh yeah, sorry Mom... I left my cell charger at hotel in Athens, that’s why I havent called. :( I would call you on George's cell, but as you can see, he's always on it. Don't worry about me! :)

The acoustically correct amphitheater at Epidaurus...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

March of the Pillars

Still on Aegina Island. (It's sooooo beautiful here!) Spent more time with the producer today. He was venting about the shift in art direction and the power struggles within the team. There is still a possibility we will shoot the pig scene here on the beach, though that is now in flux. I guess it would be tricky to control this area in the summer when it is over-run with tourists and long waits at the ferry pier. Too bad, I'd love to come back here.

video clip of George schooling me on film production

That's something I've never seen before... PROCESSIONAL CATERPILLARS parading in formation.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Color Wheel of the Gods

OK... so after that beautiful day spent at the Aphaea Temple and ALL THOSE SKETCHES ... Julia had a conversation on the phone with the scenic designer (who is NOT on this recce trip for some reason). But SHE is in the states doing a shitload of research about authentic visual treatments for the picture. AND she alerted Julia about the recent discovery that these temples were NOT all lovely, creamy, glowing tones of white and off-white marble, as Julia thought. As we all thought. I mean, I took Ancient Art History my freshman year and I don't remember learning about this. (Well it was an 8AM and I did skip sometimes.)

But the bottom line is this: The temples were painted. The sculptures were painted. The pediments and metopes and architectural doodads were all painted.
Kitchy, garrish, vinyl-toy, saturated. Primary AND secondary AND tertiary colors!

So, we probably won't be shooting at Aphaea this summer. Even Aphaea didn't look like Aphaea. There was a big exhibit ... Gods In Color: Painted Sculpture Of Classical Antiquity. All about it, touring the world. The designer saw it at the Getty in LA. The research was done by guess who? Yep, Germans.

...more like this really. Byzanteenish color.

Julia says they will still use some of my storyboards, just not in the exact way we planned. Now they are having a big pow wow about how to create the temple locations, maybe moving away from ancient sites completely. The scenic designer (Andrea Hardy?) might fly in to Athens later this week. SO, what the bleep are we doing here?!

If necessary, I guess could get used to this place in glorious technicolor...

like this

or this

or this

yep, I could get used to this

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Location Location Location

Everyone is in MUCH better spirits here on the Island of Aegina. We zipped here by boat from Athens, but it feels like we time-traveled to some other era. Shot some video and stills of the Aphaea Temple site which I will post later. It's not a temple to Demeter, but it is more intact than most of the other ancient sites. (Apparently Eleusis is a pile of rubble, so we can't shoot there). As Krys says : The Aphaea location is SO lovely! The temple is located on a dramatic hill overlooking the Seronic golf. I think this is one of the most stunning places I've ever been.

Julia and Krys asked to see the sketchbook I've been using on the trip. I guess they were impressed, because they asked me to start storyboarding some of the scenes they are planning. (Yay! something real for my portfolio finally!) They said it's super helpful to be right on LOCATION, that way you can storyboard from the spots where the cameras will be placed later. Hank is telling me where to sit to get the right angles. I always thought storyboarding was a waste of time in class, but with a complicated production like this, I'm starting to see how useful they might be later.

What a great day. I'm sooooooooo grateful to be right HERE, right now! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

To the Sea !

After what Julia is now calling the Hephaestus fiasco.... Krys, Hank, and George all agreed that a good night of sleep and a shower would help. Today we are refreshed and regrouped. Taking a short train to Piraeus and a ferry to a nearby island. George swears there is another excellent example of temple architecture out on Aegina, with easier access for our crew. We got a new translator and George has been on the phone all morning.

Continuing my research...The second day of the Mysteries was for purification. The initiates would walk to the sea near Athens. On the order, "Initiates to the Sea!" each would cleanse themselves and a piglet in the salt water. The pig (considered a sacred animal to Demeter) would be sacrificed at the Eleusinion back in the city. The initiate may also have been sprinkled with its blood as part of the ritual.

I'm picturing the hoards who flocked to the ancient festivities... and I'm thinking like my grandma: They gotta get fed somehow! Mixed-grill or pulled-pork potluck? BYOP

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Not a Schliemann Production

Julia was livid when she heard that her name (Hauenstein) might not be helping with our negotiations. She kept whispering under her breath "This is not a Heinrick Shleeman Production!"

I finally googled Shleeman, did you mean Heinrich Schliemann, to see what that was all about.

George just kept trying to keep her calm and promising that the truck with all the prop torches was cleared to pull up to the unload zone near the Agora gates…

It never did.