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Five highly talented actors came to Vienna after a long audition process: Jack B. Anderson, Hollie Sullivan, Mayuna Hasebe, Florent Arnoult and Alix Bénézech. When they arrived in Vienna in the evening, they were starving, so we took them to dinner to get a first impression. The actors were slightly guarded and, which made them most adorable, keen to please.

In the course of the next day, these actors who should actually be competitors became close friends. The audition was not a question about their talent, not even about their type since each one was completely different; it was more about who fit to whom, and whose chemistry had the strongest impact.

At the end of the day, I asked Florent and Alix to improvise two of the casting scenes in French. I used this very first scene for all casting rounds since I found it to be a good first test of whether the candidates had any kind if understanding of the required timing and rhythm to keep the scene interesting, whether they understood the progression of the characters, and finally, whether they could let themselves go when their emotions are supposed to spill over completely.

In many instances of the preliminary round, most of the candidates failed already the first aspect: they turned the scene into a long theater piece with dramatic pauses where there aren’t supposed to be any. The second test was where Sarah screams out the truth about her life, and here too, most of the candidates failed. Alix did an extremely interesting interpretation when pushed by Florent, one that nobody had thought of, opening herself up so much that it took her the rest of the evening to calm down again.

The second scene is a tragic-comical one where Philip basically gives insight about his own twisted views on the matter of suicide, plus implying that he is a virgin and would like not to die as one. Enjoy!

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Staying Focused

From majestic cliffs to serene lakes, “La Vie Nous Appartient” is a cinematographer’s dream. Even so the beautiful settings present their own series of obstacles that make shooting this film a particular challenge. The most obvious difficulty is that the whole film is shot outdoors.  That means being at the mercy of the weather, an element beyond our control, and coping with noisy planes overhead (director Alex Lee’s least favorite set intruder).

Despite some beautiful results, the wind can also be a challenge.

Today we had a new challenge, which was to film in the extremely low light of a cave.  A major obstacle to photography (more…)

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Early Stills

Shooting is going great and there are plenty of images to back it up.  Check out the “PHOTOS” page for the first batch of still photos from “La Vie Nous Appartient”.  As always, be sure to subscribe to receive future posts.  We’ll be sharing more photos from backstage and the film itself in the weeks to come!

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As both director and screenwriter for La Vie Nous Appartient, Alex K. Lee is the driving force behind the creation of La Vie Nous Appartient.  He wrote the screenplay in a burst of creative activity, finishing the first draft in a matter of weeks, and less than a year later here we are on set with filming underway.  Yet despite this involvement or even intimacy with the project, Alex is reluctant to discuss too many details regarding the film. The ideas, the symbolism, the significance, these are things Alex prefers to let speak for themselves.  After all, “if the meaning could be expressed in a few simple sentences why make the film in the first place?”

This reluctance to explain himself applies not only to (more…)

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Film on the Edge

Formed from the remains of an ancient ocean, the cliffs of Peilstein have inspired a sense of wonder and awe since prehistoric times. Originally home to Druids who worshiped nature from on top of the massive stone cliffs, Peilstein now hosts scores of rock climbers who travel from around Europe to test themselves against the area’s 400 plus climbing routes. This week it has taken on a new role hosting the cast and crew of “La Vie Nous Appartient” as filming finally got underway.

It’s not hard to see what makes this region a perfect setting.

Axel

While this dramatic location makes a perfect setting for “La Vie Nous Appartient”, having to film on top of shear faced cliffs presents a number of challenges, not least of which

(more…)

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