"Notes From The New World"
The fourth film in our Dostoyevsky-LA
Project - a re-envisioning of
novella transported to LA of 2011 (click
here for storyline and more!).
PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IS COMPLETE -
GO TO THE NOTES' WEBSITE!
Click at the posters to
see the bigger images!
CLICK TO WATCH BEHIND THE SCENES' CLIPS
Notes about "THE NOTES"
MAY 6TH, 2010
PHOTOGRAPHY IS COMPLETE !
By Vitaly Sumin, Writer,
The principal photography wrapped in May 2010! Ever since the
disappearance of Robert Hurley, the co-screenwriter, the production
faced odd challenges and hurdles. (Please
about them and view our
Hurley’s disappearance remains a perplexing mystery. Yet, with
perseverance, tenacity, and the dedication and hard work by our talented
crew, we have successfully completed a great principal photography.
Although many of our original cast and crew members had to leave the
production for various reasons (see our
pre-production pages), we were lucky to have found such talented new
cast and crew members. I am so proud and thankful for their talent, hard
work, and dedication. Of course, as a small independent film, it wasn’t
easy. Everyone put in long hours and endured tough challenges. We
couldn’t pamper the cast and crew like a major studio film. The food
wasn’t always so good, and we certainly could have used more equipment.
But these challenges only caused everyone to work harder, and we’re
excited to be moving into post-production with terrific footage.
Thank you to the great
crew of “Notes from the New World.”
OCTOBER 15TH, 2009
THE FILM IS
Crater, Casting Director:
The Film is Cast!". Sweet words for all the
creative team in any project, but especially true here. As
casting director, one of my primary concerns is to find and
deliver not just a talented assortment of actors - but the RIGHT
assortment. Chemistry is important, as is the vision of
the director. During the (extended) audition process, we were
able to discover some wonderful actors, and put together the
puzzle in such a way that will help ensure a fine finished
product. Curiously enough, there were some actors who came in
and did an excellent job at one role - but were ultimately
booked for a very different part - a tribute to their
versatility. I can honestly say we took as much care in the
selection of each role - from the leads to smaller roles,
because each choice effects the fabric and personality of the
ensemble - which to me is key. A benefit of working in
Independent films, IS that artistic integrity - not being
bound to a particular studio, or having the process overseen by
"committee" allows the artistic vision to flourish.
I am also very proud of some of the actors who were NOT cast. In
the midst of callbacks, it was my goal to offer a number of
subtle choices to the director - not just the few best.
Therefore, while not being able to use them for THIS project, I
was confident that ANY of the people brought in for the final
callbacks COULD play the part very well, (each in their own
way), and so it became a matter of mixing and matching styles or
attributes while never sacrificing quality.... I will most
certainly remember them for future projects.
But the process continues to evolve, I just got an E-mail
telling me that we need 3 new characters created in a re-write.
Oh, well... back to work.
August 2nd 2009
by Vitaly Sumin, Writer/Producer/Director:
Rich Crater who was casting director on "Shades of Day" and myself met
in Tino (a nice Italian restaurant in Valley Village) and decided to go
ahead with the auditions. Rich showed a genuine enthusiasm for the
project. Nowdays he owns a
small theater on Lankarshim Blvd
- in Noho Media District - so the auditions will take place there.
It took us almost 4 months to find the right actors for "Shades of Day".
Let's hope that this time the process will be shorter
From the e-mails by Rich Crater,
August 8th 2009
OK....... Here are the
character descriptions for the breakdown on the 3 leads, I might
even add Bob (easy to describe) to the list before I submit it. .
I'll release them as SOON as you give me your input - I kept them
a little vague but evocative, to get the most submissions to
choose from. I'll also include a blurb about the story (taken from your
treatment) and a tiny bit of background about the production...
STEVEN: (Lead) - Male, Mid-20's
---Thoughtful, volatile, talented and attractive. An actor who
throws himself into the role of the great Russian writer
Dostoevsky (for whom he may bear an eerie resemblance) .... he
drinks heavily and has nightmarish dreams of the past. Political, easily
agitated, becomes embroiled in relationships with two women AND a
IRINA: (Lead) Very Beautiful Female, mid to late
20's --- An actress turned prostitute, she radiates a cold
calm - but can jump from emotion to emotion without skipping a
beat. Manipulative. Has the look of a cover girl - but has deep
dark secrets. Irina is of Russian heritage with piercing eyes,
probably blonde, and sophisticated. Not easily embarrassed or
intimidated --- a professional aloofness which only later gives
way to tears of desperation and fear.
SONIA: (Lead) - Young Latino Woman- 18 to 22
--- Speaks mostly Spanish. Understands very little English (or DOES
she?) A compelling face, poor and vulnerable - the kind of girl
you want to protect. Passionate. We are looking for a very
expressive actress - able to communicate through mime or even
dance. Sonia has a naive, sunny energy and purity, with a vivid
imagination - although she is in great danger. Is THAT why she is
spying on Steven?
August 10th 2009
Good news.... after only a day's listing, I have nearly 500
submissions on the 3 roles. Some of them look very promising. What
I would LIKE to do is take a day or two of PRE-screenings in the
afternoons before I bring the more likely callbacks in for you
(which we can, of course do in the mornings). I'll have everyone
on tape, should you want to double check my evaluations - it just
might move faster and we can see more candidates.
By Colin Walsh, 2nd Assistant to Director:
Yesterday we auditioned people for the roles of Irina, Sonia and
Steven. Probably about 15 people in total, mostly for Irina.
3 read for Sonia, 3 read for Steven. I was in the lobby most of
the time greeting people and giving them the sides so I didn't get to
see the totality of most people's auditions, but from what I did see it
seemed like there were several good people that turned up. It was
very interesting to be on that side of auditions. I had never seen
them from that side before. The auditions lasted until 4. We
are planning another small audition session for Monday afternoon with
roughly the same amount of people coming. Also at the auditions I met
Lailah, Jules and Rich. They definitely seem like good people.
Extracts from the long e-mail by Lailah Moridzadeh,
Assistant to Producer:
Well I got to the theatre and a couple people were waiting outside.
A sign up sheet was on the table. Inside, I met up with Jules,
Colin, and Rich. Rich was setting up a few things...
...So, I would like to see the "theatrical" guy and the shorter guy
again. As far as the girls, both Latina girls would be great to
see again, and I liked the girl with the curly blonde hair, and perhaps
I'd like to see the girl with the long black dress for "Irina"... I
think Rich Crater feels confident in these girls and so do I. So we will
invite them again.
...Rich said that in order to interview any actors for a "Behind The
Scenes" documentary we would need them to sign a release. He said
you would know what that is.
...Rich showed me the thick amount of pictures from applicants that he
listed as "1, 2, or 3." Wow, Vitaly, you have many, many people
that want to try out. We did have some cancellations, but at least
we saw good actors come through!
By Colin Walsh, 2nd Assistant to Director:
...There were a lot more people. I was again in the lobby handing
out sides and asking people to sign the release forms. This time I
was able to answer more people’s questions. So that's cool.
There were some good people today. It is fascinating to me to see
how differently people read each of the parts and see what they do.
Some of the most noticeable differences to me are in the Sonias. Some
play her as young and kind of childish whereas others play her as
reserved and shy.
I also met Tony today. He seems like a pretty good guy.
By Tony Woo, Cinematographer for "Behind The Scenes'"
I had a very good time today shooting the audition. Certainly the
theater gave unique atmosphere.
Interviews went well, although I need to check on the sound because
the waiting lounge was kind of loud due to the outside traffic. I didn't
shoot the interview with Rich because I thought it needs a proper setup
with well lit environment and decent sound equips. So I figured we can
do the interview with key staff, Rich and Vitaly, on Monday after the
audition. And the help is coming on Monday !..
I have about 1 hour and 30 minutes footage today. Overall, it went
By Lailah Moridzadeh, Assistant to Producer:
Things are progressing nicely, but we’re far from ready. We held
more auditions and invited a plethora of actors to...
click here for more
texts and pictures!
TO BE CONTINUED!
Rich Crater (right)
Lailah and Jules
Click at the pictures to see the
“Shades of Day” is in a good company!
is included by Gerald Pirog, professor of Rutgers
University, New Jersey in his spring 2006 course
“Dostoevsky and Cinema” along with the works by Bernardo
Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Robert Bresson, Lucino
Visconti, Paul Shrader, Akira Kurosawa...