Your new movie 4
Themes on a Variation - in a few words, what is it about?
It's a piece of footage asking itself that very question. Perhaps more
accurately - what it could be about.
did you come up with the concept of making a film pretty much the wrong
By having another project fail
miserably. This was a VO-based web series I was planning to release in
Summer 2013. Long story short, after presenting the pilot to my writer and
co-creator, he vetoed using his script according to which we shot the
episode. We were left with a piece of footage with no script. Sitting with
my boyfriend Noam Bonnie and director Yaniv Shacham at a café in Tel
Aviv, we were asking ourselves if there was any way to save the footage.
Those two brilliant men came up with the idea of turning it into a
choice, an experiment. When I got back to New York, I decided to do just
that, but with new material. I wrote an outline of four silent
scenes, following one character as her day unfolds, sent it to different
writers and composers, and got 4
Themes on a Variation.
Do talk about your writers and composers for
a bit, and how and why did you get them on board?
wanted to have interesting and varied minds, styles and personal
backgrounds involved, not necessarily people whose work I was familiar
with. So I looked in unconventional places - from old friends whose view
on life and sensitivities always fascinate me, to professionals I'd never
met who have been doing this for years.
were your inspirations for the scenes you shot, and did you at all have a
story of your own in mind when you shot them?
had a pretty specific image and mood in mind for each part, and when I
sat with director Jeremiah Kipp [Jeremiah
Kipp interview - click here] for the first time, we went over
the outline together, and he asked me some great questions which made it
clearer for me, and so we both knew what we were about to shoot.
Of course, this went out the window once we were done with our
part. It was pretty amazing to see that the way Jeremiah directed it and
set the scenes with DP Andrea Urbinati, some moments turned out strikingly
aligned with what I'd envisioned.
about your director Jeremiah Kipp [Jeremiah
Kipp interview - click here] for a bit, and what was your
I could go on and on. It was one
of the best experiences I had both as a producer/collaborator
and as an actor. Jeremiah was 100% dedicated to the project at every
stage, resourceful and generous, and his approach and sensitivities
truly blew me away. He also brought extremely talented crew on set, like
Andrea Urbinati, Brian de la Cruz, Alex Gavin and the amazing actor
Lucas Rainey. After the shooting, he went over the entire raw footage and
sent his comments for each moment, which made our editor's work as easy
and effective as can possibly be. Then, he directed the VO recordings of
the scripts as well... I feel very fortunate and I learned a lot from him.
Do talk about the shoot as such, and
the on-set atmosphere?
We shot all of the scenes in Park
Slope, Brooklyn, and we were lucky enough to shoot on one of the most
beautiful days of the season. We had a great time, and there was
a rare balance between a relaxed atmosphere and on-set
efficiency. Let's say that as an actor, I felt understood, supported
and focused, but as the executive producer, I couldn't be happier with the
footage and the clock.
After your experiences on
4 Themes on a Variation
- could you ever be tempted to make a film
based on a similar concept?
Hmm... I wouldn't say
similar concept, but the interest in deconstructing materials of
expression and questioning the nature of and relationship between the
whole and its parts is always there on some level. I tend to think that
all interesting art - as people - is somewhat aware of itself.
The $64-question of course:
Where can the film be seen?
Thank you for asking. It can be seen
at Ring the Bells' site -
where you can view the four separately or back to back.
future projects you'd like to share?
I am currently
co-writing a narrative feature to be produced in Paris in winter
2014. Briefly, a woman's life as she's known it ends abruptly, which
pushes her to remove herself from her immediate environment. In her last
attempts to see if she has the ability to reinvent herself or her take on
life, she moves to Paris.
How did you enter
the filmworld to begin with, and what can you tell us about your education
on the subject?
When I was in the military (girls need to
serve in Israel, too), I strolled into a local bookstore and found a book
called Film and Philosophy by Henry Unger, a celebrated
professor in Israel. Since then I would often sneak into the
Fine Arts Faculty at the Tel Aviv University (in uniform!), to
attend his classes. I remember being astounded by Unger's insightful
analyses of some of the best scenes in the history of cinema, and how he
showed how fine filmmakers select and use their cinematographic tools in a
way that serves a very clear idea they are looking to communicate. What
struck me most was the understanding that a filmmaker can create a very
particular experience that activates and touches the audience's sensations
and feelings profoundly. Through this effect, a thought - that would
otherwise have to be intellectualized - can be registered (and more likely
welcomed) on a very deep level. When I was discharged, I moved to
Paris to study Film and the Performing Arts, and when I graduated, I moved
to New York, to continue developing my Acting studies.
How would you
describe yourself as an actress and as a filmmaker?
same way I would describe myself as a person, probably, as these are
difficult to separate. I'd say passionate, detail oriented, innocent,
open... Two things that are most important to me to keep developing are
honesty and skills to support it. A lot more work to be done!
actors, whatever else who inspire you?
There are so many...
Two of the young filmmakers I love and am inspired by most today are
Miranda July and Sarah Polley.
Films you really deplore?
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
An interesting thing that happens is that the more you make
and act in films, the less you hurry to dismiss them, as you realize how
much work and thought usually go into them and you're able to see and
appreciate things that you would otherwise miss. There are usually things
to enjoy or to learn from, even when they don't work out on the
screen. I naturally get impatient when I watch films that I feel are not
personal and have no integrity, kind of like having a date with a person
who never looks you in the eye. There is one thing, though, that I'd
love to see more, and that's films that don't rush to be dark as a
default. I think people assume that brighter or lighter films are less
sophisticated or deep, which is nonsense of course. I actually think that
when they're good (and perhaps it's more of a challenge to make these
good), they are immensely powerful.
movie's/your company's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Production site: www.ringthebellsproductions.com
Acting site: www.galiabarkol.com
else you are dying to mention and I have merely forgotten to share?
you for the interview and your generous feedback!
for the interview!