Bonsai Girl – Final Verdict

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Well, I was handed a DVD copy of the film by a very nervous director … telling me, “it is what it is” … “maybe they won’t accept it into Cannes” … “but at least the shooting was a learning experience” etc etc, basically all the thing’s I had said during the shoot and right after it. But I had not seen the film, I had not edited it and composed the music and watched the film a 100 times, like the director. After watching the film, I don’t agree with his view – I think the film “is what it is and it’s great”. I think they will accept it into Cannes, if not then they’re just a bunch of stuck up French snobs who think Luc Besson is better than Trauffaut.

I think the film was more than a learning experience, it actually turned out to be a good film, a film the director and everyone else who worked on it can be very proud of. I mention Truffaut because the film verges on sentimentality, but in a good way, in a truthful and real way. Both Truffaut and Spielberg would be proud.

So after everything, after all the fuck up’s and all the misunderstandings and all the blood, sweat and tears. Something great came out of it, the one thing that mattered … not the learning experience, not the contacts gained or lost, but the actual film itself. Yes, it’s very good.

Who can take credit for it? The Director most certainly and then the cameraman, yes – the difficult spaced out cameraman, because the images and the cinematography is amazing. The script was always a problem (he copied it from Kes), but the solutions by our director and his editor are great and the film is much better than the original script – that’s how it’s always suppose to be anyway.

Before the first day of shooting the director asked me, “why do you want to make this movie?” … I took a moment to think about it and then answered, “The script is shit, but I want to make the movie because I believe in you, no matter what, you will make it good”.

Then I went into AD (Assistant Director) mode and screamed abuse at the crew for a week or so … and lost focus of myself as The Producer. I’m glad The Director didn’t lose focus of himself as a director, so here we have it … it’s A GREAT MOVIE!

Shame that the director can’t take criticism. This movie will never be seen by anybody because he can’t handle some idiots on IMDB giving reviews … If you want to be a director then you have to be able to take the shit … the shit and the piss from everybody. If not, then go and have an MBA and become a restaurant critic … You HAVE TO be able to stand criticisms.

It’s a beautiful movie and should be seen … It should be seen by everybody!


Bonsai Girl – The Absent Set Designer

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Ariel is the one in black, posing for the camera.

“Ariel, like the little mermaid from Disney” she giggles as she introduces herself to people. Yeah, that’s her English name. She’s the set designer, she’s never worked on a movie before, but she is studying design at a fancy design school in Beijing, “because I love clothes and nice cars – you know BMW is my favorite” she giggles again. “I will work for you, yes for free, because I also love movies, but I can not be there all the time because of my school” …

Not being there all of the time, meant exactly that. I think she turned up on the first day and then I’m not sure we saw her again? But this week I got an SMS from her. Here’s the text messages:

Ariel: I have receipts, you told me the movie would pay them?

Me: Yes, how much?

Ariel: 3000rmb

Me: What? It can not be 3000rmb!!!

Ariel: Let me check again

Ariel: Yes, it is 3000rmb! You pay?

Me: No I will not pay 3000rmb, It can not be 3000rmb!

Ariel: Maybe you don’t know everything, maybe I had meeting about movie when you don’t know I had meeting.

Me: I know everything! I know when you were working on the movie, I know when you were in school!

Ariel: Can the receipts be from last year?

Me: NO! They can only be from the day’s you were working on the movie!!!

Ariel: So you will not pay my receipts from last year?

Me: No I will not pay. Only when you worked on the movie!

I haven’t gotten any more sms’s or requests about paying all her receipts (from beginning of time), but I must admit, she’s got some nerve asking me to pay her bills dating back a year before she actually met us and was hired for the film. But I guess you can always try.