TWO SEATS AWAY - A FILM BY MYRSINI ARISTIDOU
Two Seats Away is the story of a 25-year-old woman, who is visiting New York for a couple of days, before flying back to Greece. Sitting in one of New York’s coffee shops, she serendipitously meets a 30-year-old man. Coffee, cigarettes and an Italo Calvino book, seems to be what brings the two strangers together.
After spending several hours together in the coffee shop, the strangers decide to play a game. The game brings them even closer together, and creates an even more intimate relationship between them. However, time and life, forces them to stay apart, and possibly never see each other again.
The movie encompasses the idea of time, the present, and how many times, we may let ourselves go, and simply enjoy the moment. Simply enjoy the magic of life.
Two Seats Away is Myrsini’s Thesis Project in her BFA in Film studies at Pratt Institute in New York. The film will be submitted to festivals worldwide and will hopefully launch her directing career. Pratt’s Film Thesis show takes place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in May, and it is open for everyone to attend.
Two Seats Away is a project made possible by the support of faculty and services offered by Pratt Institute, including sound, grip equipment and post-production facilities.
FEATURING ACTORS: Quentin Pradelle, Mitzi Peirone, Gary Berard
WRITER AND DIRECTOR’SSTATEMENT
As reasonable human beings, we tend to fear the unexpected. How many times, however, has the unexpected turned out to be possibly the best that we have ever experienced? Moments where we let ourselves go and let life guide us through what is truly meant to happen. No one knows if the encounter of two strangers is meant to occur, or if it is actually a choice, however, when it does, there is always a bigger story behind it.
As a person who trusts and believes in human relationships, I constantly investigate the concept of coincidences and choices, not only in my life, but also in the lives of others. The movie is based on a true story and a personal experience, which changed the way I saw the world and more specifically the way in which people tend to interact in an unexpected situation.
Many filmmakers have shown interest in the understanding of human connection and contact. Some, which I feel, have really influenced me in the writing of this story, are the French filmmaker Eric Rhomer, New York based filmmaker Woody Allen, Hong Kong based filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, and the independent filmmaker Richard Linklater (Before Sunrise and Before Sunset).
The chance of meeting a total stranger, amongst a million others, always remains a mystery. This is what interested me in making a movie on the possibility of this chance. A glimpse, a moment, from life, which remains in the memory for ever, it remains written in time, and can never be erased.
Experiencing a beautiful encounter, which within its meaninglessness; as it cannot last forever, has so much to offer, is such a challenging concept for me to accomplish as a filmmaker. Reality is daily interrupted with magical moments and things, and if we are aware enough and spare a second of our life, only then we can absolutely experience them.
The small, unrealistic and nutty elements of the movie, such as the accordionist playing waltz in the streets of New York, and a homeless guy weaving a pullover, are the elements which will balance the movie on the verge of both reality and magic. It is the small details, which become the signifiers, which define the encounter of these two strangers.
Finally, the movie and the story are essentially based on magical moments that tend to interrupt reality, and alter our perception of life. The magic of filmmaking itself, gives me the power to control past, present and future within the timeframe of my choosing. It allows me to re-create a world with as many magic elements as I choose.
WRITER/DIRECTOR Myrsini Aristidou
CINEMATOGRAPHER Chananun Chotrungroj
PRODUCER Charlotte Rabate
MUSIC SCORE Aris Antoniades
LOCATION New York City
LENGTH 12- 15 minutes
FORMAT HD Digital - RED
ASPECT RATIO/SOUND 16:9/ Stereo
PROJECT STATUS Pre-Production
PRE-PRODUCTION 4 months
PRODUCTION 3 days
POST-PRODUCTION 3 months
Once the film is made, we would like as much people as possible to see it. The film will first be screened at the Brooklyn Academy of Music movie theater, in May 2013. On a broader level, the film festival circuit is the primary showcase for “Two Seats Away” and will be the first step in our distribution plan. It is the first channel by which short films are presented to the public and will subsequently be acquired by distribution companies.
WHY THE FILM NEEDS MONEY
A 10-minute short film requires time and money. We will be shooting for approximately 3 days in New York City, in three locations. Here is an overview of the main expenses of the film.
We will be shooting on the unique Red camera, and the cost of renting for the whole shoot will be approximately $900. Lenses and doorway dollies are examples of useful, extra equipment we also need to obtain. This will add up to $400 approximately.
CREW AND CATERING
The production involves a 15-person crew, generously working for free. However, it is crucial to provide them with substantial meals amounting to $25 per person for 3 to 4 days. Make up artist $200
One of the locations is a hotel, so we might be required to pay a fee for the hotel, up to $400. And also a shooting permit of $300 is required for the exterior scenes shot at the coffee shop.
As there are three locations, the crew and equipment will need to travel. Renting vans in New York is quite an expensive issue and will take $400 from the budget.
PROPS AND SET DESIGN
We are putting approximately $500 for the costumes and other necessary props. Production Designer approximately $200
PUBLICITY AND FESTIVALS
The distribution process of the film requires a lot of publicity, in the form of posters and postcards, for it to be effective. Festivals also often ask for a submission fee (on average $35 per submission).
THE NEXT STEP: DONATIONS
Making a student film is not an easy process and we are very grateful for all the support you have been giving us. Myrsini’s thesis project will hopefully launch her directing career and will make the stories that live in her head a reality. Only you can make it happen!
HOW TO DONATE
1. If you would like to donate a certain aspect of the production (i.e. catering or transportation), please contact Myrsini directly by email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
2. Please make a check to ‘Myrsini Aristidou’and a note on the back, specifying which aspect of production you are contributing to.
3. Please mail it to:
‘Two Seats Away movie’ c/o Myrsini Aristidou, 224 E 21st Street. Apt.5C, Manhattan, NY 10010, USA.
A huge THANK YOU for taking the time to consider this project. And Let the Magic Begin!!!
Team on This Campaign:
Writer & Director