hello hello,

hope everyone is enjoying the first week of summer! here in Los Angeles it’s finally starting to get hot. it actually rained a couple of times in June! *gasp* personally, I don’t mind the slightly cooler weather. but I do feel bad as it usually extends up to Washington and it’s even colder there… anyoooo, speaking of nice weather. how about spring time in the South of France???

did I mention that the cinematographer of Certified went with me to France? well, Mr. John Matysiak did indeed make the trip. it’s always good to have a traveling companion …but you never really know how well you’ll click with someone until you are actually “on the road.” well, we didn’t hate each other after 10 days together – so I’d say we’re pretty good travel buddies.

our first stop was Nice. we wandered around town, had a bite to eat, a drink at the hotel’s bar and when we’d finally stayed up late enough crashed out. it’s always important to power through those first couple of days. you may want a nap sooooo bad. but you can’t have one! you must stay up!

the next morning we took the train to Montpellier. I have to say, it was way easier to figure out the whole train thing this time than when my family and I were there in 1999. I guess traveling in new cities on 4 continents since then helped a bit=)
train time

In Montpellier my Corsican Cousins, the Cassanovas picked us up. we were going to be staying with them through the weekend. after a couple of phone calls we found each other in the station. hugs, kisses (3!), and a short drive later we were eating bread and cheese at their home in Assas.

this Castle is about two city blocks from their home. two!
Assas Castle & field

we had a really great time with them. they were very hospitable to us and we felt right at home. it was a good start to the trip. we brushed up on our French (very minimal), got our internal clocks set to the right time, and made great progress in building up our bread/cheese/wine tolerance.

then it was on to Cannes!

the first few days were a total blur. so much to see and to learn, so many people! so many! it was a madhouse. I really stick by my “Comic Con” analogy from before. and we had a LOT to learn. the festival & market are pretty complicated…at least at first.

one thing we learned quickly was that you don’t need to wear formal wear to the early screenings…even though the ticket says you DO. (and our American Pavilion liaison also told us to). consequently John and I were among the 6 best dressed men in a crowd of about 1000. it was alright…as the day went on we progressed from being the oddly best dressed guys, to being the dashingly best dressed guys. but really, Cannes is one place where you can’t really be “over dressed.”

John on the Red Carpet
Red carpet John

taking a break from the Vanity Fair party and watching the sun set.
sunset on the Riviera

I really enjoyed seeing the different sorts of grates and panel coverings on the ground. almost as interesting as Japan.
Cannes Grate #03

finally it was time for our screening! it was pretty exciting, so great to get to show the film to an entirely new audience…and in France no less! the film was very well received and John and I got to talk to a bunch of people afterwards. I’m still waiting for the AmPav to send the group photos from the event…when they do I’ll make sure and post ’em.

one of the great things about the festival was getting to meet filmmakers from other countries. a friend of a friend introduced me to a Brit named Jimmy Thompson. we corresponded over the internets before the festival, then met in person at the short film corner.

he was doing a photo competition with a camera that took a sequence of shots. here’s one of me he took post screening. part of his “peek-a-boo” series.

the next few days were filled with meetings, screenings, networking, rosé drinking, champagne, late nights and early morning. one such night John and I were walking home along the beach road when we stumbled across a group of young French/Algerian/Sicilians hanging out and partying. well, two Americans in tuxes walking home at 5 in the morning must have been interesting to them – cause they offered us a drink. for the next hour or so, we laughed, drank, and talked as best we could. a couple of them spoke fairly good English and the rest…well we communicated as much as we needed to.

station 18 party.
station 18

as the sun came up, we goofed around. by the time we got back to the hotel we were laughing so much. various things may or may not have been thrown from our balcony. I can neither confirm nor deny any such mayhem. hehe.

pwn’ing the road.
own the road

the next day started our epic journey back to the States. there was a pretty darn long night without dinner at Heathrow airport. who knew a major international airport would stop serving food at 10pm??? not me, that’s for sure.

all in all it was an amazing trip. we made new friends, met interesting people, had good food, screened our film, and learned a lot. I look forward to my next trip to Cannes!

I know this was a pretty quick overview, so if you have any specific questions – let me know. I’ll do my best to answer them in another blog…

and there are plenty more pictures on my flickr,, so check them out!


1 Comment
  • GG
    Posted at 16:45h, 24 June Reply

    very nice write up. I enjoyed reading it!

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