TRT: 11 Minutes
Production dates: September 12-November 10, 2008
Hardware: Panasonic DVX100a
Software: Final Cut Pro, After Effects
Media: DVD, mini-dv, BETA SP (NTSC & PAL for all)
Filming location: Los Angeles, CA, USA
I’ve long been fascinated with the artistic process and how mankind has used it to create fantasy worlds, document history, relive memories, find catharsis, and/or analyze a personal or social issue. Some artists use their work as a conduit to expose truths about themselves. Others use their work to blatantly hide from truth. The main character, HE, in “Project Ion” is struggling with the creation of his new screenplay. He has a big secret that’s making him miserable and his whole life a sham. Should he “write what he knows”, or put nothing of his real self in this new project…just be “business as usual”? What would the consequences be if he were to expose his truths? How would those closest to him react? In just one morning’s writing session, he plays out his deepest secret and greatest fears.
In designing the music with Gregory Johnson, I knew his flamenco guitar skills would best fit “Project Ion”. Flamenco has traditionally been associated with the “oppressed” and the “persecuted” with its origins in the cante gitano, a music shared by the Moors, Jews, and gypsies. HE, the main character, is at a point in his Hollywood career where he feels completely oppressed by the studio machine, the paparazzi, and his false marriage to SHE, his leading lady in all his previous projects. Some musical scholars believe that the term flamenco even derived from the Hispano-Arabic word fellahmengu which means “expelled peasant”. In “Project Ion”, imagery representing myriad projections and an echoing dialogue of self-doubt are underscored by a music representing HE’s greatest fear: expulsion from his fiefdom.
The “buttoned-up” look for HE, his “commute” to work (from his house to backyard!), and HE’s writing “costume” are all tips of the hat to the Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist/short story writer John Cheever who definitely struggled with how much of himself he should share with the world.
The majority of the film was shot on location in Los Angeles at "Castillo de la Esperanza", the former home of Anthony Kiedis (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers). Many of the band's hits from the 1990s were written and recorded in what is our main character's "writing studio/game room" in the film. While we were shooting, the home was owned by best-selling author, J. Randy Taraborrelli. Its current owner is a co-executive producer of "Desperate Housewives".
All inquiries about acquiring “Project Ion” for broadcast should be directed to:
Fred Joubaud, Ouat Media
Tel: 416-979-7480, ext. 2112