I enjoyed the Q and A with the film Paper Heart because of the precise questions and quick responses; evidence of a first time filmmaker. Very sweet!
Q: What did your filming journey look like?
Director Nicholas Jasenovec (NJ): We had mishaps from the get go! Michael Cera (actor opposite Charlyne) was grounded at the Dallas airport due to a tornado and could not make the first days of shooting.We were convinced we were going to get shut down the second day because we had never done this before and our movie was small. Luckily we ended up shooting all of Charlyne’s coverage that first day which is toward the end with all of the snow in the background. Four months later we shot Michael when it was really warm and sunny out…“So, I hope no body here really noticed that!”(Audience laughter)
Q: How much of the script was written and/or adlibbed?
N.J: About half and half. There was actually no script! Only a loose outline of about five pages because we wanted to keep it natural and realistic. We purposely did not want to create giant transitions between the documentary stuff and the story line; but, we were constantly making stuff up on the day of shooting. It did create problems but I it made the movie better.
Q: Where did you get the idea to incorporate the art work?
NJ: Charlyne had the idea to make a documentary about love when she first came to me. She wasn’t a big fan of documentaries because of the static “B” role images and still photos, etc. but she thought it would be interesting to see if artistically she could use/incorporate some of her unique 3D paper art style to make the transitions in the storyline of a documentary.
Q: How long did you shoot?
NJ: Four straight weeks!
Q: Where did you find the kids who gave their definition on love?
NJ: They were pre-screened by our casting director, even David, the little blond boy. He would have been at Sundance but he is filming for a pilot in L.A. We told all of the kids to show up at a park and then when we showed up with the camera all the kids went wild. We were surprised at their excellent performances and made a mad dash to find their parents to have them sign their lives away. The scene with the kids scene was one of the most fun days we experienced. Charlyne just played with them for about three hours prior to shooting that day. She was awesome! Q: And the Couples? NJ: Also, from our casting director Eileen Kennedy who did all of our preliminary work. We told her that we wanted about 50 types of people to choose from and so she went on a road trip documenting every one she met and each day we received 4 or 5 videos of people she would meet in a coffee shop or elsewhere. We chose from those videos.
Q: How much editing did you do?
NJ: We worked with about 300 hours of footage so it was a big challenge. We have about 3 to 4 hours of out takes and deleted scenes.
Q: How much lighting was pre-lit?
NJ: Most of it was available natural lighting…but back in LA we were able to work with about 10% pre-lit stuff but not much more than that.
Q: Where there any themes or surprises not planned while filming, that you needed to incorporate?
NJ: The main theme that this girl Charlyne, trying to understand love could not only talk about her misconceptions but we felt that she also, had to experience it. So, here is where the idea came that Charlyne finds love for herself. One surprise was going to the psychic which was a last minute stop. The lady’s accuracy in reference to the storyline to the movie was shocking! Another was the biker scene because we had lost our scheduled biker to be interviewed. After a long day on the road we found a roadside hotel and Charlyne and I wanted to hit the tavern across the street for some food. There were some rough characters in there but when the bartender recognized Charlyne from her TV series ”Knocked up” we were about the coolest people in the bar for about ten minutes. We got a biker interview and Charlyne got to ride on a motorcycle with a real biker.