N.B. this Old news post was originally published at CeruleanSounds.com/news
October 26, 2022
🎞 Closure Cafe is complete. Abhishek Pandit's story is adapted to the screen!
We have the 15m Festival Cut (& 1m Trailer) ready for preview, as we seek our premiere screening.
A Soviet soldier walks into a bar.
It’s 1983, but the next minute it’s not.
Welcome to Closure Cafe, an eerie place where old wounds must be mended before the years pass you by like old lovers.
What’s your poison?
In other words, VIP entry now available :D
Visit the film's webpage at Ceru.li/closure-cafe to find out the basics, or read-on for info about the post-production process.
Fast, then slow
Back in March, I posted News that, due to a Brits by the Beach gig falling through I had the opportunity to do a rapid film shoot in L.A. with our travel-buddy Abhishek Pandit, to adapt his recently published short-story Closure Cafe for the screen.
As we'd baked a 2023 release date into the time-dilation centric plot, we had the rest of 2022 to mull over how to take our A/V footage - broken mics, rapid takes and all - and through post-production, craft a festival-worthy short-film.
Diversity, then specificity
Pandit’s stories focus on complex characters drawn from across the world, and often, across time, too. Closure Cafe is no different. It deftly covers the entire Cold War's timespan, and its repurcussions to characters from different locations, all gathered in an American-style dive bar!
So, naturally, our cast was ethnically diverse, with actors from South & East Asia playing strong female characters, while I did my best to portray an Eastern European soldier betrayed by his Soviet masters.
Being the largest Soviet Republic, Ukraine loomed large in our minds for Aleksandr's back-story, with echoes of Moscow's 80s Russification efforts rearing their head again in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. But we were shocked by the sheer pace & intent of Putin's invasion to the capital in the week after we filmed, and as the war has persisted, we decided to bookend the film more solidly within the context of this specific history.
First, we hired two experienced actors with first-hand experience of the Soviet Army, to record a prologue depticting Aleksandr's betrayal: Soviet political-emigré Ego Mikitas voiced the Russian Colonel, whilst Ukrainian Yaroslav Poverlo coached me to speak the Russian with his home-nation's accent.
Second, we hired Kyiv-based recording-artist Daniel Kryschevych to write & record a Ukrainian remix of "6 Foot" (the TOUCH rap from The Divided Selfie LP which heavily references the film and its themes of mortality) as the theme-music for the Credits & Trailer.
Screens: small, then big
It's been a good few months now that the film has gestated on my MacBook - occassionally going out to the Team via Vimeo Pro [25% off]: Baggett to rescue the backup audio-dialogue that did successfully capture, and co-director Jenkins to soup up the amazing 4K visuals she filmed; whilst Pandit's been my right-hand man overseeing the entire adaptation.
We now have a private Vimeo link to both the 15-minute Festival Cut, and a minute trailer.
Thanks to Pandit's funding, we are able to submit it to a small handful of short-film festivals, hoping to find one to premiere as part of. Aware of the rough-edges of this first-time indie-production, we are mainly targeting online fests which focus on opportunities and feedback.
Nonetheless, our dream is to screen a physical premiere, even as part of a non-traditional event (e.g. a Ukraine fundraiser or other cultural ocassion), so we'd be delighted to hear from anyone who might be interested in screening a film with a story of the highest quality and relevance to today's re-emerging Cold War tensions, with an inspiring message of personal peace at its heart.
Whenever you can, I hope you enjoy seeing the film as we go into 2023,
Laurence 'Cerulean' Warner
P.S. Pandit & I are looking to outdo this process for an even stronger Cerulean Sounds Production in 2024. Hmu if you wanna get involved.
[update Oct 28th: Pandit copyedit]