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  20 April 2005

There's been a change of plans in the shooting schedule for The Secret. The lawyer in charge of acquiring the visas for the film crew filed the wrong forms and the proposed shoot for Williamstown, MA had to be cancelled. In lieu of what's happened, those scenes will now be shot in Sherbrooke outside Montreal.

Update: Several Quebec newspapers carried stories today on the Montreal shoot. They reported the following: "The Secret, with a budget of approximately $10 million, will be filmed in the language of Shakespeare. It is produced by Luc Besson and Studiofilm. However, the producer of Max Films, Roger Frappier, is in charge of the Quebec production. It's not a co-production, but rather a subcontract. Most of the filming will take place at the film studio, but for exterior scenes, the crew will be in the old quarter of Sherbrooke on April 28th and April 29th and then a second time in May. The producers chose to film in the university town of Cantons-de l'Est, because it looks like Williamstown in New England. A few days ago, some scenes were filmed at the Mont-Orford ski resort, about 65 miles from Montreal."

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Here are some photos from another Montreal trip taken back in January 2001 when Vincent was promoting his film Le Libertin.

  18 April 2005

Actress Lili Taylor will be playing the role of Hannah Marris, mother of Samantha and wife of Ben (Duchovny) in Vincent's film, The Secret. She's appeared on both TV and in films - High Fidelity, Four Rooms, Ransom, to name a few. British actress Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense) had been considered for the role at the time I posted film info last month. I've read some of the script, so I can tell you that it will most likely have an "R" rating. Much of the film deals with 16-year-old Samantha (played by 18-year-old Olivia J. Thirlby of NY in her screen debut) and her high school male and female friends. The town of Williamstown, MA is being used for the US town they live in, and that's why they'll be shooting there for a couple days next week for many of the exterior shots. The original 1999 Japanese production, Himitsu, was viewed more as a comedy, but I believe this version appears to be more of a sentimental story with the following synopsis - "a supernatural drama about an estranged relationship between a mother and daughter, repaired only when the mother is given an unusual insight into her daughter's life." The shoot, which began in Montreal on April 4th, will continue through July 8th. The film is being produced by both Vincent and Luc Besson with executive producers Besson and his wife Virginie Silla. Virginie is the sister of Vincent's wife Karine.

  14 April 2005

It is no longer a 'secret' that David Duchovny (X-Files) is the lead star in The Secret, as he himself confirmed this in a recent interview with Jeff Wilser. "Question: What's next for you? Duchovny: I'm going to Montreal to shoot a film called The Secret. Vincent Perez, the French actor, is directing that." I knew that he was Vincent's choice, but at the time the contract wasn't signed. Film production began last week in Montreal although David hasn't arrived yet. He's been tied up this month with publicity appearances debuting as director of his first feature film, House of D. Also confirmed in the role of Samanatha's friend Taylor is Trisha LaFache, who's appeared on Law and Order and was last seen on the big screen in Zach Braff's Garden State (great film!) Behind the camera will be Canadian cinematographer Paul Sarossy, who has worked on many films, such as Affliction, The Sweet Hereafter, Exotica and Head in the Clouds.

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The mini-series Le Juge, starring Vincent and Francis Huster, premiered on TV in Switzerland on March 27th and in Belgium on April 10th. Synopsis: There's an underworld contract out for a crusading anti-mafia judge (Huster) in Marseille. After escaping an assassination attempt, the judge is given a full-time bodyguard (Perez). The two men know each other: they once loved the same woman. Today she is the judge's wife. They have a son. The reunion of the three former friends under the same roof brings back memories of an uncomfortable past. But there are more urgent matters to deal with when the judge's son is kidnapped by the mafia. Either the judge buries the testimony of a leading supergrass or the boy dies.

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The date for the premiere of Nouvelle France in France is August 10, 2005. No dates have been given for a USA or UK theatrical release. The film debuted in Quebec last November. This Quebec-France-United Kingdom co-production, shot simultaneously in French and English, is a historical epic drama with Vincent in the role of Intendant Bigot.

  18 March 2005

I spoke with Vincent yesterday and have some updates. I'm not at liberty to reveal the cast of The Secret at this time as some contracts have not been signed yet. The role of Dr. Benjamin Marris, Samantha's father will be played by an American whose name will be very familiar to you. The girl playing 16-year-old Samantha will be played by a new actress making her film debut. Vincent describes her as very beautiful, perfect for the role and he's thrilled with this choice. [If you'd like to read the original Japanese story the film is based on, you can purchase the translated version called Naoko at] Film production is a little delayed and shooting will actually begin on April 4th in Montreal. He will be spending a few days back in Paris before the shoot date as he especially misses his children; however, his family will eventually come to Montreal.

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Blast from the Past!

Here's a gorgeous photo that was published in Tucker magazine when he was 28 years old. In the accompanying article (not yet posted), he expresses his desire to direct films.


  17 March 2005

Vincent has been preparing to direct The Secret. The cameras start rolling on Monday in Montreal. What I've just discovered is that there will be two days of filming practically in my own backyard. According to yesterday's edition of the North Adams Transcript, Moody Street Pictures is working alongside Max Films in Montreal and Europa Films and is scheduled to bring a film crew to Williamstown, Massachusetts. Scenes will be shot at Williams College's Thompson Memorial Chapel (seen in photo) as well as on Main Street and Spring Street.

I've asked Vincent about his cast but haven't received word yet. The following information for auditions was posted back in January. The lead character is Samantha Marris: 16, Caucasian. Ben and Hannah's daughter. Beautiful, willowy. Hannah's spirit is transferred into Samantha's body following a horrible car accident. The actress playing Samantha "plays" Hannah for most of the film; Dr. Benjamin Marris: Early 40s, Caucasian. Happy and successful suburban dad whose life is transformed by the accident involving his wife and daughter. His attractiveness runs deeper than his handsome face. He has a warmth, an ease that gives everyone around him a sense of security; Hannah Marris, 36, Caucasian. Ben's wife. Housewife and amateur photographer, Samantha's mother who is "transported" into her daughter's body after the accident. While outwardly Hannah could pass for a woman in her late twenties, inside there is a part of her that feels older than her actual age; Taylor: 16, Samantha's friend, looks like a cheerleader but obviously rejected that lifestyle with her clunky boots and diamond nose stud; Ian: 17, Samantha's friend, plays it cool in his camouflage pants, hooded sweatshirt, and black nail polish; Ethan: 17, Samantha's friend and later boyfriend, good looking, scruffy, messy hair sticking out of his hat, stares at the ground a lot; Amelia: 16, Samantha's friend - big eyes, pixyish in her rave-inspired pigtails, plastic jewelry, and glitter eye shadow.


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