In the fall of 2007, Thomas Moschopoulos and his ensemble at the Amore theatre embarked on a bold endeavor of an improv performance based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. The camera followed the excellent team for seven months, from the very first rehearsal to the final performance.
Here, the shooting went on for seven months; from the very first rehearsal to the last performance.
Besides, it was an adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses based on improvisation. The text emerged through the actors’ interaction in rehearsal and under the guidance of Thomas Moschopoulos. Therefore, every performance could be different, in accordance with the actors’ or even the director’s psychology of the moment, and it could keep evolving until the very last show, which is what actually happened.
That was a strong motive to film the process, which was live and flowing just like a documentary should be.
The result was in-keeping with the clumsy authenticity that was characteristic of all my works in that period. For a great part, I used a handheld camera with no tripod.
I remember an instance, during rehearsal, when things got heated between Thomas Moschopoulos and a member of the cast. I immediately stopped rolling and lowered the camera for everyone to see that I wasn’t filming. Nobody paid any attention. They were far more relaxed than I was...even in times of tension….
The overall result was is a picture I still love very much.
Because I was given the chance to get inside the inner workings of the Amore theatre, where I had been a steady audience for years.
Shortly before the last shooting, it was officially announced that the Amore Theatre was closing down after 17 glorious years.
The emotional stress of the moment was enormous, and equally during the last curtain and then backstage, immediately after the final performance.
These electrifying moments were caught on tape.
During the filming, I also had the opportunity to get to know Thomas, who was the director and championed the whole endeavor, and who, naturally, had more camera time than anyone else. I have great respect for him and have been friends to this day.
He trusted me with a very private process and that means a lot to me.
Since the shooting coincided with he shutdown of the Amore theatre, I made the decision to prepare a testimonial picture, while things were still fresh, featuring most (if not all) of the people the had worked there during its 17-year -old history.
That way, in May 2008, when, thankfully, I had plenty of free time, I moved in at he Amore theatre and I filmed everyone. The editing of the picture has yet (!!!) to begin. I hope the film will be complete by 2018, at the 10th anniversary of the Amore closure.
In closing, I have kept a very vivid memory of this documentary on Ovid’s Metamorphoses. It was my first attempt at shooting the staging process on a regular basis and through long periods of time. In recent years, I have taken up this theme again, but in a more meticulous and thorough method, working for The Athens Festival and The Onassis Foundation Cultural Centre.