CULTURE

Hollywood insider on location in Crete

Actors and film crews always talk about the great time they had on the set of a movie and how satisfied they are with the film. If Christina Crokos captures even a fraction of the positive energy running throughout the set of her first feature film, this just might be one of the most successful Greek films made in recent years. Besides inspiring confidence in her team of collaborators, Crokos appears to know exactly what she wants and how to achieve it. Living in Los Angeles for the last 14 years – not in the hope of getting a position in the movie industry, but actively involved in a number of major Hollywood productions – at thirtysomething, she has an insider’s know-how of what it takes to shoot a film combining impeccable production and blockbuster qualities. In Hollywood Having worked as an assistant to major Hollywood producer Joel Silver on films such as «The Matrix,» Crokos recently directed the second unit shots for «Invasion,» a film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig. She has also shot advertisements for major companies including Nike, as well as video clips for bands such as Destiny’s Child. On location at Aptera, an archaeological site outside Hania on Crete, lies a table with torn tablecloths and smashed plates. Actors Takis Chrisikakos, Chryssa Ropa, Vilma Tsakiri, Giorgos Karamichos, Betty Maggira and Prokopis Politis, friends and relatives of the wedding couple interpreted by Greek-Australian Alex Dimitriades (the actor took the lead in Ana Kokkinos’s 1998 «Head On») and Faye Xila, are trying to figure out exactly what went wrong during the disintegrating reception. Though the scene has limited dialogue, Crokos is very demanding. Using two cameras simultaneously, she asks for several takes, controlling everything on the monitor while listening to her iPod. By pure coincidence, the film has turned into a meeting point for three diaspora Greeks: Crokos, born in New York, Dimitriades born in Sydney and scriptwriter Iphigenia Kotsoni, born and raised in Budapest. Though all three agree that they are not making a film as Greeks of the diaspora, they appear to be shooting a film which casts a different look at the country, all working in a different way. In the script, which they have been working on for five years, Crokos and Kotsoni narrate four parallel stories, four adventurous journeys heading to the wedding reception. «It’s impossible to write a script in only six months and then go on location for another six,» says Crokos, immersing herself in the film’s minutest technical details. «The Wedding Party» shooting ends in mid-August. With a budget of approximately 1.5 million euros, the film is scheduled for release in January, next year.