Making the Impossible Possible: The make-of “The Grenadines Road” – A Case Study

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

I made this Teaser for the movie today!

I hope you like it, just click the above link!

This journey had really become a manifestation of some sort of spiritual resurrection for me, because if you take on the responsibility of being a director to shoot a  journey like this even  though you don’t have a crew traveling with you or the necessary means to start a project of this scale, then you must believe that miracles are always there for the taking by those who really believe in them.

frame from the film - facing the mountain Sierra Nevada/ Granada

frame from the film – facing the mountain Sierra Nevada/ Granada

And indeed, this film is a sheer miracle of sensing life where ever you may wake up to it. You are there to live it how you choose to live it at that point in time. I was to choose to live it as the Turkish director from Istanbul on tour in Spain and sailing the Mediterranean south of France.

Entering people’s lives as a traveling couchsurfer was my starting point in making short films with these people whose couches I slept on and whose dreams I shared there. Then I would edit these films back to back in a cohesive feature road movie. That’s how I chose the locations of “The Grenadines Road”: by following a spirit of common tastes and looking for similar visionary people out there with whom I happen to be dreaming the same dream  — just wake up in it and realize that we are not as alone as we think we are.

Diogo was my Portuguese flatmate who happen to be an actor also. So I wrote the lead role for him in one of the fiction shorts  "Mañana' mañana" in the movie.

Diogo was my Portuguese flatmate who happened to be an actor also. So I wrote the lead role for him in one of the fiction shorts called “Mañana’ mañana” in the movie.

Things start to take shape as you move on with your dreams in a determined response to what’s really happening to us in our daily lives.

In one chapter of the film I am in Barcelona with a mate from a Chinese junk which is on a multi-year journey through the Mediterranean. I later asked him to play the role of an urban hermit who hosts couchsurfers to find a way out of hıs hometown Barcelona. I was trying to showcase our limited perception of reality by documenting real characters and then casting them in the dramatic roles of their own archetypes.

In another chapter, I am climbing Mount Montserrat with a Spanish fireman who liked to spend his summers in forest fires.

And yet in another I am dead and resurrected as a torero in a cactus orchard in Granada on Good Friday.

The final scene at the park next to the bullfight arena with Jesus Gonzalez and Lucia Moreno

The final scene at the park next to the bullfight arena with Jesus Gonzalez and Lucia Moreno

All of these short stories were written and shot in quite a short period of time with the people who replied to our social media postings, some of whom were even ready to drive to the set with their own cars from cities nearby just to be a part of this unique experience. I wrote the scripts for the shorts mostly out of the need to give an answer to what I was experiencing there as a foreign eye, unable to transmit my perspective due to language barriers which Spanish or French people were so keen on protecting. I guess they had their reasons for protecting the spirit of their flamboyant languages. So I had a challenge to break down these language barriers and give these people a chance to feel the wholeness of life as it initially existed and was meant to be living in its abundance. A new mix of genres of cinema was the only answer! I had to find this hidden language of the Spirit which would surpass all language barriers. This was the story I was talking about in one of the three fictions shorts in this hybrid movie.

As for set design, in one short I used the actual remnants from a house party.

cacoon

In another I used some dragonflies which kept coming to me in various places sitting dead and dried in front of me on the pavement.

As for the costumes, we made our own costumes, like the torero costume with three spears in the back, made with fabric we found in a second hand vintage store and which was embroidered by a very talented local costume designer. Some times there were art collectives who opened their doors and let us shoot some scenes in their locale, or use it as our production office for the time being. We had interns from local film schools and camera crews were assembled by friends of friends whom I became acquainted with during a chat in a tree house or at a warm breakfast table in a hostel.

Some of the best location scouting was done during daily city tours with some Chinese travelers who wanted to scout the area with me and find hidden landscapes.

All in all, this film has been a sheer miracle to show that films are made as long as relationships allow it, and not merely because you have enough funds upfront to shoot it. Just to have some quality time together where you really listen to each other either on a mountain road by day’s end or on your daily watch at dawn on a Chinese junk somewhere in open sea was enough to turn those memorable moments into real life events once you make a film together with these people whom you just met and whom you probably won’t see again in a long time, but will remember each other for the rest of your lives.

Me at the caves in Sacremonte/Granada

Me at the caves in Sacremonte/Granada

The world is out there for us to prove that we exist in it in a meaningful way as a little flock maybe, as someone put it, and that we didn’t come here to suffer because of our misinterpretation of it.

So make it your own and have something to tell people about how the world really looks like from here in its abundance of new life — that’s what movies are all about!

The stories of these films are all dependent on just what bridges you burn in your life to avoid going back to what’s unreal, and to resurrect ın your dreams, which become your new reality.

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