Although I knew early on that I wanted to make films, it didn't happen right away. I took film courses where I learned (from the heads of the cinematography and sound departments at CBS Cinema Center) how to make films, but not how to get to make them. When I asked my mentor back then, Paul Stanley, what was the best preparation for being a filmmaker, he responded by saying, "Live a full life". I followed his advice to a far greater degree than ever he would have imagined.
When I finally found the path, I moved to Paris to begin my career. I wanted to make the kind of films that came from France. For my first project, I had in mind doing a pseudo documentary about an artist who painted on the Place du Tertre in Montmartre. The style and tone was inspired by the Woody Allen film Take the Money And Run. I found an investor and began making my plans and engaging the actors with whom I wanted to work. A few days before we were to begin shooting, the investor fell out--he spent his money elsewhere on an impulsive spending spree. This eventuality wasn't covered in film school, needless to say.
That evening, upon returning to my apartment, I received a call from someone asking if I was still looking for an investor for my project. Yes I was, I told him. And so it was that the project went unfunded for only a few hours before returning to viability once again.
Before I could begin shooting, I was obliged to visit the Préfecture de Police to obtain a shooting permit. This entailed sitting across from a dour policeman while he read the entire script. He didn't smile--let alone laugh--once. When he was finished, he told me the mayor of Montmartre would not approve of the scenes where the gypsies pickpocket the tourists. I suggested that they should be more concerned with stopping the gypsies than obstructing filmmakers. He did not take my suggestion to heart. In fact, he demonstrated his disapproval by forbidding me to use actors or block traffic in any way. All I could do was to shoot stock footage and that, effectively, killed the project.
When I finally looked at the paperwork the policeman had issued me, I saw that the first page was the standard shooting permit. The second page had all of his restrictive stipulations. Guess which one I threw in the trash! I took my actors and blocked traffic in Montmartre with abandon for the next week.
The course of my life involved a number of shipwrecks the result of which things were lost at sea--and so it was with Montmartre. The finished master was gone and it was only a week or so ago that remnants in the form of some clips washed ashore. I have cut them down to just under ten minutes so they'll fit on YouTube and offer them to you here:
How to Shoot a Feature Film in 15 Days (And Survive to See Profits)
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Examples of Responsive Reactions
Click photo to see example clips from Stephen's movies
Action/ReAction at Stella Adler
Point of Departure
A Series of ONE...
Stephen and Dragonuk
Stephen Mitchell webinar for Stage 32
Ferrari GTO 3987 at speed by Yan denes
Ray D. Shosay's Journal
Dispatches from a (junior) suite in Paris
Ray D. Shosay's Journal (excerpt)
"Saturday, January 27, 2007
They say you can fool some of the people all of the time. Accordingly, I think we should concentrate on this group initially. We can move on to the people you can only fool some of the time at a later date if we deem it necessary. I hope to hear back from my agent about this as soon as he's out of rehab, as I don't think my messages have been getting through."
Ignorance is Bliss by Stephen Mitchell
Kindle or Paperback versions
Exerpt from Ignorance is Bliss
"Out of the corner of his eye, Martin saw Martha shift in her seat. She leaned forward, as though something was about to be decided. This caused her breasts to push up against the neckline of her dress in a way that couldn't be fully appreciated out of the corner of one’s eye. So, Martin turned his head to look directly into the abyss of her cleavage. He was vaguely aware that Murray was talking again."
Carrera Panamericana (1950-54)
Click on poster to buy the poster and DVD
Ferrari GTO 3987
Elysée Wednesday: Drive!
Click photo to watch on Amazon Direct Video
“You ought to meet Steve. The two of you have the same kind of Ferrari.”
Ferrari Berlinetta Lusso
One evening, I was enjoying a John le Carré novel and a glass of Bordeaux...
L'art de l'automobile
My first Lusso prior to restoration
It was only after Sinatra was gone...
Once upon a time...
Meeting Enzo Ferrari
I came across this on a late night stroll in Paris near the Louvre.
I bought Bentleys in England and Ferraris & Maseratis in Italy to re-sell in Los Angeles as a teenager. I met Enzo Ferrari, Juan Fangio and Steve McQueen. I 'grew up' on the set of Mission: Impossible and other episodic TV series of the era. For a few years, I owned a Ferrari GTO that is owned by Ralph Lauren today and valued at approximately $52M. I began my film career by writing, producing and directing Montmartre in Paris in French. I founded and ran a repertory company for film & TV for 20 years in Los Angeles. I created a TV series which had fans that included Marlon Brando. I authored the first new acting technique--Action/ReAction--that was not based on Stanislavski's Method. I am currently writing my third novel and shooting my spy thriller Exigence. If you can't make movies, live your life as though you were in one...