How often do you get to interview a famous world-class classical music director? Today, that’s exactly what we did.
My Co-Producer, Jordan Marshall, my DP, Adam Jones, and I interviewed Maestro Zubin Mehta at the New York Philharmonic offices, across the street from Lincoln Center this afternoon. It was a great location for an interview. In case you ever need to shoot at Lincoln Center, be aware that there are costs to the stagehand’s union that sometimes are more than most documentary filmmakers can afford. It is part of that world, and the union certainly serves and important purpose, but for us, it was a huge expense. The interview didn’t require us to shoot at the Center, and actually, the Archives Office of the New York Philharmonic added a certain historical feel to the shoot.
We had been told that doing an interview with Maestro Mehta would be a delight, and we weren’t disappointed. He is a strong personality, and so personable. He is one of those rare individuals who makes you feel as if you are as important as he is. That is true grace.
The interview will be part of the feature-length documentary we’re producing called “Concerto for Two Brothers.” The story is about Charles and Christopher Rex, two highly accomplished symphony musicians. Charles is a first violinist with the New York Philharmonic, and Christopher is the principal cellist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. You can view the documentary trailer below. We plan to complete “Concerto” sometime between the end of summer or end of year 2009, depending on the amount of funding we can acquire to get the edit done in a timely manner.
Here’s a suggestion to filmmakers that can only work in your favor. When people go out of their way to accommodate you, have something with you to give them as a gift. In this case, I brought a couple of boxes of toffee made by the Lone Cone Toffee Company in Charlotte, NC. It wasn’t a large, or terribly expensive gift, but it was appreciated by the New York Philharmonic folks. Maestro Mehta hadn’t had a bite to eat since morning, so he very much appreciated a little snack. He, of course, opened the box and shared with the rest of us.
I’m taking the lead from Maestro Mehta. It’s essential to remember that everyone on a shoot is important, from the talent to the doorman who lets you in to your location. This work is collaborative on so many levels, and keeping it human makes a difference to your crew and to the final product.