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The making of Cinemascope

Portrait of Urbain Appeltans.

The film won a Gold Standard Award.

Editor's note: during 2005 Urbain battled with cancer, lost a lot of weight and for a time lost hope. Happily he rallied with the help of family and friends to make two top films: Cinemascope and Hannah.

In fact I was highly productive in 2005. Now I adore my Cinemascope. It's the film I love most. "A film in a film" is not something new, but I thought that making such a story would be full of challenges.

An old lady and her husband still live together, but also at some distance. He is an amateur film maker. She is an artist. They live in their own different worlds, but one day they go to the cinema together. She cannot bear to be parted from her little dog so she hides it in a shopping bag. In the cinema the little "Prince Charles" sees a dog of the same breed on screen. Of course now he is eager to jump out of the bag and to jump into the film …

Still from 'Cinemascope'. Still from 'Cinemascope'.

The end of the story? I can only tell you that it's a happy end. Our two old folks have found new colour in their life !

The most difficult thing was finding the right actors. "The film in the film" had to be comic. Although I'm Belgian, some of my actors are members of a Dutch theatre group. I'm a real European, you know - I have as many friends in Holland as in Belgium!

Still from 'Cinemascope'. Still from 'Cinemascope'.

Another problem was finding the right location. I got permission to film some scenes in the buildings of an abandoned mine. The owner did not want to be responsible for any accidents… Also the vintage car caused many problems. Every five minutes we had engine trouble.

Still from 'Cinemascope'. Still from 'Cinemascope'.

Working with dogs is not easy. I had to find two well-trained dogs of the same breed. Above all I will remember that while editing the film I almost had a heart attack… 75 percent of the job was done. I did something wrong with my computer and … my Cinemascope was gone! I had to start all over again!

- Urbain Appeltans (translated by Willy Van der Linden)     March 2006

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Page updated on 08 October 2011
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