I just wrapped filming for the dramatic short Night Ride directed by Luiz Neves. Not only was it an incredible script supported by an outstanding crew (including James DiGiacomo and Marcela Marques), but it was also lead by a fantastic and enthusiastic director:
Night Ride is based on a short story by a famous brazilian writer, Rubem Fonseca. The central thematic of this tale is the representation of a human being trying to function in an extremely individualist, money-driven society in which traditional values and basic human connections are left out. A society that drives, an already flawed main character up to his emotional limits that culminates in a violent, sadistic and immoral paradigm shift.
Luiz nearly jumped out of his chair at auditions when I met him: he had found his Melissa! The rest of the rehearsals and shoot proceeded in a similar vein; hard work followed by moments of ecstatic excitement. Luiz new what he wanted and worked diligently to achieve it. Luckily, I was cast opposite Marcin Paluch.
Marcin is an incredibly talented actor and we were able to begin crafting fully fleshed characters immediately. Since we only had one scene to give a clear sense of our relationship, love, and personality we new we would have to do the legwork. It is difficult to have love and comfort shine through an argument, but it had to be there for the film to pull on the right strings. As we rehearsed the scene, Luiz realized the characters were coming to life and gave us reign to improvise around the tight framework of the scene.
“Casting is probably one the most important parts for a filmmaker. We know that if we make the wrong choice it doesn’t matter if we have a great crew, locations or awesome visual effects; the film will fail…. Working with Christina on set was an awesome experience. She’s super easy going, funny, and is comfortable adding some of her own ideas to the dialogue. She and Marcin(John) had a great chemistry and most of their dialogue was improvised - that’s why I believe It sounds so real.” – Luiz Neves, director NIGHT RIDE
On the day of the shoot we took take after take until every small beat, moment, and action played out beautifully. The goal was to use a single take so that the audience could be carried along in the current of emotion without a break. It was exhausting but supremely rewarding in the end.