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Lope

2010 | Director: Andrucha Waddington |

At 5 am the phone rang. Andrucha Waddington, a fabulous Brazilian director, was calling from Spain where he was prepping Lope, a film about Lope de Vega the famous writer from 16th century Andrucha. In his wonderful Brazilian accent he says, “Lilly! Lilly! Is big disaster! You must come now!”

I had done a long complicated feasibility study with Andrucha in the Balkans and loved every minute of it, so, at 9 pm that night I was on a plane to Madrid. It was Saturday morning when I arrived.

Andrucha was right. It was an enormous disaster.

The Spanish Production Designer had apparently had a nervous breakdown and run off screaming and crying. He had left behind half-built, badly painted sets.

By noon the day I arrived I was painting the set that would shoot Monday.

It was a mess, but somehow, with the Producer as my assistant, we managed it.

Then, on Monday, there was another disaster. The bed was so badly built it was shocking to look at. Every time our hero came to embrace his lover, all you could look at was the bed! I signaled the prop person and we dove under the bed and braced it with our arms and legs.

Every day was like that as we struggled to catch up with the filming. I would be painting or dragging furniture into place and the crew would be screaming, “They’re coming! The camera is coming!”

It was a marvelous experience and much like the beginning of my career, when I was a one man (woman) art department. But, we managed and by the end of the shoot I had a crackerjack crew.

Andrucha and his wonderful DP, Ricardo Della Rosa, were always laughing. “Look at her now her skirts on fire!” As Andrucha would say, “Lilly, there are three kinds of people:  those who laugh, those who cry, and those who run away.”

We laughed and laughed.