Last Saturday was World Cat Day. Is there a better way to celebrate that day than by shooting a short film starring your own cat?
The film in question is the adaptation of my story Next to Her, the tale of an elderly man, Maurice, who visits his dying wife at the hospital. A shared lunch is all they have left, but his wife's thoughts drift off towards the ghost of her cat, Avalon, whose picture sits on the bed stand 'next to her'. As Maurice gets frustrated with his wife's behavior, the fine line between nurturing and torturing is easily crossed.
When the producers of Next to Her asked Vincenzo De Jonghe if he wanted to direct a film for them, he initially said he only wanted to make a film about an elderly couple suffering from dementia. “That's exactly what this script is about,” they said. With such a coincidence, Next to Her couldn't go wrong :-)
What about some behind the scenes pictures of the film set?
Anna-Maria De Schepper played Yvonne. In real life, she's beautiful and energetic, but she was fabulous as a demented lady. She said she found inspiration in the movie The Notebook for her part in Next to Her.
Luc de Ruelle headlined as Yvonne's husband, Maurice. He, too, is different from his movie character.
The director and crew at work...
Next to Her was shot on location in a home for the elderly, Het Heiveld, in Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium. The lady whose room we occupied for the day asked director Vincenzo De Jonghe what the story of Next to Her was about. As he was telling her the plot, she suddenly started to cry. "That's exactly the story of my husband and me," she said.
A few set pieces...
Next to Her will probably be renamed Avalon (not my idea, I swear) and it will be part of the movie anthology Follow: Love, Life, Ghent. It will premiere at Film Fest Ghent in October 2015.
You can find the story on which the film is based on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon NL, etc. Of course, you can read Avalon's adventures on other film sets in his memoir.