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BEFORE MIDNIGHT

Filming on Home Turf
For producers Linklater, Konstantakopoulos and Woodhatch, and the mostly Greek crew, Greece was more a magnificent production opportunity than a metaphor. Producer Sara Woodhatch, a Londoner who produces with Castle Rock Entertainment (and longtime veteran of romantic-comedy productions) joined forces with Konstantakopoulos and his Faliro House Productions to pull together a lean but top-notch shoot.

"Rick, Christos and I did a very fast location scout and found the writer's retreat, which actually was the home of Patrick Leigh Fermor, a great travel writer and intrepid, swashbuckling guy. There's a lot of character in that house." The people in the dinner party scene resonate with Greek cinema too: "Walter Lassally, who plays Patrick, the host, was the Oscar-winning director of photography on Zorba the Greek and countless other films. This is his acting debut age 85. Xenia Kalogeropoulou, who plays Patrick's companion, is the Greek equivalent of Sophia Loren; she's an icon who was persuaded by Athina Tsangari (Co-producer) to come out of retirement for us, because she felt so close to her monologue about her husband. All the actors in the dinner party are the cream of Greek film and theater."

The crew, including director of photography Christos Voudouris, was nearly all Greek; exceptions were the sound department, led by Colin Nicolson, who was familiar with the technical challenges of the earlier films' walking-and-talking lengthy takes, and editor Sandra Adair, who cut all three films in the series and other Linklater projects. "We wanted lighting and camera people who really knew that incredible Greek light," recalls Woodhatch. "There was a kind of gameness, a really high energy and talent in the Greek crew. We shot it in fifteen days. Eight and a half pages of dialogue the first day. We just had an amazing team. Even with the economic worries there's a renaissance in Greek film going on -- it's like a bolt of lightning hit their ground and the result is incredibly fertile creativity."

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