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About The Production
CQ was a true labor of love for first-time writer/director Roman Coppola, and a way to explore several long-time passions. "My interests have always been pretty diverse," says Coppola. "I'm a fan of comic books and comic book movies— outrageous, playful, fun movies— and at the same time I'm drawn to more thoughtful, artier films. In the late 60's, there were examples of both kinds of films. Movies like Barbarella, Danger: Diabolik, and Modesty Blaise were kitschy and fun, and then people like Godard and Antonioni were making films that were more artistically adventurous. CQ was my chance to fuse those two worlds together. It's a great era in which to set a movie about the world of cinema, because the cinema of that time was very diverse and dynamic. I also thought it would be fun to look at a film being made in the late 60's that's projecting what the future would be like in 2001, especially now that we know exactly what 2001 looked like."

Before shooting began, Coppola spent months doing research, immersing himself in the style, music and films of the period. He then shared his vision of the era with the cast and crew. "There are many references in CQ to films of the period," says Coppola, "but the two key films were Mario Bava's Danger: Diabolik (starring John Phillip Law, who appears in CQ) and Jim McBride's David Holzman ‘s Diary (starring L.M. Kit Carson, who also appears). These two films embody the two opposing forces in ‘60s cinema: playful, artificial entertainment vs. highly personal, ‘honest' films. There were many other films, particularly Godard's A Married Woman and Masculin/Femin in, that were helpful in regard to visual style and art direction. Other inspiration for specific sequences came from Fellini's Il Bidone and The Swindler and Toby Dammit from the anthology Spirits of the Dead for the Roman New Year's party; Jack Cardiff s Girl on a Motorcycle for Dragonfly's costume; and Joseph Losey's Modesty Blaise and Elio Petri's 10th Victim for the ‘60s vision of costumes and sets.

"Also," Coppola continues, "as I was writing the script, I collected hundreds of images from books, comics, movies, and magazines. I drew inspiration and ideas from those images, and I collected them together and made a big bound book with them, which I gave to all the film department heads. I wanted us all to have a cohesive vision for the look and feel of the film."

That preparation was a great asset to everyone involved in the film. Producer Gary Marcus says, "Roman was more prepared for CQ than any filmmaker I've ever worked with."

Billy Zane, who plays the mysterious Mr. E in Dragonfly, agrees. "Roman's been great. I've never seen a more prepared set. He provided everyone with the tools for research, reading lists, film libraries. A project benefits so much from information and from loving what you're doing not only knowing it, but really loving it and he's allowed everyone to share that love."

One of the first people to whom Coppola showed the script was L.M. Kit Carson, a veteran screenwriter, producer, and director who starred as the title character in the 1968 independent film David Holzman ‘s Diary, a sort of Spinal Tap for the film school set. Recalls Carson, "It was a big surprise when I read CQ and realized what the film was about. I thought it was very funny and inventive without being fancy. Roman has a light spirit, and that spirit is what sticks to the film."

The letters CQ are Morse code for the phrase "seek you" a call for contact. In CQ, Paul is caught between two co


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