About The Production
Director and Screenwriter Paul Haggis first conceived the idea for THIRD
PERSON shortly after wrapping The Next Three Days, his last feature film (2010).
The inspiration arose from a series of conversations between Haggis and Israeli
actress Moran Atias, who starred in both The Next Three Days and in the TV
series Crash, which carried through the themes of Haggis's Academy Award-winning
film Crash (2004). Atias, who plays the mysterious Roma beauty Monika in THIRD
PERSON, suggested a multi-plotline film about love and relationships, a
departure for Haggis, who has written about subjects as darkly charged as combat
(Letters From Iwo Jima, Flags of our Fathers), wartime trauma (In the Valley of
Elah), untimely death (Million Dollar Baby), and even 007 (Casino Royale). The
emotional and psychological battlegrounds of love turned out to be the greatest
challenge yet for the prolific writer-director.
The Toughest Subject
"Paul is usually a very fast writer," says Michael Nozik, Haggis's HWY 61
producing partner, "But with THIRD PERSON it is fair to say, he had a creative
obsession to get it right. I must have read and given notes on no less than
twenty different drafts before he arrived at the draft two years later that we
sent out to cast. It's a bold and risky story, so the script had to be right."
"I must have written fifty drafts," says Haggis. "I just kept getting it
wrong and starting over, for two and a half years, six to eight hours a day, six
days a week, until I finally thought it was more or less right. I got plenty of
notes from Michael and Moran and our other co-producer Deborah Rennard; some I
took, some I would try and later jettison, some I would reject-but I knew that
if there was a note, there was a reason-so I just kept at it. And of course I
kept tinkering with the script, rewriting through production and editing-in fact
right up until we recorded the score."
The HWY 61 professional partnership developed from a friendship of more than
fifteen years, based on Haggis's and Nozik's mutual love of movies. As Nozik
recalls, "Every Friday night a small group of us from our Santa Monica
neighborhood would head to out to the local theater to watch whatever movie
opened that weekend, then we'd have dinner together to discuss that week's film.
Our love of many of the same films led us to form our company HWY 61 in 2007,
and we made our first film together, The Next Three Days, in 2009."
From the start Nozik and Haggis knew they wanted to finance the film
independently, outside the studio and mini-major system: "CAA, our agents,
joined the process to help
find a financial partner," explains Nozik, "And eventually we met with Paul
Breuls of Corsan NV, who responded immediately and enthusiastically to the
script and the cast-in-the-making. Corsan committed to become our producing
partner and to fully finance the film."
As Producer Breuls declares, "At Corsan, we love good films, we love great
writing, we love brilliant directing, we love inspired acting, we love a
challenge. That is the credo of our company. Fortunately we're firmly imbedded
in the independent film world, that
gives us almost unlimited creative freedom. No script is too tough, no subject
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