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About The Story
Writer/Director Mark Romanek said his inspiration for ONE HOUR PHOTO emerged out of "a desire to make a contemporary film in the mode of the ‘lonely-man' films of the 70s." His influences were drawn from films like THE CONVERSATION, THE TENANT, TAXI DRIVER and THE PASSENGER. The Yorkin family, upon which Sy turns his focus, were named based on the word play, "your kin."

After completing the script, Romanek sent it to producers Christine Vachon and Pamela Koftier who instantly liked the story. Vachon remembers, "The script was intriguing enough for us to feel like we wanted to sit down and talk to him. That's part of the process. Will a director convince us that a script we felt was good is even better? Do they make us excited about the journey from the page to the screen'?"

Producer Stan Wlodkowski joined the filmmaking team after learning of the burgeoning project through a colleague. A longtime fan of Vachon and KoftIer, Wlodkowski also found Romanek's script "insightful as well as challenging."

The team instantly set about the task of finding the right actor to fill Sy Parrish's shoes. Koftier says, "We were driven to Robin by Mark's vision. We thought that to really elevate ONE HOUR PHOTO, to make it as great as it could be, we needed a real movie star in the role of Sy. Someone with that kind of charisma willing to play a character probably unlike anything they'd ever played before."

Romanek said what convinced him that Williams was the right man for the part was the enthusiasm and empathy he brought to the character. "When we first met to discuss doing the film, we were so in synch about how Sy should be played, I immediately started to see the incredible potential of having Robin take on this role."

"To have Robin Williams in a part that is different than audiences have seen before was undeniably an important element in bringing this story to the screen," Koffler explains. Vachon agrees, adding, "I think audiences will be excited by the idea of seeing Robin do something that they haven't seen him do before, or not in a long time. Robin has done dramatic roles all through his career but they certainly aren't Sy. He's demonstrated in the past the range he has as an actor, so, in a way, all we're doing is reminding people of that."

Romanek agrees, "If you look more closely at some of Robin's dramatic work, you come to realize that this character isn't as far afield from his previous roles as you might imagine."

Williams was enthusiastic about the unusual character. "I'm glad they sent it to me to begin with." He explains, "People always say, ‘Oh, he plays such nice people.' This man is nice, but with a dark side. It's been exciting to play that. He does things that are creepy, bizarre. It's interesting stuff to inhabit a real and very, very fascinating character." Romanek says it was also fascinating to watch Williams play the character. "The level of commitment, emotion and attention to detail that Robin brought to playing this role was truly amazing to witness."

Connie Nielsen, who plays the part of Nina Yorkin, the central character in Sy Parrish's idealized fantasy world, credits Romanek for his visionary character development. "I found that Mark had written a script that treated Robin's character with humanity and understanding."

Michael Vartan, who plays Will Yorkin, agrees, "One of the most interesting things was actually thinking of Robin Williams playing this character." Vartan explains, "It's not a huge departure because he has played dramatic roles before, but in my head, when I think of Robin Williams, I think of someone ve

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