CANNES — You want a quick example of the difference between Cannes and Hollywood?
In Hollywood, actors drive producers, agents and managers crazy over the issue of “support,” as in, “The actor didn’t support the film with publicity, so the picture bombed.”
In Cannes, actors arrive prepared to do everything from stripping in the French surf to subjecting themselves to the paparazzi-crush at the Palais red-carpet premieres.
Examples abound, perhaps none more vivid than the notoriously press-shy Woody Allen showing up for the Cannes fest’s opening-night screening May 15 of his latest pic, “Hollywood Ending.”
Referring to the red-carpet press ritual, Allen said he would “report it to Amnesty Intl.” But he was there, and he was smiling.
When you get to the level of real working actors, not legendary auteur-artistes like Allen, “support” doesn’t do justice to the Herculean efforts of the gung-ho thesps in the Cannes trenches.
I sat down with one typically tireless actor, official Britpacker and Brillstein-Grey/UTA client Nick Moran (“Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels,” “The Musketeer”), and perused one day in his Filofax.
Actors like Moran endure days of dangerous hors d’oeuvres, warm rose wine, cold-hearted starlets and producing partners who sport, in place of movie track records, criminal rap sheets.
A typically low-key Brit, Moran explains his frenzied schedule thus: “I don’t believe in hanging about.” Try this sked as an example of “support”:
- He’s stumping for the market screening of “Baby Juice Express” for production firm the Spice Factory and sales outfit Arclight Films. Moran reports Arclight is “fielding several serious offers” for the action-comedy about a young man who hijacks the sperm of an imprisoned gangster determined to impregnate his wife on the outside.
This is Cannes, remember?
- He’s pumping up the pre-release buzz on “Christie Malry’s Own Double-Entry,” another actioner that he’s four-walling on a tour of the U.K. He’s actually taking the film out “on tour,” in a kind of rock show/screening tour with cult pop artist Luke Haines, who did the soundtrack.
- He’s meeting the money guys on behalf of writer-producer Terrence Doyle’s “Noise Control,” a project they describe as “‘Top Gun’ meets ‘Local Hero.’ This is after shooting a promo reel for Doyle.
- He’s on hand to help Mikast Prods. announce the casting and start date for Moran’s directorial debut, “Telstar,” a biopic about Joe Meek, who Moran describes as a “homosexual, speed-freak, tone-deaf devil worshipper who was the first successful U.K. indie record producer.”
That last entry on his calendar has a direct link to the glory days of the Cannes Market of the ’80s, when the video boom fueled big yachts and bigger profits. “Telstar’s” producers are Yvonne Michael and Melissa Kastner, and it was Kastner’s father, Elliott, who helped invent and perfect the pre-sales game at Cannes. Would the senior Kastner in his heyday buy Moran’s “Telstar” pitch?
Maybe not, but any producer worth his Gucci loafers would sure as hell appreciate the “support.”