The other day I was listening to my favorite radio station (RRA) and heard an old Romanian pop song from a couple years ago, Dragoste de Inchiriat (Love for Rent) by Akcent.
If you’ve been following along my Facebook page (see right-hand sidebar) you know I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately as part of the film project. Last week I was in Brasov, my all-time favorite Romanian city, to shoot a few scenes and also just to enjoy that fresh air. Even though I don’t indulge in mud baths or professional massages, just strolling around Brasov is a kind of therapy for me.
But I noticed something there that I’ve been noticing everywhere else in Romania – a great number of de inchiriat (for rent/let) signs. I must say it’s quite disturbing to see how many city centers in this country are hollowing out, with buildings left unused and empty.
I realize the malls are still packed and (apparently) doing well but the cities I’ve been visiting here are progressively becoming more and more empty in their cores, with food stores, high end clothing and shoe stores disappearing, leaving mostly a lot of second-hand clothing stores and “casinos”, betting parlors and places to yank on slot machines. Oh yeah, and lots of covrigi vendors.
Perhaps this is going on everywhere throughout Europe or perhaps I’m the last one to notice this here in Romania but it sure worries me.
In other news, I finished shooting some cut scenes with assistance from the lovely and very talented Andreea Hajdu and I will most likely be in Oradea this Saturday (September 24). My ancient computer has finally finished pre-processing all of the footage and now it shouldn’t be much longer before the editing is finished. Yes! And then all of you will get to see the results of what I’ve been doing this summer.
I don’t have a firm schedule established yet but I will be visiting both Iasi and Timisoara in October to film the final scenes I have in mind and then it (hopefully) will be a wrap. If you’d like to meet up with me in your town, feel free to contact me in one of the variou ways.
I have to say I am quite excited as all of this is coming together. I’m very comfortable writing about Romania but it’s another thing all together to actually show this country to people, especially to all of the people who have only briefly visited or have never been here. And I think even for those of you who live here there will be some surprises in store for you as well :)
Just in case you haven’t been reading my blog all along (and shame on you for that! :P) the mountain of footage I have been shooting will be cut, edited and arranged into something akin to TV “episodes”, released on YouTube (aka FREE) rather than some two-hour long traditional documentary.
As I mentioned back in January, my inspiration for this project came from an old Spanish show called Un Pais En La Mochila, which probably makes no sense to any of you unless you were watching Spanish TV ten years ago :)) Sorry but you’ll just have to wait and see how it comes out.
And just for all the naysayers out there, I will tell you this ahead of time so it’s crystal clear. Yes, I realize I also should have included location X, village Y and event Z that would be beautiful and traditional and wonderful to see. Have some patience! This country has literally an unlimited number of amazing things and places to film and if I waited until I captured them all I’d never get this thing done. My goal here is to finish with what I do have and then guess what? I can go out and do it all over again with new places, people and events! Yes it’s true. First let’s see how this one goes and then we’ll work on the next one.
So hold onto your hats :)