Check out the full interview below...
I am producing my nephew, Jonathan Schipper and his new bride Tania’s first musical documentary, HONEYMOON USA. They both live outside of Paris and their combined talents have produced 9 Film Festival laurels and 2 awards so far this year. After being sent short vignettes of Tania’s travel videos, she adds Jonathan’s music and others – I agreed with my sister June that Jonathan and Tania are quite talented and can film beautiful musical travel videos. They love to travel, and watching their videos is a lot of fun for all of us. I decided to produce a film with them and after entering them into film festivals, we received our first laurel one week later. It was great!
The first movie I remember watching is “The Sound of Music” and yes, I thought it was beautiful, musical and wonderful!
I love Martin Scorsese and the music he chooses. My favorite movie is THE DEPARTED. I also love The Shawshank Redemption….
I went through a traumatic time in northern Siberia, trying to adopt a sick indigenous child, unattached to an orphanage or any relative…I came home weeks later and cathartically threw it up on paper. A publicist advised me to screenplay the story, which I did. I became the most awarded and recognized Screenwriter of 2013/14. ISA made me “Screenwriter of the Month”. I was hooked. I wrote a dark comedy the next year with Suz Carr, “Pill”, and we received awards from L.A. to the UK. That was fun too!
For me, it’s always a big challenge picking the music. I give Tania full rein; she works with Jonathan….we have similar tastes so that’s working out great. Jonathan had a band that played around Paris, Disneyland – and he recorded his music with several well-known European musicians.
Well, it’s a honeymoon musical micro so the casting was easy – husband and wife!
I’m glad you asked! It’s only February and we’ve received our 9th laurel so far. We have several interviews, 2 awards, I just did a red carpet in NYC to pick up our award…We are being screened at the Raleigh Theatre in Hollywood, Pinewood Studios in London, NYC and 3 Paris venues as well…this year is looking incredible so far!
I love, as does everyone else apparently, Tania’s free-form way of filming. Tania and Jonathan are young freethinkers, their feel-good film is getting accolades and attention everywhere. Maybe that’s the point – in these uncertain, chaotic times everyone is appreciating our musical feel-good film! It’s nice to laugh, I laugh mostly throughout the film – I love it! People in film festivals in 6 countries love it too – we certainly all feel grateful and lucky!
I love this question! My first screenplay was in about 20 film festivals everywhere and was actually optioned twice. Yes, I’d love to say it was made into a film but just being optioned by a major film studio was incredible! At that point nobody knew who Bela Wolf was. Awesome and exciting, wonderful experience – and it was all launched by the film festival community, which I love so much. The exposure given to a filmmaker/screenwriter by film festivals is very hard to put a price on. And everybody has always been so kind and warm in the film festival community.
I am currently working on a script with Suz Carr, and experience tells us it is going to do very well, thank you for asking! As for Jonathan and Tania, they are looking forward to filming their next ski trip somewhere in the Alps.
Thank you for this inspiring interview and for taking the time to honestly answer all the questions. The BIA team wishes you great success with your next projects!