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TribecaFilm.com: Tell us a little about My Own Love Song.
Olivier Dahan: My Own Love Song is about two friends who met in the hospital way before the movie starts. The woman (Renee Zellweger) has a child she hasn’t seen in seven years, and she goes on a road trip with her friend (Forest Whitaker) to find the kid again. I wanted to make a simple story about two people traveling together who help each other recover not only their normalcy, but their dignity.
TribecaFilm.com: What inspired you to tell this story?
OD: When I wrote the movie two years ago, I started out wanting to talk about physical handicaps, but during the writing process, I thought to also speak about psychological handicap, emotional handicap—all kinds, really. I wanted to make a movie that was a bit naïve about disability, but also a little optimistic at the same time.
TribecaFilm.com: What's the craziest thing (or "lightning strikes" moment) that happened while making the film?
OD: If I take just one point out a hundred, I would say I think I learned a lot about actors. The relationship between the actors and the director and what they do together—that’s the point for me. I wanted to work with Forest and Renee and the whole cast, and I learned a lot from how the two of them worked together and with me.
OD: It’s a difficult process, but the first thing is to write. Even if I don’t like writing, the point is not to start with thinking of it as a picture. Start with the content—not even the story—and once you find out what you want to say, then you start to think about the picture and the visual aspects of it. I am pretty visual, but it can be a danger to think visually first. Think about the content, and then you will find the form.
OD: Alive it would be Francis Ford Coppola. And dead would be William Wyler.
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