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Q&A with Writer/Director Ol Parker
(Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4,Page 5)
(I'll gradually be adding Ol's responses to this page)

Hey there...

I´m Adriana from México and just wanna know when we could enjoy the movie??, I´m so excited about it, by the way, all that I saw about the movie it´s seems like it´s so pretty and can change the minds about the gays relationship, we need to change about it, could be a better world, oh well, I woudl like if you can respond to my mail...

greetings from México

hi adriana,

greetings to mexico.  I would think you can buy the dvd in mexico just after it comes out in the US.  which is quite soon, I believe.  or you could just rent it, obviously, and spend your cash on something else.  and thanks for your thoughts.  if the world is indeed changing for the better, then it's people like you that are helping it on its way.  

best, ol

Dear Ol Parker,

What a delightful movie, Wow!!! There are no words to express what a beautiful story this is. The scenes, backgrounds, images, colors, etc.. just couldn’t be better, not to mention the actors. I would like to take this opportunity to respectfully congratulate you and the cast and thank you for this beautiful movie. It’s been a long time since a movie like this is unveiled. Although I respect the job most good actors do, now at days, movies are either about aliens, horror, war or just the ordinary cloned comedy, love, drama. Unfortunately, we are living in a time were love is needed so much, especially in western culture (here in the U.S.). Sadly for many of us, Imagine Me & You did not make in theaters at my home town, Miami, FL on the other hand; I kept hearing good comments about the movie which led me to the internet for research. I found that on every of your interviews, every time you were asked why the two leading ladies didn’t have more time together, (i.e. when they kissed in the flower shop) you kept saying you didn’t have enough of a budget. Even though the scene only lasted a few seconds until Heck’s entrance in the flower shop, it was so warm, romantic, passionate and heartfelt all at the same time. Even though, love makes us do things without rational thinking, Luce was rational and had high morals and respected Rachel’s marriage. How come, Rachel and Luce never said, “I love you” to each other throughout the movie? It would have been nice to add more bonding scenes between them. With all said, I would have given this movie six stars out of five. With more money/budget and strong advertising, this movie would have topped the charts for weeks, in my opinion. I really hope the DVD which I pre ordered over two months ago pays off. 

PS: Please stop saying negative remarks about your directing skills; you are an excellent director with a beautiful and creative mind. I cant wait to see your next project.

PS#2: I love and treasure your country.

Best Wishes,

Jenny – Miami, FL


hey jenny

damn, that's a lovely letter.  hugely appreciated.  actually through many drafts of the movie, rachel did actually shout 'I love you' just before piper whacks her big smile out on the roof of the car at the end.  and we even shot it.  but then they were both so beautiful, and they smiled so joyfully at each other, that just silence seemed to do the trick.  the closest we get, I guess, is luce saying 'I want you' you on the hill, which was and is one of my two favourite moments in the movie.  luce (and lena) just cutting through everything, telling the truth, simply and plainly.

and I'm sorry if you think I'm rude about my own directing and writing skills.  I'm just trying to get better at doing what I love.  but thank you for having a different opinion.

ol


hello Mr Ol!
It's me again:)
I have a stupid question but never mind I'll go on..
If the characters had a last name which would be that??
Thank's!
Stella-Greece

hi stella again

thanks for another question from you.  it's much appreciated, although I do earnestly beg you to get a life.  at some point during the making of the film, I had to think of the characters surnames.  one reason was for the wedding program, which the props department printed up - they take these things very seriously.  and then there were some invoices on luce's desk ... but I've no idea what I came up with.  someone might have been called halliwell ... rachel, I think.  but truly, I have no idea.  I knew their first names immediately I thought of them as characters, and that's rare, and that was enough for me.  thanks again stella, now go watch something else.

ol


Hi Ol,

Sorry me, again! I was actually gonna offer a ridiculous suggestion, which, if Lena and Piper's schedules weren't an issue, could be a genius feature on the UK DVD!

What do you think about having an extra called: The L&P Shuffle. Both Lena (in The Actors and Onegin) and Piper (in Coyote Ugly) have proven their vocal talent, and now with IMY their dance technique - how about getting them to teach the viewer their little dance number while singing the Kelly Marie tune!?

Good luck with the UK launch next month!

Jen, in London

hey jen

you're right, that is a superb idea.  they can both move some, and they should teach us to move.  I actually kind of shafted them that day.  because I'm a crap director, and failed to plan ahead, although I'd known for weeks that we had the rights to the kelly marie song, I only gave it to the actresses that morning about twenty minutes before they were due on set.  luckily lena numbers choreography among the lengthy list of her talents, so they emerged from the trailer shortly afterwards with their routine all planned out.  and left our jaws on the floor.  thanks for writing, jen.  I really appreciate it.

best, ol

hullo mr parker, first of all congratulations on a terrific movie now i have some questions for you, first of all if you had to change anything on the final story or final script what would it be?Also could you please tell us more about the deleted scenes of the dvd?
thank you,
mary

hi mary,

thanks for writing in, you're very kind.  what would I change?  o god, masses.  if you listen to the dvd commentary, it's basically just me cataloguing the many mistakes I made, as writer and director.  but there's one thing I know I'd do just the same, and that's work with any of those people again.  as for the deleted scenes ... I'm trying to remember.  there's a very long monologue from matt in a coffeeshop.  a scene where he brings piper breakfast in bed on her birthday.  another scene with luce and her friend edie.  and at least one more that I've forgotten.  but they're all there on the dvd, and there's an alternative track where I talk bollocks over them should you wish to hear it.  
take care, mary.  
best, ol


hi ol,
I'm from from spain....i love film¡¡¡¡¡¡ i would live to ask why is different the title of film than spain "rosas rojas" than u.k. "imagine me&you"? I enjoyed the scene when they were dancing in the machine....the song is very funny¡¡¡¡¡
tita from spain

hey tita

thanks for your question.  I've absolutely no idea why they changed the title.  they did it in germany too, to something which I believe means roughly "three people in a wedding".  or "a wedding for three".  or something else.  but as I told someone earlier about the poster, they do what they do and it's nothing to do with me.  so I just have to hope they do it well.

thanks for seeing the movie.  I really appreciate it.  
best, ol


Hi Ol! Congratulations for the film. It's great!
My question is about the film's soundtrack. There are few songs that we have. For example "happy together" but there are some songs - that I think that these songs are "instrumental" - that I don't know how to get it! Can you help us?

Thanks!!

Mery - Spain


hi mery

nice to see an email from spain, thanks for your interest.  the instrumental music, apart from the bit in the school demonstration, which is by the band faultline, is all written by my friend alex heffes.  who did a lovely job.  and if you want to get hold of his music, you should talk to LB, the webmaster.  enjoy, and thank you.

ol


Hello Ol,
         With all my heart thank you once again for this beautiful movie!My question is,why you chose a woman to be Rachel's true love?I mean if there was a man instead of Luce it could still be the same story.I guess you wanted to emphasize on the fact that they were soulmates and meant to be together no matter what,am I right?
Sofia-Greece

hey sofia

thanks for your question.  when I originally had the idea, rachel was going to see a male guest at the wedding, and fall in love with him, but it didn't work.  you could just argue that she would carry on up the aisle and get married - all those people staring - but as soon as she and the guy met at the reception, it would be clear to both of them what had happened.  and to heck as well.  so the rest of the film would play out rather more obviously; more guilt, more jealousy, less comedy.  I also, as you rightly say, liked the romantic idea that it's the soul that counts, not the body.  so that's how it became a film about two women, and one love.  thanks again for asking.

ol


With the relationship of Rachel and Luce, most of the feelings/emotions that the characters expressed were with looks and not words. Is that harder to direct?
Webmaster

it's true that piper and lena spend a lot of time looking at each other in the movie.  there's a beat between them in their first scene at flowershop, just before luce says 'anyway, I was just serving a customer' that more or less makes all words redundant for the rest of the film, I think.  scenes with the two of them were enormous fun to direct - they're very great friends, so we'd all just laugh a lot.  


My name is Miriam García.I am from Spain and I would like to ask why the Spanish poster of imagine me and you  is so different to the posters of others countries.I mean, it is most in whithe and black while the others are colourfull. Does it has any explanation?
Personally, I like better English poster.
Thank you very much.

Miriam García

hi miriam

thanks for your question.  I believe the way the posters work - and the marketing generally - is this: UIP distributes the film around Europe, but within the company there are different departments for different countries, and it is up to them to decide how best to market the film for that particular country.  so titles change, posters change, trailers change ... and none of it's up to me.  thanks again for asking.  

ol


Dear Mr Ol Parker

     My name is Stella and I am from Greece.. So please forgive me if my English are not too good.. Furthermore, I am only 14-15 and I am still learning ƒº
     I would like to ask you about Lena and Piper. First of all how do they like, you know, about their characters.And then what was happening behind the cameras(backstage).like: if they were anxious or something like that etc

THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME! I AM LOOKING FORWARD FOR YOU¡K
         Yours faithfully
                     Stella

hi stella

thanks for your question, and please don't apologise for your english, it's better than my greek.  piper and lena were nothing less than lovely on set and off.  they were excellent friends already, which I knew when I cast them, and that made for a fantastically happy atmosphere.  they're both kind, warm, generous, and funny people, as well as ferociously smart.  piper was mildly nervous about her accent at first, but it was so outstanding so quickly that she didn't have to worry for too long.  the two of them just laughed together, and gelled together, and I just got to watch.  and take the credit.  

I'm thrilled that you got to see the film so young, and hope you enjoyed it.  thanks again, ol

Loved the character of Edie….were there any other scenes with her that were cut from the movie?Webmaster

eva birthistle is a phenomenal actress - check out the very great film 'ae fond kiss' - and we were extremely lucky to get her.  there is one more scene that she was in near the end of the movie, that I cut for some reason I've forgotten now, but which seemed valid at the time.  but it's on the dvd, and she rules in it, as she does always.


Hi Ol,

First of all thank you for making Imagine Me & You, it is the warmest, fuzziest film I have seen in a long time. Thanks also for writing such great and honest characters. I could rave about this film for days, but I'll
keep it short!
I was actually wondering which scenes you used to screen your leading ladies. The chemistry between Lena and Piper is so honest. Was that already evident during the audition process? Or could you see from what the girls are like in real life that while their audition may not have been perfect, the chemistry was already there?

Thanks
Jen, in London

hey jen

thanks for being so kind. and really, feel free to rave for a while, you don't have to censor yourself on my account.

lena and piper never actually tested together. piper read for me when I went to new york, but that was mainly about the accent, I wasn't worried about her acting chops. and lena I knew and loved anyway. she and piper had hung out a lot while making 'the cave', and you could just see from the big smile each had when I asked about the other how well they'd got on. and if people are having a good time before and after the cameras are rolling, they'll probably have a pretty good chemistry onscreen. they just laughed a lot together. which made my life and my job not just easy, but fun.

thanks again for your compliments, and question.

best, ol

One word to describe the actors….
Webmaster

piper - adorable
matt - extraordinary
lena - heartbreaking
darren - soulful
tony - gorgeous
celia - magnificent
boo - awesome
eva - hilarious
sue - superb

Any ad-libing by the actors or did you want them to stick to the script?
Webmaster

some actors love to adlib, and some just commit themselves to making whatever dross you've written work, even if they could say something much better. I like adlibbing in rehearsal - if it's funny we can put it in, and I'll take the credit for it. darren is a very good adlibber, as is matt. although I think I cut almost all of his, they were usually totally obscene. there's one, if you're interested, in his big speech on the phone at work. he whacks in a line about cupping someone's balls that I never wrote, never would have written, but I couldn't cut it because it's all in one shot, and the rest of his performance is a tour de force. but that's typical of his highly scatalogical sense of humour.

Current and future projects?? Any chance of a follow up to IMAY for us to see what has happened to all the wonderful characters you created?
Webmaster

I'm just hanging out, writing the next one. I've been lucky enough to be offered movies just as a director now, but I think and hope that if I do direct again, it'll be something I've written. but no, no more imay, those characters can stay where I left them. sitting on a bench, on a beautiful hill, laughing.

my question for Ol is, were you at all upset/frustrated with how IMAY was promoted and the lack of theaters it was shown in? also, why do you think it was like this? thanks!

brittany
wilkes-barre PA

hi brittany. thanks for your question, from which I'd infer that you were upset and frustrated at how the movie was promoted. it's not really for me to comment. actually it probably is for me to comment, but I don't think I should. they're lovely people at fox searchlight, and they seemed to really like the film, and if they couldn't get people to go then I'd rather just think of that as a shame, instead of blaming anyone. I was just stunned, frankly, that we sold it in the first place. I pretty much thought I was making it for me and my friends, so to be answering questions on a fansite constitutes a greater success than I ever imagined. so thanks again.

ol x

What was the hardest/easiest scenes to film?
Webmaster

it's tough making a film - days are long and nights are short. and there were some fairly tricky times. but really, it was a pleasure and a privilege to work with those people, and not once on set did I wish I was somewhere else. the toughest scene - the back room in the flowershop. the girls were fine, I was the one deeply embarrassed. and the easiest - anything (else) with lena headey.

I guess this is more of a comment than a question, but one of the things I liked about your script was that you would slip little things in that would say so much. Like the end of the scene in the woods, Heck and Rachel are talking with the 2 guys. One of the guys says they just met that evening and Heck says "I feel that way too" looking at Rachel. Or Rachel and Luce in the park with Luce saying "don't forget me" and Rachel " I won't remember anything else".
Webmaster

thank you for noticing, commenting on, or just caring about subtext. it's very kind of you. although the last two lines of the scene on the hill - "don't forget me" etc - are somewhere between homage to and an outright steal from george eliot. middlemarch, I think. wonderful book, check it out.



Hello Ol!

I really enjoyed the film, but noticed that some film critics were very harsh in their reviews (at least
here in the States). Do you ever read the reviews, or concern yourself with them at all?

Ingrid from Indiana

hey ingrid, thanks for watching, thanks for writing, thanks for asking. I don't actually read reviews, because if you read them then you have to start believing them, and good or bad, that's not healthy. I heard some were harsh, which was as expected really. it's a feelgood romantic comedy, three words that rarely set critics toes a-tapping. but I've been in theatres where the audiences seemed to be having some fun, and that's good enough for me.

ol x

This was your first time writing and directing a film…ready to tackle that again? What did you learn from directing this movie?
Webmaster

I had a ball directing this, really the time of my life. and if anyone ever lets me behind a camera again, the main thing I've learnt is to work with as many of the same people again as possible.

Did you know about flowers and their meanings before the film? How did you decide on using the lily for the film?
Webmaster


I didn't know about flowers and their meanings before writing the film, but research is always fun. and I chose the lily because one of its meanings really is 'I dare you to love me', and I thought that was just beautiful. although I have to admit the azalea doesn't really mean 'may you achieve financial security', I just made that up. at that moment in the film luce is trying not to say what she wants to say, and attempts to steer the conversation on to safer ground. but rachel won't let her. the movie in microcosm, really.

hi ol,

first of all, thank you for making such a wonderful movie about love. it's the best romantic comedy i've seen in a long time. so i believe i read somewhere that the part of luce was originally written for your wife thandie newton until she became pregnant and that sophia myles was going to play rachel. if this is true, what made you think of lena headey and piper perabo for the parts instead? also, would you happen to know why there is no soundtrack available for this movie.

thanks,
angela from toronto, Canada

hi angela, thank you for your kind words, you're all so nice. it's true that my wife was going to play luce, but then I impregnated her. she actually gave birth about ten days after we finished filming. but lena was in the first thing I ever wrote, I've known her ever since and firmly believe there walks no finer on this earth, so it was an easy decision. as for sophia, she was one of several excellent actresses that we thought about, or that thought about us, before I got on a plane to new york and met the fabulous piper perabo. and once I'd met her, it was another easy decision. as for the soundtrack, it's just a money thing, I guess. if they thought it would make some, they'd release it. maybe if the dvd sells ... anyway, thanks for your questions, hugely appreciated.

ol x

The film's name changed from "Click" to " Imagine Me and You"…how did that come about and why?
Webmaster

the movie was originally called 'click'. another french phrase for love at first sight is 'le click', and I liked its economy, and multiple meanings. you can hear the word in the script at various times as well. but there's a big old adam sandler movie that wanted the title too - it's about a guy who clicks his remote control to make the world rewind, fast forward or pause - and they had more money than us so ... it's always hard to find a title after you've made the film. but the song was in the movie, I always liked the lyric, so that's where we ended up.

Fans love the soundtrack from the movie. What was the process of picking songs for the movie?
Webmaster

picking songs for the soundtrack was tricky, because we didn't have a whole lot of money. but I'd always wanted kelly marie for the dance machine scene, and lena and piper came up with a cracking dance routine in twenty minutes. the other wedding tracks were fun, various top party tunes. and 'the look of love' is self-evident. camera obscura are a sweet scottish band that just fit nicely. and the turtles at the end is just a classic.


 

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