cast and crew of The Passenger gallivanted about the city this weekend,
taking advantage of business owners' hospitality to bring a good
deal of local color to the film. This weekend's shooting started
in an apartment in Redford, then moved to the Tangent Gallery, before
heading off to John
K King Books. The combination of locations provided a true cross-section
of the area's atmosphere. The shoot ended Sunday afternoon at Agave
Restaurant on Woodward, where the lead character John, (played
by Edward Zeimis) meets his girlfriend's parents for a celebratory
dinner. The producers have had little trouble in scouting out locations
in Detroit. "Everyone we have approached has been incredibly
eager to participate", says executive producer Ed Gardiner,
"The people at Agave, especially, couldn't have been more accommodating."
Just as the film meandered through a number of physical
settings over the weekend, Edward Zeimis' character took some twists
and turns down darker and unexpected paths as director Jamie Sonderman
deviated from his script. "It wasn't what we had planned,"
said Sonderman, "but the shot was outstanding. Zeimis' performance
was inspired. He took the direction for the changes perfectly."
Zeimis brings both this talent for acting and a high level of professionalism
to the set. "The shoots have been going fantastically well,"
says Zeimis. "I think the biggest mistake an actor can make
is going off on his own. I am 100 % committed to Jamie's vision
for this film, I respect him as a director."
onscreen Zeimis' character must make a choice between a successful
career and creativity, Zeimis (who heads his own production company,
Deszo Entertainment (www.dezso.com)
himself doesn't believe that the two must necessarily be mutually
exclusive. "If you do what you love, you can turn it into a
business, so it is only natural that this is what I do. I am a story
teller; without an audience there is no need for me."
In addition to "The Passenger," Zeimis hopes
to increase the visual face time of Detroit through his own film,
"Misery Loves Company," which he plans to shoot entirely
in Detroit. "I have started to shoot it a couple of times,
and stopped because it was good. I stopped because I wanted to make
a great film."
Zeimis's professionalism runs somewhat counter to
his colorful demeanor. In between shots Zeimis entertains fellow
cast members with outlandish costume combinations and impromptu
impressions ranging from Tom Waits to David Bowie. In Zeimis, director
Sonderman may just have found the next king of cool - a Steve McQueen
for our generation.
(Look for further updates on the progress of this
film in these pages.)
Information about Thought Collide and The Passenger
can be found at their site www.thoughtcollide.com.
For the first installment of our coverage of the
making of The Passenger, click
For Jamie Sonderman's responses to thedetroiter.com's
famous Four Questions, click here.