Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Garret Freymann-Weyr's "French Ducks in Venice"

Garret Freymann-Weyr (née Weyr) was born and raised in New York City. She inexplicably went to college in North Carolina (UNC-Chapel Hill) and, just as inexplicably, got an MFA in film (NYU). She now lives in North Carolina with her husband. She has written five books for young adults, one of which, somewhat inexplicably, won a Printz honor. Her work has been sold to countries including the Netherlands, Germany, Japan, and China. Her new book, French Ducks in Venice, is a picture book for a younger audience.

Here she shares some casting ideas for an adaptation of French Ducks in Venice:
This feels a little like Fantasy Football for book geeks, so I’m super thrilled to play. Writing a picture book is like being the groom at a wedding – you play a vital role, but you are also irrelevant.

So being an imaginary casting director is a job promotion....

Our story, such as it is, concerns two ducks, Georges and Cecile, who must cope with the fact that their parental figures (a magical dressmaker, Polina Panova, and an equally magical filmmaker, Sebastian Sterling) have split. Sebastian Sterling goes away one morning, never to return. Polina, as result, is sad, which enrages Georges, who wishes to comfort his beautiful mother figure. He goes on a quest for a perfect present and brings her some magical light.

I may have overdone the whole magical element in this description to the point that if you read this far, you want to throw up in your mouth a little, but it works as a story ... you will have to trust me on this.

On to the casting.

Because two of the main characters are ducks, this would probably involve some kind of animation or voice work but, given this is a game of pretend, I’m going to stick with actors whose face or personalities remind me of my characters. Since I based both Polina Panova and Sebastian Sterling on my beautiful, talented, and mysterious sister who is a 1st A.D. and a director, I have to pick Sandra Bullock for Polina. Whenever someone who has worked with ‘Sandy,’ meets my sister, she has to hear about how much they look alike. Jon Hamm for Sebastian Sterling because Hamm looks like he knows how to think (critical for a filmmaker) and also sort of looks like the guy you just know is going to be a jerk, which Sebastian is. Hugh Laurie (from Blackadder and Jeeves, not House) for Georges, because they share an eager desire to please in spite of not understanding how. Emma Thompson for Cecile because ... well, does anyone ever need to explain Emma Thompson?

Okay, back to my real life. Thanks for asking me to play.
Visit Garret Freymann-Weyr's website and view the video trailer for French Ducks in Venice.

--Marshal Zeringue