While I will cover all aspects in my commentary track, the making of Tales was certainly the most difficult and frustrating effort of my entire career. And that covers a great many strange and unorthodox situations.
But Tales began life in November 2007 and here we are in November 2010 and its still not yet complete. The twists and turns of the past 3 years were more than I could ever imagine.
That the movie continues forward, improving each day is a tribute to a group of special and dedicated individuals.
There’s been a suicide, the imprisonment of a producer (for cause not related to Tales), stars not showing up, stars showing up and being abandon without word at a hotel.
The writing began on Whidbey Island in Washington state. Production first tried to get underway in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The extremely talented Victoria Maurette was originally cast as Princess Tanis. Sets were built, costumes created, but we pulled out when I felt some unease at the progress of the production. That began a long global search to replace Buenos Aires as a location. First Bulgaria, then Poland, then Baton Rouge, Croatia, South Africa and on it went for months.
Then it was finally decided to shoot in Los Angeles in December 2008. The film was recast with Melissa Ordway taking the lead role of Princess Tanis.
Other casting discussions took place with Yancy Butler (who I really hoped would commit), Kari Wuhrer, Mark Decascos, Val Kilmer, Steven Seagal, Olivier Gruner, Christopher Lambert. But the crushing casting was we were forced to cast some actors against our will in exchange for production funding. It was a bitter compromise.
And certainly not the last compromise.