The film, an independent production budgeted at $450,000, was sold for distribution in more than 30 countries.
The film's international theatrical premiere was on June 7, 2006 in France. Released by distributor MK2 Diffusion under the title Conversation(s) avec une Femme, the film played theatrically for five months to both box office success and critical acclaim.
International DVD releases include MK2 in France, Shochiku in Japan, Revelation Films in the United Kingdom, TVA Films in Canada, Dendy Films in Australia, Filmes Unimundos in Portugal, D Productions in Turkey, Civite Films in Spain, Global in Russia, J-Bics in Thailand, Paradiso Home Entertainment in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, Cathay-Keris Films in Singapore and Malaysia, Atlantic Film in Sweden, NoShame Films in Italy, Prooptiki Bulgaria in Bulgaria, Croatia, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro and Slovenia, Prooptiki in Greece, Shapira Films in Israel, Solopan in Poland, VideoFilmes in Brazil, and With Cinema in South Korea.
|Won||Special Jury Prize||Hans Canosa||Tokyo International Film Festival||2005|
|Best Actress||Helena Bonham Carter|
|Nominated||Tokyo Grand Prix|
|Won||Best Actress||Helena Bonham Carter||Evening Standard British Film Awards||2007|
|Nominated||Producers Award (also for Brick)||Ram Bergman||Independent Spirit Awards||2005|
|Nominated||Best First Screenplay Award||Gabrielle Zevin||Independent Spirit Awards||2006|
|Nominated||Golden Spike||Seminci Valladolid International Film Festival||2005|
In order to facilitate the split screen presentation of the film, two cameras (one on each actor) were used throughout principal photography.
For the sex scene, the director asked the actors to stay in bed while the crew quickly changed camera positions to get all of the coverage. The entire scene, including 10 camera setups and a complex dolly shot, was completed in 45 minutes.
In order to facilitate a sense of realism, both actors provided elements of their own costumes. Eckhart wore his own Armani suit and Calvin Klein underwear as part of his costume, while Bonham Carter wore her own Prada shoes.
The hotel room, the interior of the elevator and the interior of the cab(s) in the final shot were shot on a sound stage in Culver City, California.
The hotel ballroom scenes were shot in the ballroom of the Park Plaza Hotel, adjacent to MacArthur Park near downtown Los Angeles, California. Other films shot at that location include Barton Fink, Chaplin, Nixon, The Fisher King, Wild at Heart and Bugsy.
Many scenes were shot in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner building, which has been used almost exclusively as a film location since the notorious Los Angeles newspaper, once owned by William Randolph Hearst, closed down in 1989.
An editor was initially hired to cut the movie. After putting together an assembly, the editor quit, citing the difficulties of editing for the two frames. The director, who had never cut a film before, learned to use Final Cut Pro editing software and became the editor.
The final shot in the movie was the only one captured with a single camera. Eckhart and Bonham Carter were filmed in the back of one taxi on set. In post production, the shot was digitally divided in two; digital movement was added for each car and two separate background plates were composited to create the illusion of different taxi interiors.
The film contains 117 visual effects shots, all of which are designed to be "invisible". When the visual effects supervisor, Kwesi Collisson, solicited bids from VFX houses, he received an initial estimated VFX budget of over $1 million, followed by a $400,000 "low budget" estimate. Collisson decided to execute all of the effects himself, spending four months using Adobe After Effects and Shake (software) to complete the necessary shots.
Three apparent B-roll shots of the supporting characters in a ballroom full of dancers were actually created using visual effects. When the line producer asked the director the minimum number of extras needed for these shots during principal photography, the director requested 50 extras. When only seven extras showed up on the ballroom shoot days, an alternate solution became necessary. The visual effects supervisor found takes which included empty sections of the ballroom. Taking several high resolution stills from those takes, he created three background plates. During a day of additional photography, both the supporting characters who would appear in the foreground and pairs of dancers who would appear in the middle ground were shot against a greenscreen. The visual effects supervisor then composited up to a dozen elements to create shots which appear to contain the bride, her bridesmaids and the young man and young woman characters in the midst of a ballroom full of dancing couples.
A potential continuity error was fixed with visual effects. Due to the short shooting schedule and lack of control of the sound stage, the soles of the actors' bare feet became soiled while shooting on the hotel room set. Shots captured included views of the actors' dirty feet as they got into and out of a clean bed, which would be unlikely in a carpeted hotel room. The error that was not caught by the script supervisor on set. During post production, the director/editor discovered that five shots included in the final edit would include dirty soles. In order to address the problem, the visual effects supervisor rotoscoped the bottom of the actors' feet to delineate the parts of the frame that needed to be replaced. Since shooting replacement soles against greenscreen in the precise size and angles necessary to fill the rotoscoped sections would be cost prohibitive, the digital compositor searched the Internet for replacement feet photographs. He discovered that the best and highest resolution images of feet were on foot fetish websites. Thus the replacement feet in those five shots are "pornographic feet".
Collison cut a single-frame version of the movie for television.
Three songs from the 2003 album Quelqu'un m'a dit by Carla Bruni complement the tone of other sequences in the film. The song "J'en connais" accompanies the opening title cards and the juxtaposed narrative images, and then recurs in the final scene through the end credits. The song "Le plus beau du quartier" plays over the scene in which the woman asks the man to help her undress. The song "L'excessive" serves as accompaniment to the transition from the hotel room to the roof.
The most common function of split screen is to show simultaneous actions in different places. The classic, and simplest, example of this function is showing two sides of a phone conversation, as in the 1959 film Pillow Talk starring Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Another common use of the technique is to show two separate but converging spaces (such as contrasting shots of predator and prey) to create tension or suspense. The filmmaker most associated with the latter use is Brian De Palma.
Conversations' innovation in split screen is the juxtaposition of shot and reverse shot of two actors in the same take, captured with two cameras, for the entire movie. The film represents a new kind of viewing experience that enlists the audience as a perceptual editor. The filmmakers allow the viewer to choose how they watch the film, following either character or both simultaneously. Seeing both characters act and react in real time lets the audience follow the emotional experience of the characters without interruption.
At a panel on acting at the Telluride Film Festival, the actors spoke of the challenge of working in a two camera system. Unlike traditionally shot and cut films, the actors knew that all moments of a take could end up on screen, and thus 'acted through' every take. The acting adage 'in the moment' was constantly demanded of the actors. The resulting split screen (film) presents the actors' work in the way musicians play in a duet, with action, dialogue and reaction running on both sides of the frame in real time. The movie represents two remarkable achievements in screen acting.
The shot/reverse shot function of split screen comprises most of the running time of the film, but the filmmakers also use split screen for other spatial, temporal and emotional effects. Conversations' split screen sometimes shows flashbacks of the recent or distant past juxtaposed with the present; moments imagined or hoped by the characters juxtaposed with present reality; present experience fractured into more than one emotion for a given line or action, showing an actor performing the same moment in different ways; and present and near future actions juxtaposed to accelerate the narrative in temporal overlap.
Fabrication enters 'Conversations'.(Fabrication Films acquires rights to 'Conversations With Other Women')(Brief Article)
Apr 04, 2005; HOLLYWOOD -- Los Angeles distrib Fabrication Films has acquired worldwide rights to "Conversations With Other Women," which stars...
CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN *** 15; the razz movie reviews ALAN MORRISON'S Movie reviews.(Features)(Movie review)
May 18, 2007; Byline: ALAN MORRISON A MAN (Aaron Eckhart) and a woman (Helena Bonham-Carter) meet at a wedding and, while having a quick fling...