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17th ÉCU
The European Independent Film Festival 2022 

8th - 10th April 2022 
Interview

Csaba Vékes & Tamás Olt 
with Peter Rosko, Producer
Early Wedding 

Section: European Dramatic Feature
ecufilmfestival.com

The film is about a father’s heroic struggle and inner journey, over the course of which he realizes he cannot save his daughter from everything. When death finally appears at her side in the figure of a gallant groom, he comes to understand that resisting a greater power is futile. Our hero makes peace with his fate and with his loss.

Hey Csaba & Tamás, thank you for talking to The New Current, how have you been holding up during these very strange times?

Csaba: It is not easy to stay positive. But this sentence no longer means as before covid...

 

Tamás: we were luckier than others. I built a canopy house with my son, my wife gave birth to my other son, I have installed a new grass in my garden, gain 10 kg and drank all my palinka! 

 

Has this time offered you any new creative inspiration or opportunities?

Csaba: It gives a lot of inspiration for writing what is happening in the world. But it makes the practical work very difficult.

Tamás: actually I had plenty things to do. I have finished a literary translation I started earlier, I wrote to plays, and directed six plays behind closed doors in two different countries in five different theatres. An actor is more creative when it is hard times – I think.  You may only rest when it is not covid times.

 

Congratulations on having Early Wedding part of the 17th ÉCU Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be screening your film in Paris?

Csaba: I have been to an ÉCU festival before. Then everything was really vibrant and exciting. I had the impression that it was important for everyone that the festival worked really well, they cared about the programs, the guests. Therefore it is a great pleasure to participate again.

Tamás: this is my first film and I don’t know if I ever gona have more. But this will stay the most important one for my heart forever. 

 

You both come from an acting background does this help you build closer connections with your actors?

Csaba: Very much. But also in writing.

Tamás: I agree.

 

Can you tell me how Early Wedding came about, what was the inspiration behind your screenplay?

Csaba: Tamás had a wonderful play in the theatre. It inspired me. The question was, how can we make a movie out of it.

Peter Rosko (Producer): when I first saw that play it made me sad but in a good way. It created a feeling inside that I wanted to show the wider audience and it was important to preserve that good pain in the film too. I think we succeeded. 

 

When working on a film like this how close are you able to keep to your script once you start filming, do you allow yourself and you cast much flexibility?

Csaba: It depends on the possibilities. For us every moment was calculated. Improvisation did not fit, firefighting* was on maximum.

Tamás: without my friends – Csaba and Péter – and their professionalism I am sure we wouldn’t have been able to make this movie. They had strict plans and executed them well. 

*when you have to solve each problem after another constantly.

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"I founded the company for 15 euros, I had so much for it, really. It's good to see where we're heading now."

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced bringing Early Wedding to life and looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

Csaba: The stress of covid made it very difficult to shoot. I think the film has flaws, but in vain we would do it again, because of our possibilities, if we fix the flaws right now, they would be ones we don’t think about. I am very proud of the film.

Tamás: after half year of prep work on the first day of shooting I was tested positive for covid… so for the next two weeks I had to direct from my living room using a streaming device watching the camera picture and talking to Csaba on the phone. It was a huge luck that the main actors were not down otherwise we would have been in trouble. 

 

Where did you passion for filmmaking come from?

Csaba: Old love, I don't remember the first kiss anymore.

Tamás: it was always a distant magic thing for me when I was a Hungarian small-town boy. 

 

Csaba: since setting up Blue Duck Arts how much has your approach to your films projects changed?

Csaba: I gained a lot of experience. I stand more calmly for work and put “good-tempered work” on the top shelf. I founded the company for 15 euros, I had so much for it, really. It's good to see where we're heading now.

Peter: at first, we made short films. From budget of 100 EUR to 35,000 EUR and after that came the first feature (Behind the Column – dir. Csaba Vékes) and then a feature length documentary (Csavargók) during 2020 we had another feature – yet to come out (Daddy and other Wolves) and in 2021 Early Wedding and Soulpark (another feature TV film) – we have been very busy and applied for funds every year. We took every chance and it worked out. You must be very lucky with making a film every year. Yet it remained a passion not an occupation. 

 

Tamás: what has the experience been like for you co-writing and co-directing your debut film?

Tamás: It is a totally different world than the theatre. The feeling of togetherness for the common cause, the professionalism and kindness during the shooting was touching.

 

Tamás: how much has background as art director of the Csiky Gergely Theatre helped prepare you for making Early Wedding?

Tamás: More than 100 theatre workers were included in the making of this film. Of course the managerial experience helped but it was more the personal relationships, the respect of each-other and the friendships that helped. 

 

Do you think filmmakers should continue to push the boundaries of the stories they want to tell?

Csaba: It's worth it, but keeping in mind that we're making the movie for someone...

Tamás: I want to surpass boundaries not just push them. Pushing is not enough..

 
For anyone out there thinking about getting into filmmaking or theatre do you have any tips or advice you would offer them? 

Csaba: To do, to do to do.

Tamás: talent is 10% luck is 40% the rest is all what Csaba just said.

 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Early Wedding?

Csaba: Go away with a feeling that they are immediately thinking of the person who is most important to them.

Peter: I want them to have this bitter-sweet feeling that comes after the understanding of our hero. If you can relate to his pain you will remember this film forever.