Published: July 3rd 2010June 17th 2010
This morning I wake up in time for breakfast again, thankfully. After eating about a pound of fresh fruit I head up with the rest of the group to the meeting room we were in the other day to listen to Antonio. However, today we are here to lsiten to Simon de Santiago the Producer of MOD Producciones. Simon started within the film industry in Madrid and London and actually studied in Paris where he landed his first job as a trainee. He has worked for Canal Plus, big studios, and smaller independent distributors and Spanish producers. Simon explained to us the steps he took to get where he is today, which involved working many jobs. He also informed us on different aspects of the film industry such as how different rights are sold to distributors, a few terms such as the windowing system (different rights are sold to distributors such as payperview) and public domain (free access to the film by anyone). Some of the things I thought were most interesting about his lecture were the films he worked on. For instance he mentioned "Agora" which was a film bought by the U.S. and shot in English but was Spanish
due to the Spanish production company and the Spanish location in which it was filmed. A funny thing he mentioned was some "gossip" about when the film "The Others" was flimed. Tom Cruise wanted to help co-produce it and was married to Nicole Kidman at the time which is how she ended up having one of the main roles. However, during the shoot the couple divorced and after the film was released they would show up to premieres separately which actually gave the movie more publicity with the added drama. A few more important things that Simon spoke about were some aspects of Spanish films. For example, 170 films a year are made in Spain, however it is difficult for Spanish films to get released internationally therefore they usually go through the indie label route. Out of the 170 flims that are made each year within country, these include small documentaries, straight to video films, indie produced films, as well as a few big films that get more recognition. Nevertheless, I found Simon to be an interesting person and a good representation of someone involved with Spanish media. He was able to represent the culture well but also spoke English
very well which shows how well he can communicate with international media and those involved with the film industry.
After this we had a long break in between our scheduled activities for the day. We took advantage of this and spent our time napping off the jet lag and taking it easy. I took this time to catch up with friends and family via emails, facebook, and skype. It was still strange for me to realize that I was nine hours ahead of everyone else back home. A few hours later us girls started getting ready and dressing up for our next activity. We met with Jen and the rest of the group downstairs and started walking towards the Apolo theater to see "Carmen" a Flamenco Ballet. On the way we decided to sit out in the Plaza at a few outside tables and ordered to pitchers of sangria to share. After killing some time we started walking towards the theater again which was no easy task for those of us who decided to wear high heels. To go along with the beautiful architecture, downtown Madrid has streets made of.... cobblestone. Or at least some of them were bricks or other stone, nevertheless it was slightly challenging walking the many blocks from the hotel to Apolo. Upon arriving we took some group photos and then settled into our seats. Again, we weren't allowed to take pictures of the actual performance but what I can say is that it was definitely not what I expected. The flamenco version of ballet consists of singing, vibrant outfits, and what seemed to be tap dancing. Overall it was very entertaining to watch! Although the singing and songs were all in Spanish it wasn't too difficult to figure out the storyline of the ballet. For more information about this ballet and the theater itself you can visit: http://www.balletflamencodemadrid.com/index2.html.
Since we are already dressed up, several of us decide to go out and explore the night life finally. As we walk up the street from our hotel we are welcomed into a club called La Comedia. The manager escorts us in and offers us a free round of shots with a discounted price on the second drink. This club has a modern feel and atmosphere with lit tables, white couches, dance floors and other decor. We stayed for a couple hours and enjoyed our first night out as a group. Shortly after leaving, Emily spraigns her ankle on the sidewalk so I help her hobble back to our hotel room. I scrounge up some ice and a pillow for her to elevate it overnight. Much to her dismay we have a full day of walking tomorrow to visit the Prado Museum and the Parliament. We go to bed hoping for the best...