Behind the scenes - Page 3

Aerosol Dreams

The idea came to me in a dream. I woke up and jotted it down: Pablo Picasso is a graffiti artist in contemporary San Francisco. It didn't make much more sense then than it does now. But I charged it like a moth to a porch bulb. I checked out some Picasso books from the library and started looking for something compelling. My previous three films had been coming of age stories, so I focused on the early part of his life. In a matter of days, I came across the Casagemas suicide. Carlos Casagemas was one of Picasso's closest friends, who killed himself in front of his friends at a caf». This tragic event sent Picasso into a creative flurry. He proceeded to create the best works of his life up to that point, including The Burial of Casagemas, which subsequently started his blue period.

So, I had a story. Not much of one, really. But the suicide struck a chord with me. I have struggled with mild depression for years and have confronted suicide on many occasions both personally and professionally (i.e. working with numerous suicidal youth over the years). I knew I had to tell this story.

Fortunately, the Picasso thing didn't last long. The Picasso Estate didn't want to have anything to do with us. Not sure if it was the graffiti thing or what, but they weren't feeling it. Whatever. We switched it up and took it down a new path. And it turned out to be the best thing that could've happened to us.