The Short Film “Paging David Cronenberg” stars Veronica Grey and Paul Bubbo. It is 7:23 minutes long, in honor of one of their Hero’s birthday – Martin Gore of Depeche Mode, who is born on July 23 or 7/23.
The project was born from several ideas, linked to Martin Scorsese’s “Departed” and Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings.”
Veronica, who has been paying her dues as an actress in Hollywood since her teens in 1996, was in 2006 mentored by a couple named Marc and Elaine Zicree.
In September 2006, The Zicrees suggested that Veronica follow the example set by Elijah Wood, star of megablockbuster trilogy “The Lord of the Rings.”
The Zicrees told Veronica that when Elijah heard that Peter Jackson was going to shoot “Lord of the Rings,” Elijah (who was relatively unknown at the time) got his friend Sean Astin (supposedly washed-up child actor) and they shot a short film of one of the scenes from the book by J.R.R. Tolkien.
They got the short film to Mr. Jackson.
Long story short, Mr. Jackson, who had intended to originally cast only UK based actors, was so impressed with their efforts that he flew to Los Angeles to meet Elijah and Sean, and the rest is film history.
This story is legendary among actor wannabes in Hollywood, as acting teachers tell this inspiring story in their classes to encourage their students.
Apparently Vera Farmiga did the same thing as Elijah Wood and that is how she got her part in “The Departed” by Martin Scorsese.
Doesn’t anyone ever wonder how a relative unknown gets to do love scenes opposite both Leonardo DiCaprio AND Matt Damon?
So the Zicrees encouraged Veronica to pick her favorite director, and get SOMETHING to him, rather than continue “throwing a bunch of work out there randomly hoping something sticks.”
Well that was a no-brainer.
David Cronenberg. He was born on 3/15, and Veronica on 3/14.
Plus some of her top favorite movies of all time were directed by him:
“eXistenZ,” “Scanners,” and “Naked Lunch,” to name a Few.
And she had had the opportunity to meet him twice in person already.
The first time was in September 2005, at the Getty Center, when Cronenberg hosted a screening of Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita” at the Skirball Center in Los Angeles.
Veronica found the film “too long” and left to go wander around in the middle of Skirball.
Who should she bump into in the hallway, where they would be left alone to have a meaningful exchange?
You got it. Mr. Cronenberg. His first words to her were “scolding” her for walking out of the film.
She met him again in January 2006, just a few months later, in Palm Springs, when Mr. Cronenberg was presented with the Visionary Award at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
So Veronica felt positive that if she created a piece of film, she could get at Least “get it” to him. She kept an eye on Mr. Cronenberg’s IMDB page to see what his upcoming projects would be.
“London Fields” by Martin Amis was set to go into production by Muse Productions. Turns out Veronica actually has acquaintances at Muse, since they released “Spun” which was written by her friend Will De Los Santos and scored by her associate Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.
Veronica was extra excited because Muse Productions is located literally steps from her own townhouse in Venice, California.
And so a short film was born on October 2006, only one month after the Zicrees suggested it. They took some pages from “London Fields” and added a few homages that only Mr. Cronenberg, or his fans, would “get.”
It was never shot with ANY commercial purpose. Simply a labor of love to get to Mr. Cronenberg while allowing divine will to take its course.
Co-stars in the film include Paul Bubbo and Chris DeWolf. It was edited by Roberto Jimenez and Produced by Michael L. Lynch.
On the day of shooting which began at 5am, it was so dark, that Veronica could not see the bottom step and twisted her ankle badly.
She considered it a great omen for “breaking a leg.”
So if you watch the film, notice her limping along if you look closely.
Music by Brian Hyland, Billy Corgan, and Madonna are in the short film.
Meanwhile, according to IMDB, “London Fields” is no longer on Mr. Cronenberg’s plate, as is the nature of the industry; however, “Paging David Cronenberg” indeed premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2008 and has brought interesting attention to Veronica Grey.
In the 2007 #1 Album “Zeitgeist” by Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Corgan references this short film in the song “Neverlost” when he sings, “I’ve seen the film. I know the place.” Venice, California happens to be the Place. Not quite Hollywood, but still a good location to break a leg!