I don't interview many first assistant directors, I must admit. It doesn't sound like an important job - most people would assume it's basically the director's assistant - but actually the 1st AD runs the set, leaving the director to concentrate on the actors. Michelangelo Csaba Bolla was one of a whole bunch of interviews which I didn in August 2033 when I visited the set of Frankenstein in Slovakia.
"I worked with Kevin Connor, the director. We did two films before together. So if he has something and I’m available, we try to work together."
Have you worked in Eastern Europe before?
"Yes, I have worked all over Europe: Hungary, Croatia, Germany, Italy."
How are you finding Slovakia?
"I like it. Really good facilities."
This must be one of the first big productions out here.
"No, I think they did some big productions. Not too many films but once every couple of years they had some big films coming over. Uprising was shot here a couple of years back and Dragonheart was also shot here. So they have some experience with bigger productions."
Is this crew very experienced?
"Yes, I would say so. They’re pretty mixed because there are people from other countries as well, from Austria, Hungary, Croatia, America, England."
How do you cope with having such an international crew?
"For me it’s normal, because as I said I’ve worked all over Europe and the world, and most of the time that’s the case. You have local crews, you have people coming in from all different countries. You take the language issues into consideration and quickly try to learn the local way of working."
I watched Kevin directing and it all seemed very smooth and calm. He seems to let people get on with it.
"Kevin has very clear ideas what he wants to do, but by nature he is a very quiet and calm person. For me, that’s why it’s very nice to work with him. You ask questions, you get answers. He’s ready to compromise when there are problems or issues, and never loses his temper. And it reflects in the whole crew. Everybody is much calmer, they know there won’t be a screaming, yelling director if there’s a problem."