Saturday, February 15, 2014

Dzia Dziu - an Experimental Film

Dzia Dziu is Polish for Grandpa, and is pronounced, as best I can tell, like zha-zhu (the first syllable like Zsa in Zsa Zsa Gabor, and zhu rhymes with zoo). Through connections with the SLO Little Theatre, the film's student writer/director, Alexandra Ruttschow, found Serafina to play herself (Alexandra) as a little girl. She had no luck coming up with someone who had a 12" beard, so Papa Jamie was asked to fill in as Dzia Dziu. That's Alexandra in the whimsical, dream-state dress in the photos below. The film is basically a dream that Alexandra has where she sees herself years ago as she played with her Dzia Dziu, and occasionally getting into the dream herself. We filmed on locations in Morro Bay where Alexandra and Dzia Dziu actually spent these times together.


We started out at the Golden China Buffet on the Embarcadaro. Dzia Dziu would have young Alexandra count the bubbles when a little salt was added to his beer (it was impossible, way too many bubbles to count). The restaurant has an old photo of the two of them at this booth posted near the front door.

Dzia Dziu and Alexandra spent time at the Achievement House on the Cuesta College grounds. He loved the "Bargain Store" there, and they tried to catch lizards with his black hat. They tried a fun "take" from the lizard's point of view where the hat was removed from covering the lens to reveal the two girls staring down at the lizard.


Toward the end of the film, younger and older Alexandra find themselves on the beach together, and discover to their dismay that Dzia Dziu is heading out to sea.

Older Alexandra tries to give chase, dives in and swims for a while, but to no avail. The film ends with younger Alexandra consoling older Alexandra, and giving her the hat. Not sure when, if at all, the film will have any public availability. The project is due for class in a couple of weeks and Alexandra also intends to submit it to a film festival ("if it turns out OK").

David at the
Achievement House
We filmed at two other locations: Morro Rock and City Park. Both, of course, were places the two of them would hang out and play. Back in the day there was no signage at the Rock preventing squirrel feeding.

We all had a great day with this project. Alex and Damon Hayes (videographer) are great people who made the "work" most enjoyable; we had a lot of fun! And thanks to them for the celebratory dinner at Pizza Port after dark when it was all "in the can". And I think we'll have peanuts to shell for a month since we couldn't feed those squirrels!

Thanks to Tracy and her cell phone for getting the pics above.  David was with us for most of the day, and thoroughly enjoyed the venues himself!

Back to the Theatrics page.

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