Cannes 2012: Alec Baldwin and James Toback Filming a Documentary, 'Seduced and Abandoned'

3:13 PM PST 05/15/2012 by Rebecca Leffler
Jeff Vespa

The actor and director plan to conduct interviews during the festival about what it takes to raise the money to make a movie.

With the 65th Cannes Film Festival about to get underway, Alec Baldwin and director James Toback, with a film crew trailing them, have just hit town to shoot a movie about what it takes to raise the financing to shoot a movie. The documentary they’re embarking on is called Seduced and Abandoned, and they will be filming it through the course of the festival, which kicks off Wednesday, as well as at its attendant market.

“I’m beginning to figure out with Alec what we’re doing now. We’re enjoying the fact that it’s an adventure and a discovery,” Toback, director of such films as Fingers and The Pick-Up Artist, told The Hollywood Reporter.

“It’s Alec Baldwin the movie star and James Toback the director going to Cannes to get a movie financed,” he explained, adding, “We will be aggressively soliciting billionaires. We’ll approach them on boats, at the Vanity fair party, at amfAR and at other occasions where we can slip our way into people’s minds, psyches and pockets.”

Cannes 2012: Complete Coverage

But although they will be encountering real-life film luminaries, it is not a mockumentary, Baldwin, who is visiting the festival for the first time, insisted. “We’re not here to make fun of people. That doesn’t do us any good,” he said. Instead, the two actually want to make a second movie together and would like to use their current experiment to raise financing for that future project.

Seduced and Abandonedis being produced by Michael Mailer and financed by Alan Hellene, Larry Herbert and Neil Schneider, who are all new to the film financing world.

While most of the filming of will take place in Cannes, Toback and Baldwin have already shot an interview with Martin Scorsese in New York and plan to film Francis Ford Coppola in California. Meanwhile, here at the festival, Roman Polanski and Bernardo Bertolucci have both agreed to sit for interviews.

“We have our Mount Rushmore of filmmakers,” the 30 Rock star  said of the famed directors. “I thought let’s come here and let’s ask people a very simple construction which is: What was the movie business like before? What happened? And what is it like now in your lifetime?”

Baldwin continued, “The movie business is the worst girlfriend in the world. You go back again and again and again. You go back with another chance to do something that you want to do in moviemaking or moviegoing. You are seduced and abandoned over and over again.”

Toback plans to juxtapose footage with the legendary filmmakers with additional interviews with stars like Brad Pitt or Ryan Gosling. He plans to use split screen technology and archives from old photos and footage of Cannes past as well. “It’s a movie about the quest to get another movie going in the future that may or may not succeed,” he admitted.

Neve Campbell also will be featured in the finished project since she is part of the cast of the film that Baldwin and Toback are trying to finance while in Cannes. Campbell, however, shot her scenes in New York since the actress is currently seven months pregnant and not able to travel. After the fest, Toback will head back to New York to edit for three to four months and is hoping to be able to release the film next year.

The shoot is certainly unconventional, and Toback hopes the film won’t fall into any specific genre. “On a clinical level, it’s a documentary, but when it’s done, no one will be able to say ‘This reminds me of…’,” promised Toback. “That’s exciting to me. It’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.”

As the curtain goes up on their unpredictable project, Baldwin confessed, “We’re just naked and sacred.” 

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