Peter Russell


Writer & Director



ElevationElevation

29 Minutes

Written and directed by Peter Russell

Synopsis:

Technology vs. Romance. Ms. Perfect meets Mr. Right. Only they're both so busy racing through modern life,

so they won't have to face being lonely. Until they get on an Elevator together

...and Fate steps in.

But in the 21st century, without laptops or cel-phones

...can two people still make a connection?

Peter Russell writes, directs and co-stars with LaReine Chabut in this romantic, sexy and timely comedy.

Peter RussellPeter Russell

A British actor, writer, director who has written 7 screenplays, from mega "BATMAN V" to indie festival "ELEVATION", 2 television sitcom pilots and a stageplay. He has had film roles in Rapid Fire, Last Boy Scout, Superman 4 etc.

Television work; Minder, Rory Bremner Show, Ellis Island. L.A. Theatre Lead roles inc; An Inspector Calls, Hay Fever, Brimstone & Treacle, Fortressed and Elevation. He also co-created Shakespeare's Villains, Steven Berkoff's Edinburgh Festival award-winning show that transferred to London's West End and sold out it's L.A. run at the Odyssey theatre in 1999.

LaReine ChabutLaReine Chabut

See LaReine on IMDB and lareinechabut.com

Discovered by director Ridley Scott who chose her over hundreds of girls for national Pepsi and Chanel t.v. and poster campaigns. As a writer she currently has a development deal at Castle Rock to co-produce a sit-com for Meg Ryan (and also to co-star).

A series regular on The Secret World of Alex Mack and Quantum Leap, La Reine has also guest starred on Nash Bridges, The Single Guy, Linc's and Vengeance Unlimited. Recently, she had the lead in in the stage version of ELEVATION at Studio City's Ventura Court Theatre. In film, she has played opposite Gregory Hines, Vincent D'Onofrio and Richard Harris.

Q & A with Peter Russell

What inspired you to write a story about love in the modern age? 

Loneliness! In a city of beautiful girls, Elevation is a love letter to the woman of my dreams. But technology is making it tough to find her! Where do people meet? Coffee shops, gyms, my space? even jogging, most girls are armed with their cell phone or Ipods; "guy-deflectors" I call them. I think a lot of people are lonely (certainly after 9/11) but as a hope-full romantic, I just had to write something about it.

You used both color and black and white photography in Elevation. What inspired you to make this choice? 

I wanted to revisit Hollywood’s Golden Era. Outside equals color, modern, loud, crowds rushing. Inside is black and white, letterbox, old fashioned, boy meets girl. Two choices; silence or communication? They meet clumsy, playing games; who has the upper hand, etc. Slowly their barriers come down. Interestingly, my editor, Mike (caffeine machine) Hartwig at CSOS and I reversed the color and black/white scenes and that works too.

How important do you think it is to use professional actors in a film?

Well, Elevation is all dialogue. Very Tracy/Hepburn. So it was essential I cast a professional, reliable, experienced actor. Enter LaReine. Magic happens. She truly captured Jo-Anne; natural, comedic, sexy, strong, gentle, spunky. Also, she really wanted the role. She’s a sponge for direction, gives great feedback and was supportive no matter how many hats I was wearing.

What were your biggest lessons while making your film?

Have faith! And ENJOY the process. Take your moments when you can; cos you won’t be sleeping. I averaged 4 hours a night for 2 weeks. Creative satisfaction, politics, even money worries are all minor miracles. Treat the highs and lows the same but keep your eyes on the big picture. Do not be stopped.

Elevation