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Taking the “monkey” to Paris…

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This virus has tied our hands and legs so, just like for me, for a lot of people this means NO travelling. And NO shooting!

The news showing the people (including gypsy) coming back from abroad, as there’s nothing for them to do there, make me think about a funny moment I lived when producing “Plasa de stele”, a show with pranks for celebrities.

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I was in Paris, during one of the few trips outside the country to film farces. These were farces for which there was no more than a plan made on paper from what we knew about the place as tourists.

We got on a plane – the team earlier together with the host, the celebrities (“victims”) 1-2 days later, knowing that they were going there for something else, not for a farce J.

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Claudiu, the director, Dan Negru – the host and myself, drinking some Coke in front of the Louvre Pyramid

We walked and traveled by tube in Paris, to establish the places for filming. We had made a lot of plans from home, but…

We had to organize everything very carefully, as we were “away from home”, in one of the most crowded touristic cities in the world, where we could not control everything and where unforeseen things could spoil our plans.

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The team meetings we held in outdoor cafes, on famous streets, full of tourists, in a holidays atmosphere that we could only smell, not really experience… Well, smell and eat, sometimes J.

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Ok, the snails were very good, but we had to hurry up, as we had no time to lose. So each saw to his business and I was sent to the police with all the documents to get approvals for shooting and with texts like: “Pls, pls, we want – filming – here”… As you cannot film whenever you want on the streets in Paris, especially close to touristic places, with actors, costumes, props and so on.

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With all the papers in hand, with the face of the producer “overwhelmed by problems”, I succeeded in getting as much as possible without any money… The gypsy that I am J)).

Then I left the police headquarters to go to the place of shooting, where the actors were being disguised in characters, wearing the right clothes and having the right props according to the script.

A short rehearsal, the last indications of the director, the cameras are hidden and we are waiting for the signal that the “victim” is getting close.

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Negru, the host, in a safe area for all of us, is already in the tired tourist mode… In the shade, out in the open, with very few people passing by, this is the perfect situation for a snooze.

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Next to Eiffel Tower, this is a luxury sleep. But as we needed Negru for the shooting, the luxury was over.

And this is how we filmed one farce after the other. We moved, like nomad gypsies, to different touristic places full of tourists.

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And we were scattered all over the place, to control the steps of the farce, without being seen.

Well, the fact that I looked like a beggar on the piers of the Seine could have become an advantage… However I did not have the chance to get any Euros J)).

After three days of shooting, we all relaxed. Together with the “victim” Simona Gherghe, a tv host, we took a boat tour on Seine and with the singer Sorana we wanted to take a group photo at the “crime” scene. Together with Negru, some of the team and some of the actors (although even we, the people from the production team, played parts… Well, just extras, truth be told…)

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And from here, from this photo with the team, the ball went down the hill… What do you know, some very happy gypsy recognized Negru and immediately wanted to take a photo with him. So we were out of the picture, and they were in. Just magic… J))

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This seemed to me the funniest and the quickest “black and white” game played next to the Eiffel Tour! Here are the white people and Negru (note: Negru = Black), here the white people are no longer present and here are the black ones…

We said, let us leave the place as the photo session was getting too long and all the tourists were looking at us in a funny way. Not to speak about my fear that the police could come. We had the approval for filming, but not for the photo shooting with the entire population…

Do you think we finished the Eiffel Tower episode? No way!

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Under the Eiffel Tower, some nice Romanian pupils wanted a photo with Negru…

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In a different neighborhood, another group of Romanian pupils – the same request.

And a few couples of people from Moldova and Ardeal, walking around Notre Dame and on Champs-Elysées, photo sessions that I did not take with my phone.

It was very clear, we were out for a walk around the city with the “monkey” J)). And not in any city, but in Paris! We were not far from having some foreign tourists asking to take a photo with Negru. They were looking and wondering who he was and if they had seen him before. Should we make a selfie?…

We were lucky to have finished the shooting with the farces in absolute discretion, as after so many plans, the approvals we had to get and the fears we had, it would have been terrible to fail, we could have had the faith of a gypsy’s horse…

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