One Day of filming in Paris
As we continue The Embrace of Dying series, we explore Paris in search of answers to how our friends back in the U.S. view the topic. We also documented the French lifestyle for The Embrace of Aging, the female perspective of growing old.
We arrived at 7pm on a Sunday night on the TGV from our filming in Provence. We would have a day in Paris the next morning. I had a long list of what I was hoping to accomplish.
I enlisted a tour guide company by the name of Localers. Owner, Romain Raffard and I spoke as well as emailed each other for weeks to prepare for this one day of filming. He selected his best guide: a young, Portuguese gentleman by the name of Miguel.
The day began at 8am with a meeting with our guide, Miguel. Miguel had moved to Paris several years go. He spoke great English as well as French and had the perfect demeanor – relaxed and organized.
We discussed our ambitious plan for the day and set out on foot to the beautiful Notre Dame cathedral shortly after 8:30am. Just a short walk from our hotel, the Park Place Victoria London, we stayed ahead of the crowd to the 850-year old church in the heart of Paris. Miguel explained to us while standing in front of the majestic church at the front entranceway, that all of the sculptors tell a story from how the world began with Adam and Eve, to the scales of judgment when we die.
From there, we met with our driver, Olivier, from the company First Way Transport Prive. Olivier spoke perfect English and was able to get us to our destinations quickly and safely.
We traveled to Montmartre, which is famously known for their street artists, the Moulin Rouge and Le Basilica du Sacré-Coeur. From this high point, you can see nearly all of Paris sprawled out in front of you. It was here we met a street artist whose cubist style was spectacular. We enlisted his talents to help us tell a story about grief. We filmed with him in one of Paris’ historical cemeteries.
After our time in Montmartre, we traveled on to Père Lachaise Cemetery. This is yet another marvel in celebrating our loved ones who have passed. Many famous people are buried here including Jim Morrison of The Doors. Fans still come from all over the world to pay their respects. This cemetery is truly a sight to behold.
Time passed very quickly at this point and we had to adapt our plan. Unable to see all of Paris, we decided that we would visit the Champs Elysees where we would have lunch, taste some of the finest macaroons and film some general street life and fashion. The Eiffel Tower was our backdrop for an interview with Miguel about Paris and his thoughts on dying.
With time coming to a close with Olivier and Miguel, we drove back to Notre Dame. We were able to capture the ringing of the bells and more beautiful images that have come to define Paris.
We accomplished quite a bit in one day. We are all excited to see the editing come together.
For information on Localers, guides for Paris: www.localers.com
For information on First Way Transport Prive: www.firstway.fr
For information on Melia Colbert, visit http://www.melia.com/hotels/france/paris/melia-colbert-boutique-hotel/index.html