My husband, Roy, and I had the pleasure of visiting the film set of my first novel, Flights of Angels (Unter deinem Stern in Germany), which was shot in Berlin with Ziegler Film in June 2008. The novel, which is about a young widow who discovers she has a group of tiny guardian angels to take care of her – was published by Random House in 2006 and film rights were sold shortly after. Since then, everything seems to have happened so fast and the film, titled Himmlischer Besuch für Lisa, was shown on SAT 1 in Germany in November 2008.
We were invited to meet Regina Ziegler whose films have won many prestigious awards, including the Rose d’Or, and have been Oscar nominated. We were joined by producer Rita Serra-Roll for a lovely lunch where we talked about my two favourite subjects: books and films!
With Rita Serra-Roll and Regina Ziegler at Ziegler Film. Regina was the one who first ‘discovered’ my book and wanted to make it into a film and, luckily, Rita agreed with her.
With producer, Rita Serra-Roll, outside the Unter deinem Stern production office in Berlin.
We then went on location to meet the cast and crew who were filming in a bar and met director Sophie Allet-Coche and the actors playing the hero and heroine: Ralf Bauer and Mira Bartuschek.
With lovely leading lady, Mira Bartuschek.
With wonderful actress, Britta Horn – my heroine’s best friend.
It was incredibly hot on the set with all the lights that were needed so it was a relief that there were many breaks during which everyone would rush out into the cool streets to grab a drink and something to eat or to watch the football on a TV that had been rigged up in one of the vans.
A quiet moment in the director’s chair with my copy of the script.
The last thing I expected was that Roy and I would be invited to be a part of the action as extras but who could resist when asked? We were warned by the assistant director that they’d be filming all night and he wasn’t kidding – once we were in position, we were there for six very hot hours. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. I’m just relieved that we chose a nice comfortable sitting down role rather than the dancing all night role!
Just a few of the vans needed for the film!
“Movie Meals and More” – delicious catering al fresco.
Anyway, we must have done an okay job because we were invited back the next day when they were shooting a scene in a cinema and – yep – we were extras again!
They’re filming my book in there! At the Babylon Cinema, Berlin.
With Mira and Ralf in between scenes.
With our final cameo appearance in the can, we left at 11 pm but the cast and crew were working long into the night.
It was all such a fabulous experience and we were so thrilled to be a part of it. Everyone made us so welcome and it was a wonderful insight for me into how films are made. I adore films and to know that my story has inspired one is the best feeling in the world.