I started writing Pah et les Arbres qui Chantent (Pay and the Singing Trees) at the turn of the century, around the year 2000. My three kids weren’t even born.
It was my first approach to the writing of a feature film. While writing, I kept a clear pictures in my mind of spacecrafts models which I had already built when I was barely 25 years old, and even less. I started drawing it and I asked my friend Bruno to sculpt it, which he did marvelously, and then I started to look for ways to create it in the digital realm. I wanted Pah to become my first feature and a big hit, but eventually it ended up being far too complicated for a first movie.
Pah and the Singing Trees is the story of this little alien creature who discovers he’s not who he thinks he is and hence takes the path to a long journey that would eventually make him change beyond all his expectations.
When I realized it’d be better to choose another story, it took me a couple of years to come up wit something really new and appealing to me. In those times, indeed, not only was I a slow creator, but it was so painful for me to love my own creations.
Having said that, I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was walking on a beach along the Greek island of Crete, bare feet on the sand, with waves coming to tickle my toes, when it just loomed up. I had long been thinking of how brilliant the movie Duel from Steven Spielberg was, and I was looking for something just as simple and as effective. Eventually, I got it: this time it wouldn’t be a men against a machine truck, but a man against a robot during a piano contest.
I certainly never imagined that it’d take so long to make it happen.
Eventually, I didn’t go further with the story of Pah, because Pah would transform. He’d become Art, and Pah and the Singing Trees would become The Quest of the Mecca-Soul, the trilogy novel I’ve been working on for over a decade now.
Hereunder, you’ll find the test made by Farmland Pictures for Pah. Copyright Marc Goldstein 2004.