From the Heart

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Mon, 01/26/2009 - 19:00 -- Nick Dager

Paper Heart Gets Sundance Premiere Paper Heart a playfully imagined journey of one young woman’s quest for love was one of the 16 narrative features selected to screen in the Dramatic Competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Paper Heart stars Michael Cera (Juno Superbad) Charlyne Li (Semi-Pro Knocked Up) and Jake Johnson (Curb Your Enthusiasm). The movie was directed by Nicholas Jasenovec who shares the screenwriting credit with Yi; Jay Hunter was the director of photography.  

 In Paper Heart we meet performer Yi who even though she doesn't believe in love bravely embarks on a quest to discover its true nature—a journey that takes on surprising urgency when she meets unlikely fellow traveler actor Michael Cera. Yi a Los Angeles-based artist and comedian has an interesting array of friends and acquaintances who in hybrid documentary feature style offer diverse views on modern romance as well as various answers to the age-old question: does love really exist? Paper Heart was shot with two VariCams on a 10-week shoot spread out from January through May 2008. The shoot encompassed international locations (Toronto and Paris) as well as a month-long road trip zigzagging across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City. Hunter says he chose VariCam because the director felt off-speed acquisition was integral to the production as well as Hunter’s own familiarity with the camera having used it on more than 20 projects (including one of the earliest VariCam-shot features Frankie and Johnny Are Married). “VariCam is my preferred 2/3-inch HD acquisition system ” says Hunter. “If I dial in the right menu settings I feel confident I can eliminate any tell-tale signs that we captured on video as opposed to film.” “Paper Heart wouldn’t exist without a camera like VariCam ” says Hunter. “Film would have required a larger crew we would have only been able to afford a four-week versus 10-week shoot and we’d never have walked away with hundreds of hours of footage. VariCam technology was intrinsic to liberating the movie’s form and achieving a new intimate type of storytelling.”