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On The Set Of The River Sorrow. Our Discussion With Director Richard Cowan And Screenwriter Steve Anderson

November 22, 2010

We were invited to the set of the upcoming movie “The River Sorrow” filmed in Spokane, Washington and had the opportunity to speak with the Director Rich Cowan, Scriptwriter Steve Anderson and Art Director Vincent DeFelice.

On this day they were filming a pivotal scene at the Agave Bistro. When we walked in the door the majority of the crew had not arrived yet so we took a seat and within 15 minutes watched the parade of people walk in and out of the bistro as they prepared for the evenings filming. Watching the crew set everything up for the night was an interesting process. Everything from getting the lighting set up to turning the labels on the bottles of alcohol around. Everyone seemed focused on their jobs and we were happy just to sit back and observe.

The Art Director, Vince greeted us as we walked into the bistro on the day of the interview. He was very welcoming and helped us feel comfortable in the situation. Not shocking, with the young age of our site we are not overly experienced in visiting set locations and speaking with the people who are hands on in the movies. To say we were a little nervous is an understatement. In fact, at one point I’m sure I mentioned something to Dave (Senior Editor, co-owner and husband extraordinaire) about passing out.

Vince filled us in about the location, the stars and the script. “The River Sorrow” stars Ray Liotta, Ving Rhames and Christian Slater in a thriller about a homicide detective caught in a very difficult situation. We discussed the challenges and benefits to filming in a city like Spokane and how finding the right location sometimes requires a little artful magic. It’s always difficult to make one location appear like another!

Vince also shared a little information about his current project “Camilla” with us. “Camilla” is based on the book of the same name by Madeleine L’Engle which was on Oprah’s summer reading list in 2009. “Camilla” is set in New York and follows the coming-of-age story of 15 year old Camilla. We will be interested to see how filming for this film progresses and will be sure to keep you up-to-date!

Next we spoke with Steve Anderson, the scriptwriter. Of course, one of the first things we asked was if he had written the script with Spokane in mind and he mentioned that the story was set in San Francisco. They also looked at locations in Seattle but ultimately found what we were looking for in Spokane which was a non-descript Northwest city.

We were also interested about how he came up with the idea of the script and if the cast came together as he envisioned. He told us about a New York Time book review that he happened upon. In this book review there were pictures of eight victims and he thought “what if I knew all eight of these victims?” He took that basic concept and developed the story and the characters from there using various other inspirations including his own life. We of course agreed not to reveal too much of the plot to you! As for the cast he said that there was some delay at first while they were trying to get the right people signed on but once Ray Liotta signed on everything seemed to fall into place.

Our last interview of the day was with the director, Rich Cowan. We mentioned that we had noticed there were several delays with the project and we asked him to tell us why. He said they were busy working on wrapping up other projects, such as “The Hit List. He explained that it was just a matter of timing. There were also some delays involved in finding the correct filming location before selecting Spokane.

We were fortunate to watch the rehearsal between Ray Liotta and Gisele Graga, so we asked Rich about what was going on with the scene. He told us it was an intense scene between Ray’s character and Gisele’s character. Gisele’s character has just learned some shocking information about events that occurred in Ray’s characters life before she got involved. It’s a heated scene capped off with a shocking twist from Gisele’s character as well.

We found some information online about the movie and came across a comparison of the storyline to “Silence of the Lambs.” After hearing about the plot and how the movie unfolds we thought the comparison was off base and asked Rich his opinion. He agreed and felt the movie was perhaps a closer match to “Seven.” We will just have to let you all watch and let us know what you think! As we said, we will not be revealing the plot of “The River Sorrow” to you, but we will let you know that we think it’s going to be an interesting storyline with some pretty intricate twists.

We want to thank Executive Producer Richard Salvatore for the invitation to the set and Vincent, Steve and Rich for their time and patience. We hope you’ll keep following “The River Sorrow” on for release dates and updated information.

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