The Human Resources Manager   

by director Eran Riklis

We all have a mission in life and I guess mine is to make movies. My mission in this movie started in Jerusalem, where I was born 100 yards from the grand Edison Cinema and continued in the dead of winter in Romania...not too far from where some of my ancestors were born.

Here’s the story of a typical day...

Dec. 17th, 2009, 7am, a cemetery in Rado Voda, 300km from Bucharest, Romania. Me and my crew and cast of Israelis, Romanians, Germans and one Swiss (Director of Photography Rainer Klausmann) get out of the crew busses only to discover that the temperature dropped to minus 22°C, snow has fallen all night and everything is frozen. Everything. The ground, the trees, the graves, the crosses (lots of them). Add some freezing wind, rain and whiteness as far as the eye can see and you can imagine this was not going to be the easiest shooting day on The Human Resources Manager schedule. It looked like a Hollywood set created overnight by dozens of special effects experts—but it was mother nature at her best.

I looked at my cast (Mark Ivanir, the Human Resources Manager, was born in the Ukraine but he suffers in cold weather), my motionless crew (except for Maike the grip who always has a smile on her face), my frozen camera equipment and decided that this was going to be the easiest day I ever had. So I took off my coat (!), took off my gloves, put on my thinking hat (it has The Departed logo on it—very fitting for a day at a cemetery), looked at the watch realizing there will be light in about an hour but only for seven hours until darkness falls again—and said to myself: I can do this. We can do this. And hey, it’s really hot out here. And then I said to my 1st AD (assistant director): Let’s get this show moving. Put the van in position by the cemetery gate, tie the coffin on top, Mark stands by the van, The Weasel goes with the priest and The Boy sits in the van—crying. But my AD could not move as her leg froze....

The next evening I received the rushes of this day at the comfort of my hotel room (which used to be a communist office block and hasn’t really changed since), put the DVD into the player and watched some of the most beautiful images I was ever part of creating—and it all seemed effortless and easy. Like it should.

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