On the bustling fourth morning of SXSW Sydney, thousands gathered for more than a hour in the foyer of the Darling Harbour Theatre, all bristling with anticipation to hear from the enigmatic duo behind the film production company, Blossom Films: Nicole Kidman and Per Saari.
Kidman and Saari, under the banner of Blossom Films, have produced some of the last decade's most memorable television and film projects – from Big Little Lies to Nine Perfect Strangers. An eager audience of more than 2,500 guests listened in as they discussed their approach to producing, how they nurture new talent 'not from the machine', and how a fortuitous dinner party changed their lives.
On their first meeting...
The duo giggled on stage as they recounted their first fortuitous meeting – at an unassuming dinner party hosted by a mutual friend back in 2004.
"Ah! The deep origin story!" said Saari. "We have a mutual friend named Liz who was hosting a dinner party, and I show up and Nicole was there. I was obviously very interested in what she was up to – she had just made The Hours and The Others, but then Liz told us we were going play charades. We all had to pick numbers to see who our partners would be, and I got Nicole and thought, this is my worst nightmare! ...I'm a bit of an introvert."
"We actually now have a language that doesn't require English – we can almost telepathically communicate," laughs Kidman.
On their film philosophy...
Since the inception of Blossom Films in 2010, their ethos has been about so much more than making something that's popular.
"Everyone wants what's worked," Kidman said of Hollywood film studios. "But forget the algorithm! You've got to keep shaping the algorithm – and not be a slave to it."
On their new film project...
"It's called The Last Anniversary," said Kidman, excitedly. "And it starts filming November 17th –"
"– 13th!" Saari interrupts, drawing laughter from the crowd.
"John Paulson is directing it, and it's got... Australian accents!" Kidman says excitedly, "An Australian project with Australian accents." The crowd applauds.
"This one's been a long time in the making," says Saari.
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