Mike Figgis has started shooting The Hotel, his second digital video production which will feature four frames of simultaneous onscreen action, with financing from Etchie Stroh's Moonstone Entertainment.
Shooting started on Monday in Venice of the movie, a dark comedy which looks at the goings-on in a Venetian hotel and follows interweaving stories of political intrigue, assassination, prostitution, the maid service and a visiting film production.
The Hotel follows Timecode 2000, Figgis' ground-breaking experimental film made last year in Los Angeles in which he shot the four simultaneous stories in single takes.
Like Timecode, a rich cast has again been assembled including Salma Hayek, David Schwimmer, Danny Huston (who was the lead in Bernard Rose's digital video movie ivansxtc), Valeria Golino and Figgis regular Julian Sands.
Although the film is again improvised from a single treatment, Figgis won't be shooting in a single take but in several different acts.
Stroh, who financed Figgis' 1999 drama Miss Julie, is producing alongside Figgis and his producing partner Annie Stewart. Ironically it was also Stroh who financed Michael Radford's improvised production Dancing At The Blue Iguana starring Elias Koteas, Daryl Hannah and Jennifer Tilly.
Stroh said that he will blow the film up to 35mm for theatrical sales and is looking at preparing a single frame version for TV sales.