Diede In't Veld is the second student we've stumbled across in recent months who approached the Chelsea about shooting a project here, but couldn't afford the rates. Diede's film, "Sleeping in Chelsea" is about a businessman who discovers an ad in the paper that reads "Hotel Chelsea More than just a hotel, a place where you can live out your secret fantasies." Ok, we'll buy that. Then, imagine our shock when the businessman checks into the Chelsea Savoy down the block to experience his fantasies. People are always mistaking these other simarily named hotels--which seem to be so named deliberately in an attempt to create confusion -- for the Hotel Chelsea. This is surely a case of art imitating life. The film is NSFW.
Here's a short e-interview with the filmmaker.
How'd you get the idea for your film?
I got the idea from a short story in a magazine actually. It was a story about a guy mixing up two hotels. Because I wanted both hotels to be in the same street and have almost the same name we came to Chelsea.
Who are some of the filmmakers you admire and why? I admire David Lynch a lot. I love the mind-games he plays with the viewer an absurdistic way of telling a story. It always keeps me interested because in his stories litterly anything can happen. I love that.
Have you ever been to the famed Hotel Chelsea? Well the funny thing was that when we scouted the locations, I didn't know that the Chelsea hotel was so famous! Not until I went in and asked if we could shoot in a room for a night. It was a student film with a corresponding budget, so when he named the price I was kinda struck. I would have preferred to shoot the int. scenes there but that obviously was not an option for us. So we choose for the Chelsea Savoy to shoot which gave us more financial room.
First we didn't want to shoot with a permit for the External part, but I choose to get one because the street is a very much wanted location. That turned out to be a good decision because in that week there were 3 feature films shooting in that same street where we shot the next morning with a tiny crew and a small 16mm camera.
How would you describe the difference between the Savoy and the Hotel Chelsea? The hotels are incomparable. The Chelsea Savoy is a nice but simple hotel with really not anything special. The Chelsea is a whole different thing with the history and designs etc.
Do you think the Chelsea Savoy offers the services portrayed in your film?
Off course not... But I think it's a great fantasy for many men.