What happens when cinema pros join the crowd of people trying to sell a movie? That's what Alec Baldwin and director James Toback wanted to find out when they found themselves in Cannes hustling a movie idea with the rest of the hucksters.
While Baldwin was there he and Toback came up with the idea of filming some of the chaos and chicanery that they encountered. And while they were at it, they managed to corral some of the world's most respected filmmakers to get their take on moviemaking.
The result is a documentary called "Seduced and Abandoned," which premieres Monday night at 9 on HBO.
"The beginning of this was Jimmy and I thinking of a film we wanted to make," explains Baldwin. "And we had numerous dinners and lunches, and we'd have six or seven or eight ideas every night. And then the next night we would meet and we would get rid of all of those ideas and have six or seven or eight fresh ideas.
"And then we finally said, 'Well, why don't we just go [to Cannes].' And it evolved into the film we made, which is a documentary about pitching a movie. And going there and asking people who are very successful and very busy and very in-demand to sit with us. We were elated at the people that said yes."
Among those who said "yes" were directors Bernardo Bertolucci, Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and even Roman Polanski. They also wangled interviews with Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Berenice Bejo, James Caan, Ryan Gosling, Neve Campbell, Diablo Cody and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
"All of them -- the studio executives that we talked to -- all of them to sit with us, we were very grateful," says Baldwin.