Sunday, January 3, 2010


Chopin - (1810-1849) - charcoal drawing c. 1846


First ever, serious feature drama about the life of Chopin and Liszt in The Romantic Age.
LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS is the title of a dramatic motion picture conceived, written and currently being developed by John Mark.
Along with a book and CD recordings the film is intended for general audiences and dedicated to fans of music of Chopin and Liszt all over the world.
In the following pages we provide the background information about this historic film project, especially in the context of the Bicentennial 200th Anniversary of Chopin’s birth in 1810 this year and what this film is targeted to accomplish artistically, historically and commercially.

What Is This Film About - One Sentence Description:
Two young, amazing composers take over 19th Century Paris with their enormous talent and charisma. The story depicts in dramatic manner a true, actual account of the musical genius of Franz Liszt and Frederic Chopin who capture the imagination of 19th Century Paris in the midst of Romantic Age among wars and revolutions - Liszt & Chopin In Paris
One-Line Description:
"The story of two greatest superstars of pure pianism"
Extended One Sheet Summary -

Please click on link for One Sheet Summary about this film project above.


Click on the extended link for The Story here:

Please click on link for the FOREWORD the forthcoming book in hardcover, digital and audio edition to be released with the film here:

Frédéric François Chopin - (1810-1849)

Screenplays written by John Mark (c. 1983-2010)

Early, analog music recordings by John Mark in New York (c. 1976)

Digital music recordings produced today for LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS

The Worldwide Market

Who Is This Film Intended For

This film is intended for listeners of music of Chopin and Liszt and their contemporaries all over the world. In the following pages we provide information about this historic, dramatic film and what it is meant to accomplish on many levels.

The objective of this film project is to entertain, and not to pontificate about classical music. However, at the same time we want to present true, historically accurate picture of the Romantic Age portraying the events as they took place in this magnificent epoch with highest level of authenticity and historical integrity which more than often is not the case in films about this period.

Life experiences of an artist, and many artists from this period teach us a lot about life and about humanity, and especially about the creative process in general. Combined with factual events of the lives of those two icons of classical music the dramatic plot surrounding their lives is quite fascinating and entertaining.

The story of Liszt and Chopin can achieve the intense dramatic effect only when it is based on actual and accurate facts, not on gossip, over-dramatizing, over-romanticizing and over-sentimentalizing - an approach that has been tried many times before about the lives of great classical composers.

A thoroughly authentic and serious dramatic film can provide well-deserved enjoyment for many years to come and give us insight into the lives of those two great artists who are admired all over the world, while the authentic look and feel of the project can allow the audiences to better appreciate the timeless and magnificent works recorded in surround sound that will be presented in movie theaters worldwide and on DVD.

LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS is the story about the creative genius. It portrays the creative process of two artists in the context of great historical epoch.

The story portrays how both Liszt and Chopin not only made their careers in a city essentially alien to them, but how they created their masterpieces in face of adversity as we watch their creative genius at work with young Liszt and Chopin taking the center stage.

The action is set between two Revolutions of 1830 and 1848 in the heart of Romantic Age that has provided us with so much inspiration and enchantment over the years, at times of turbulent political change in Europe that lead humanity into the twentieth and twenty first centuries today.

True piano playing beings with Chopin. Mozart and Clementi put it on the map, but it is Chopin who raised it to the level that has never been equaled until today.

Chopin was the god of the piano. Franz Liszt was the other god of the piano, as well as the creative genius who defined the age and the epoch. Produced on the highest level, with the best piano playing in the world this film will allow audiences to experience these two greatest virtuosi as they truly were, along with the cast of the entire Romantic epoch along with their closest friends and rivals in the Romantic Age.

On every bookshelf, in every city in any language there are countless volumes of books written about Chopin’s and Liszt's life everywhere. There are even books describing books written about Chopin and their contemporaries, while the amount of Chopin’s and Liszt's societies, foundations, museums, cultural centers, festivals and exhibitions supporting their music for over hundred and fifty years worldwide would be difficult to estimate – Chopin’s and Liszt's popularity are continuously growing around the world.

This year we are celebrating the Bicentennial - the 200th Anniversary of Chopin’s birth all over the world recognizing Chopin's amazing genius, and fully realizing that until today Chopin has no successor. A serious piano recital without Chopin's compositions would be unthinkable today, and judging by the amount of Liszt societies, books written about him, and fan clubs dedicated to him all over the world Franz Liszt is not very far behind Chopin.

The action of this film takes place in the great era of Sturm und Drang, it’s the time of Napoleon’s triumps, the end of French monarchy, the birth of democracy in the glorious days of liberated Paris of Louis Philippe, the Citizen King.
Please see this link with short preview of a book of the same time title with full historical background about the Romantic Age and this magnificent epoch

Please click on link for historical background about this film project above.
Chopin improvises at a Ball in Hotel Lambert on Ile St. Louis in Paris
The character of the Romantic Age leaves deep and unmistakable impression on every artist’s mind. For young Chopin who arrives in the great City of Lights at twenty one, without knowing anyone and trying to make a name for himself in the music world, the high-end Paris culture is the stage where excels even though where there were more virtuoso pianists in Paris at that time than taxi drivers in New York, or London today.
For young Liszt, the virtuoso of virtuosi the atmosphere of the Romantic era helps him find himself and bring forth his stardom, as he creates a mega name for himself. Both Chopin and Liszt are well aware of the fact that their work could bring on their immortality, and they fiercely compete to that end among each other and with their rivals and peers. Their competitive spirit will be vividly portrayed in both the book and the dramatic film.
Franz Liszt - charcoal drawing (c. 1830)
We could give this film a poetic title - magical or magnificent moments - as Liszt, Chopin, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Berlioz, Verdi, Rossini, Paganini, Bellini, Wagner and other musical giants portrayed in this film re-creating amazing masterpieces and the legacy of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, taking it to new heights of expression, transforming with music and the arts in general along with Goya, Ingress, Delacroix, Daumier, Constable, David, Turner and Courbert in painting, Pushkin, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Potoefi – (Liszt's compatriot) in literature, and of course Liszt & Chopin breaking new grounds in music conquering the artistic world in City of Lights between 1830 and 1849.
While Cooper, Poe and Melville were creating great classics in American literature, Dickens, Austen, Thackeray, Browning,Wordsworth, Coleridge and Scott in England - Hugo, Balzac, Goethe, Byron, Dumas, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Musset, Gautier, Vigny in continental Europe those are the forces driving the story as are the magnificent moments of the drama of the lives of Liszt and Chopin and their careers.
Leo Tolstoy – the Russian writer and author of “War & Peace” who loved Chopin’s music and ranked it at the top of all music compared Chopin's audience to a mountain. At the bottom, as Tolstoy describes Chopin's audiences are huge, massive audiences everywhere in the world, people who simply love and adore Chopin’s music and enjoy listening him constantly – then, there are audiences in the middle of the mountain who also like to listen to Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms, and then finally, at the top there is an artist, or a composer who completely understands the power of Chopin's music and who is capable to express its profound effect on the human soul.

Chopin's home in Poland circa 1829 before he left Warsaw to Paris
“Chopin’s music” - writes the great piano legend Arthur Rubinstein, “conquers such diverse audiences. When the first notes sound through the concert hall there is instantly a happy sign of recognition. All over the world, men and women know his music. They love it, they are moved by it, yet it is not Romantic music in the Byronic sense, although it takes place in the romantic period, this music takes places right in the heart. It is expressive, and personal, and yet it is still pure art. Even in this abstract and diverse age where emotions are not “fashionable” Chopin endures. His music is the universal language of human consciousness and human communication. He speaks directly to the hearts of the people.”
LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS is also the story of the piano, it's the story of classical music and the arts in the greatest period humanity ever lived – The Romantic Age, and the biggest stars is in effect are the timeless compositions of Liszt & Chopin and their contemporaries. Already pre-recorded with the most advanced, technology available today the sound comes directly at the audience with a taste of what is yet to come in its final, post-production version when the film is released.
The drama of this great project is both riveting and beautiful. It is also a beautifully told story about riveting social forces that dominate those artists lives and ultimately devour them, but also propel them to immortality.
The Romantic Age is the birth of democracy, the age of the gallantry where chivalrous attention and courtliness toward women with the air of faintly mocking behavior were encouraged, where true romance was defined by both the intensity of emotions and the volumes of beautiful women one was able to conquer. But it was also the world of social and political strife and injustice, and those two essentially conflicting, opposing forces were both the main expression and the great contribution to the Romantics – from Chopin to Byron, to Keats, to Rimbaud, from Hugo, to Berlioz, to Paganini away from the preordained, classical tradition of Bach and Mozart.
We wonder how the same forces still shape us in the twenty first century, and how they swept us into such wide polarities, even being sharper, and starker today and at times a lot more shocking than even the Romantics such as Liszt and Chopin could ever imagine, or would be willing to accept, but their quest, their spirit and their struggle reflects our strife and struggle in very much the same way today. Perhaps this is the reason why Chopin’s music so frequently sounds as if it were composed today, and perhaps why it is so personal and sounds so direct and contemporary, so close to our hearts and inner feelings, as if were were to taste a form of pure art originating straight from the heart.
In this film the latest technology and visual special effects will be used to visualize, design and create magnificent scenes, and record magnificent musical snapshots in spectacular surroundings with breathtaking performances by major American movie stars and genius music performers who will allow us to relive those magnificent, magical moments that gave rise to contemporary arts, literature and music on such unprecedented scale - a form of pure, ultimate art that so many of us still live through until today, many of us every day and throughout our lives.
Because of the enormous global and universal appeal of this music around the world to audiences from all cultures and nationalities, this film project will integrate technological content, software, electronics and distribution worldwide across media and social media involving many generations and nationalities on a global scale.
This fast moving, action-driven drama and high-level, character-driven story provides the historical setting of magnificent proportions, mesmerizing characters with incomparable seduction and appeal and incredible charisma to audiences across all ranges, ages and nationalities. A powerfully told, magnificently recorded soundtrack performed by the world’s greatest perfomers will accompany the release of this film along with international concerts to follow by world’s greatest orchestras and musicians all over the world.
The plot of this film begins with the lead character of Franz Liszt attempting to read the music score written by young Chopin who just arrived from Warsaw via Stuttgart looking to find a place for himself in revolutionary Paris. Young Liszt, frustrated with fast progressions and sounds cascading from Chopin’s score as if from the sky and not able to play it prima vista, at first sight, but tremendously impressed and striving hard not to show it to asks Chopin – “Please, play this for us…” and as Chopin plays crystal clear passages of his “Winter Wind” etude the scene takes us into the heart of the City of Lights – Paris 1830, the world capital of music and Romanticism in its full bloom.
The drama of this film deals with two periods of Chopin’s life, his youth in Warsaw until he was 20-years old and his adulthood when he left to Vienna, a trip he was never to return from to his native land forced by the political upheavals in Eastern Europe, and the second highly dramatic period as Chopin lived in Paris with his friends until his tragic death in 1840.
At first we begin with a Bergmanesque-like sort of sequence reminding us of “Fanny and Alexander” as we enter the magical world of Canaletto's in 19th Century Warsaw where the famous violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini arrives with his famous Amati violin (he calls it a “cannon”) and in his charismatic performance sends musical bullets from the stage sending everyone into absolutely frenzy – an encounter that leaves an indelible impression on young Chopin now seriously thinking about leaving Warsaw and starting a professional career in the Western world.
In the second Act as Chopin tries to make a living in Paris, and as Chopin’s life is shown intricately tied in with the life of his peers, e.g. Liszt, Schumann, Paganini, Wagner, Rossini, Mendelsoh, Berlioz, Sand, Malebranche and many others who all search for the same thing – immortality, we finally dispel the “Chopin myth” and the myth of The Romantic Age that has plagued cinema and literature for so many years and instead portray the authentic characters as they lived and struggled on their quest.
Arthur Rubinstein described this myth best when he stated: “I heard quite a bit of Chopin’s beloved repertoire in my life, during my childhood in Poland, and now as adult – mazurkas, polonaises, nocturnes, etudes, scherzos, preludes and the two, indescribably beautiful piano concerti – and all of them are played interminably badly. And why badly? Because in those days, as they believe now both musicians and the public believe in the "Chopin myth", as many still believe it today... This myth is a destructive one where Chopin, the Man is seen as weak and ineffectual, and Chopin, the Artist is seen as an irrepressible romantic, effeminate, yet impulsive, abusive, a moral vampire so to speak yet writing perfect music dipping his pen in moonlight to compose his nocturnes for sentimental young women, whereas nothing is further from the truth either about the Man, or about the Artist, and pianists whose heads are filled with this nonsense are playing Chopin badly…”
Even today, in twenty first century, there are still books being published about Chopin describing him as Raphaelesque, effiminate figure, or an impulsive, tainted genius dipping his pen in the moonlight while world renowned pianists still strike their keys as if they were silver bells by the lake, with a sled pulled by a raindeer.
The film is going to put an end to the myth. It will portray the true Chopin, the true Liszt, as they really were, and the true Romantic Age as it were, and the music will be performed as it was played by them in Paris - powerful, electrifying, thundering, literally bringing the house down, connecting the energy of the Universe fused and fueled together by the entire range of the emotions and human experiences with the true essence of the Sturm und Drang during the Romantic Age with unspeakable courage, power, masculinity and beauty beyond equal.

Chopin circa 1849
This film is the authentic project about the Romantic Era. It's on par with Titanic, Gone with the Wind and Amadeus in terms of its authenticity and dramatic appeal intended for contemporary times and for posterity.
We all remember Titanic that made over a billion dollars in the box office rapidly, and the reason for Titanics enormous popularity was the historic base of the film, like this film one with a love story that made audiences from all over the world come back to see it over and over again repeated amounts of times.
The love story between George Sand and Frederic Chopin is the most celebrated of all love stories of all time, along with Romeo and Juliet. Until now their love story has never been truly and adequately portrayed in any film.
The drama of this story is amazing, and with it the continuous rivalry, support and friendship between young Liszt and Chopin, taking place at the highest level, both at the top of their game who are taking audiences on continual journey of excitement and stimulation in this film with a kind of charisma never portrayed in any film before.
The characters of Liszt and Chopin driven by their creative, intellectual, social, emotional and sexual forces is a perfect venue for Hollywood’s greatest actors to deliver the ultimate entertainment specifically appealing to the story’s biggest audience – American, European and Asian markets making this film potentially an all-time favorite.
The dynamic characters and stardom of Liszt and Chopin are central to a broad circle of friends who created and defined this sexy, amazingly creative period - the Romantic era, a time of unsurpassed passion in art, thought, politics, culture, literature and love all intertwined together into powerful, fast-moving, heart breaking drama of the lives of these two heros unfolding before us exactly as they were and as we watch them being loved, hated, worshipped and destroyed just like the women who were in love with them.
This is the milieu – for women it’s the playground of princesses, poets, pianists, and prostitutes - the women in this story who are uncommon in their gifts and who are brilliant, beautiful, temperamental and wholly dedicated to the new social order that they worship, and the social order that ultimately destroys them as they tear Liszt’s and Chopin’s hearts out and theirs, as well that neither love, nor passion could satisfy. Young Liszt and Chopin took up with some of the most fascinating females of all time, so stunning and brilliant and many so smart, powerful, rich and creative that they sold out theaters in countries whose languages they could not speak.

Special Anniversary Album recorded by John Mark with select works by Liszt & Chopin
Liszt & Chopin In Paris is a beautiful, fascinating, sexy, high-concept project that can be driving and at the same time is being driven by a solidly conceived structure of aligned marketing mechanisms all of which include the latest in information technology combined with the kind of entertainment that interacts supremely well with today’s best entertainment, social-media and cutting-edge production talent.
Dramatic feature films such as these encompassing glorious and complex subject matters can work miracles and will rival Titanic, Amadeus, Casablanca, and Gone with the Wind – if done with the equal parts of creativity, passion, intelligence, knowledge and intensity.
This film spans two revolutionary decades during which those two amazing composer-performers, themselves refugees from war-torn countries have worked, lived and loved. The story and the production promises to deliver to audiences total immersion in entertainment, music and cultural experiences on a level that has never been before in contemporary cinema that will be talked about and enjoyed for many decades to come.


Paris-London-Vienna-Berlin-Warsaw-Luzerne-Cologne-Dusseldorg-Leipzig-Nice-Majorca-Edinburgh and other European locations. Post-Production: London and Los Angeles.
John Mark will complete final draft of the screenplay, as well as the shooting script for this project, and upon completion he will also prepare detailed production budget for production with required production dates and locations both in US and Europe, along with complete schedule for pre-production, production and post-production stages of the film according the highest standards and objectives of this highly unique and historic project.
Motion picture industry today consists of two principal activities: production, which involves the development, financing, and production of feature-length motion pictures; and distribution, which involves the promotion and exploitation of feature-length motion pictures in a variety of media, including theatrical exhibition, home video, television, hotel chains, syndication of other ancillary markets, both domestic and international and merchandise.
The United States motion picture industry is dominated by the “major” studios, including The Walt Disney Company, Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, Universal Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, Columbia/Tri-Star Pictures, and United Artists. The major studios are typically parts of large diversified corporations and/or conglomerates that have strong relationships with creative talent, exhibitors, and others involved in the entertainment industry and whose non-motion picture operations provide a stable source of earnings and cash flow which offset the variations in the financial performance of their new motion picture releases and other aspects of their motion picture operations. Often vertically and horizontally integrated with affiliated entities outside the motion picture industry, major studios often absorb losses that enhance profits of affiliates. The major studios have historically produced and distributed the vast majority of high-grossing theatrical motion pictures released annually in the United States.
At the time this film is released by the major studios have become more expensive, currently with average budgets exceeding $60 million (before marketing), lower budget “independent films” have successfully entered the market. Typically, such films are more character driven than plot driven, and originally they lacked major stars. Miramax, originally an independent distributor (now owned by Disney), broke ground in this area with such films. However, these days most nearly all or most theatrical films are produced indepedently with studios providing P&R and distribution at later stages worldwide.
A substantial portion of a motion picture’s ultimate revenues is generated in the initial distribution cycle (generally the first 2-3 years after the film’s initial domestic theatrical release). Commercially, successful motion pictures may continue to generate revenues after the motion picture’s initial distribution cycle from the re-licensing of distribution rights in certain media, including theatrical stage, television and home video, and from the licensing of distribution rights with respect to all new media and technologies, consequently revenues can and will continue to flow for many years.
Many highly successful films were launched at major film festivals. Film festivals are now the established platform for introducing independent films, and although this is a highly is a commercial, mainstream project, the film will be introduced at many major film festivals as it will quickly gain word-of-mouth acceptance and advertising before its global release by a major studio, or studios in collaboration with the production company.
LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS will be presented for Academy Awards Nomination as well as for competition at major film festivals such as Cannes, Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, Venice, Rotterdam, Telluride, Tribeca, Seattle and other major film festivals depending on its availability and its scheduled commercial release dates in US and worldwide.
Preview select recordings for the soundtrack to LISZT & CHOPIN IN PARIS with works by Chopin, Liszt and their contemporaries please visit the fan page on Facebook and click on MUSIC tab at this link:
The link to "Why Make an Epic Film about Chopin and Liszt" the amazing story of two greatest, superstars of the piano is here -
Please click on link above for the reasons why an epic love story in the Romantic Age featuring the lives of Liszt and Chopin, their drama, ascent to fame and lives the City of Lights makes perfect sense for a major, dramatic feature-film blockbuster.
***NOTE: The description of this part of the document, as well as this entire document is not an offer, or solicitation to raise financing of any sort, and/or to sell membership interest in the project, and/or an offer to buy, and/or sell securities in any manner, and/or form. The budget, dates, locations, completion dates, as well as the entire projected venue are subject to change. The rights to this film project are property of John Mark and are protected by US Copyright Laws.***