2003-2004

HARDLY EVER

ΣΧΕΔΟΝ ΠΟΤΕ / SHEDON POTE

DIRECTED BY:
Nikos Perakis
SCRIPT:
Nikos Perakis
HARDLY EVER poster

"Liza And All The Others" may not have been the great commercial success, but judging by the reactions of young women after the release of the DVD, the film not only found its audience but also acquired fanatical followers."Hardly Ever" was Katerina Bei’s "Liza" squared, with four leading ladies instead of two and 20 45-minute episodes.

Kostas Lambropoulos who wanted to propose the series to the NET public channel, knowing that I hadn’t yet economically recovered from "The Bubble", suggested me to direct the first 5 episodes. My only TV experience was the design of the five episodes of "Felix Krull" and the 5th episode of the also German series "Kir Royal", so because of my inexperience the five episodes came out six.

The first scenarios of "Hardly Ever" facilitated my decision, because the characters of the four "young and successful" women were very realistic and different as well, with unique common interest the quest for the ideal man, lover and companion -or only one of them. After the efforts of Lisa and Claire, the four handsome heroines and their choices, created in me great curiosity and suspense. As planned the shooting continued Dimitris Giatzoutzakis and Christos Dimas, apparently successfully, since NET ordered another 10. But because since then such processes in public institutions delayed, main actresses and directors left for various reasons. The most common was that in the meantime there were other probably more advantageous options proposals. It was the golden era when public and private channels were shooting in the mean time in parallel more than 40 series and good actors were in great demand. Bei continued writing scripts for a younger generation of heroines with similar concerns. And because I had served the series earlier and someone had to coach the new cast, I shot again the first five and I admit that I enjoyed the most. This time I settled to five, leaving as I saw, much room for improvement to the much more experienced Pigi Dimitrakopoulou.

PLOT

Four professionally successful, attractive women around thirty - Mary, a radio producer; Stephanie, a volunteer in a battered women NGO; Vanda, a rising actress; and Kalia, a fashion designer and boutique-owner - have set their sights on finding a «regular» guy with a view to falling in love.

The constant need to analyze situations, to set parameters and criteria depending on their own strong points and according to how they think their relationships ought to be, and to keep trying to function through recipes and stereotypes, makes them anxious and often leads them to dead ends.

However, they face situations with humour and manage to laugh at themselves. They don’t hesitate to live adventures, even with foregone inglorious ends. Passion follows frustration, cynicism succeeds romance, illusion takes the place of excitement, and the drama becomes comical, as the four heroines continue, sometimes confidently and sometimes insecurely, to walk the tightrope between freedom and commitment, between the ideal relationship and compromise.

In the second cycle the heroines are as much as a decade younger and not yet successful, but their main goal is the same and they are already involved in its problems.

ΔΙΑΝΟΜΗ ΡΟΛΩΝ+ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΤΕΣ

CAST FOR EPISODES 1-20

Maria
Anna Stilvi
Stefania
Vana Rabota
Vanda
Doreta Papadimitriou
Stelina
Maria Solomou
Elena
Katia Nikolaidou
Theoni
Sylvia Delikoura
Angela
Kanellina Menouti
Panos
Yiorgos Liandos
Manos
Tony Dimitriou
Yiorgos
Krateros Katsoulis
Isidoros
Stelios Dalezios
Martha
Sofi Zanninou
Konstantinos
Alexandros Pontikakis
Markos
Christos Pezos
Konstantinos’s wife
Diana Kavetsou
married woman
Mary Markou
friend
Elleni Komini
Brook
Cheryl Ann Serquina
Mania
Evelina Papoulia
Jonny
Konstantinos Zambaras
Katerina
Natalia Papaioannou
Sugarbabe
Eva Dimitriou
Evangelos
Ilias Logothetis
Nikitas
Periklis Kasandrinos
Fotis
Rafaelo Yeoryitsis
fat lady in taxi
Evangelia Samiotaki
sexologist
VaitsisApostolopoulos
big lady
Eftyxia Kapandai
sound mixer
Michalis Karachalios
manufacturer
Zinos Panayiotidis
Alexandros
Panayiotis Klinis
Dionysopoulos
Antonis Alexiou
Kelly
Yolanda Diamanti
stylist
Yiannis Angelakis
psychoanalyst's patient
Tina Boviatsi
Russian physiotherapist
Yiouli Veneti
Mirela as bride
Salina Gavala
ad man
Christos Dimas
psychoanalyst
Maria Georgiadou
director
Nikos Alevras
guest appearance
Antonis Kafetzopoulos

CAST FOR EPISODES 21-31

Kalia
Natalia Migdou
Joanna
Mary Akrivopoulou
Myrto
Vicky Papadopoulou
Eva
Stella Stambola
Stelina
Maria Solomou
Elena
Katia Nikolaidou
Theoni
Sylvia Delikoura
Angela
Kanellina Menouti
Martha
Sofi Zanninou
Konstantinos
Alexandros Pontikakis
Markos
Christos Pezos
Yiorgos
Yiorgos Karamichos
Tania
Katerina Papadaki
Christos
Yiorgos Seitaridis
Themis
Kostas Digas
Vasilis
Asteris Peltekis
Brook
Cheryl Ann Serquina
Eyangelia
Stefania Kapetanidi
Nantia
Alexandra Pavlidou
Natasha
Giouli Veneti
Stavros
Petros Alatzas
Notis
Andreas Kontopoulos
Dionysopoulos
Antonis Alexiou
Kostas
Kostas Alibertis
Marios
Iakovos Mylonaw
Achilleas
Antonis Lazarou
Pantelis
Andreas Marianos
Anna
Angeliki Papadimitriou
Danae
Eva Stylander
chef editor
Ioanna Michelakou
sound mixer
Manos Triantafyllakis
guest appearance
Iason Triantafyllidis, Kostas Varkados, Sean Michael Longstreth, Zinos Panagiotidis, Antonis Ioannou, Dionysis Martinengos, Yiannis Gouvelis

CREW FOR EPISODES 1-31

directors
Nikos Perakis, Dimitris Yiatzoutzakis, Christos Dimas, Pigi Dimitrakopoulou
screen writer
Katerina Bei
producer
Kostas Lambropoulos
director photography
Ilias Adamis, Yiorgos Argyroiliopoulos
production executive
Yiorgos Papadatos, Yiorgos Kyriakos
production manager
Dimitris Karatzounis
music
Dimitris Kontopoulos
set designer
Sofia Zoumberi
costume designer
Vaso Tranidou
painter
Yiannis Petris
editing supervisor
Yiorgos Mavropsaridis
editing
Elvira Varela
assistant directors
Chrisa Psomadelli, Margarita Gariou
2nd assistant directors
Yianna Deligianni, Elina Psykou
sound engineer
Panos Papadimitriou, Stefano Efthimiou
makeup
Katerina Lignou, Dimitra Yiatrakou
hair design
Yiorgos Doudesis
hair styling
Keti Aravantinou
script & continuity
Anna Petridou
boom operator
Yiannis Kariyiannis, Nikos Exarchos
assistant prod. manager
Michalis Karachalios, Maria Louka
production assistants
Dimitris Giokas, Fotis Skoyrletis, Vasilis Tzanidis, Dimitris Chatzivoyiatzis, Antonis Michalopoulos
props man
Babis Triantis, Dimitris Avgeros
assistant set designer
Angeliki Anaktoridi, Ioanna Katsiavou
assistant costume designer
Katerina Mouzoula, Elina Mantzakou
assistant editor
Alekos Sampsonidis, Michalis Gouliaditis
steadicam
Dinos Macheras, Kostas Tirintis
assistant director photography
Vasilis Kasikis, Kostas Lazanas
electricians
Yiorgos Papayianopoulos, Kostas Panagopoulos
production secretary
Yeran Krikorian, Yeorgia Saranti
music supervision
Christina Bitha
title song
Dimitris Kontopoulos
lyrics
Eleni Georgiadi
singer
Apostolia Zoi
choreographer
Apostolia Papadimaki
public relations
Gogo & Mary Avgerinipoulou
supervisor
Marina Stilianou
post production manager
Mary Yeorgou

 

production
CL Productions for ΝΕΤ

STILLS+FRAMES

SCENES

The head-titles music clip and the lyrics by Eleni Georgiadis, convey I believe quite well the climate of the golden decade and the atmosphere of the series. Those who are more curious can see some scenes uploaded to YouTube by fans of the series who even subtitled them in English:

SCENE 1 SCENE 2 SCENE 3 SCENE 4 SCENE 5

WORK PHOTOS

I found only a few photos I took during casting or rehearsals. Among others there is one of colleague Nikos Alevras who kindly offered to play a director and lover of Vanda with repressed pedophilia. In the last picture, costume designer Vaso Tranidou with her husband, lawyer Manolis Sourgiadakis, whom I photographed as potential cast for the enormous needs of the episodes in lovers. In the end he didn’t do us the favour.

VIDEO CLIPS+MUSIC THEMES

According to the life style of the decade the quest for the "regular" man, the women's circle had to exhaust big music halls too. With Apostolis on stage we managed to set up scenes around and on the tables and shoot, besides the HARDLY EVER title theme, two more songs as extra program in the suffocatingly crowded ASTERIA.

SHOOTING BOARDS+SCRIBBLES

I found some of Yiannis Petris's drafts for the paintings Stefania, the artist of the group, does for her friends before she paints her self-portrait and dedicates herself to an NGO for the protection of battered women.

In HARDLY EVER I had the luxury of shooting with two cameras, and the video allowed me to cover all the action from many camera angles. I almost did away with shooting boards and made a few sketches only when I had to shoot complex scenes requiring precise organization, such as dialogue around a front-row table with Apostolia singing on the stage, first for twenty extras and later for about a thousand regulars.

ASIDES

It seems that the protagonists of the series were so convincing as successful women, that the PR specialist Avgerinopoulou sisters persuaded STATUS magazine to put them on the cover. In that decade the monthly print mag was the bible of upscale lifestyle and hosted on its covers only celebrities, successful politicians and entrepreneurs, Hollywood and Greek TV stars, and from time to time an international or domestic sex idol. Fatefully, the magazine did not survive the crisis and many cover celebrities that did not leave for Hollywood or Ecuador, are now hosted periodically at Korydallos state prison.