MEET ME IN GREECE
Reality-based docu-comedy TV series, inspired by the making of the Protogenesis novel series
The first shootings for the demo pilot of MEET ME IN GREECE
Backstage coverage by HELLO! Magazine Greece | May 2017
Photographer: Dimitris Arabatzakis, Journalist: Marena Kadigiannopoulou
ALYSIA HELMING | KOSTAS MARTAKIS
AND THE FIRST BACKSTAGE FOOTAGE
OF THE FILMING FOR A NEW US TV SHOW!
It all started when the American novelist, Alysia Helming, was searching online to find an inspiration for ‘Ever Sarantos’, one of the heroes of her book called Protogenesis: Before the Beginning. And she found Greek rock star Kostas Martakis. The book got published, the amazing story behind the writing of the book is turning into a TV series and their collaboration is a reality. Hello! had the exclusive backstage of the filming for the TV series ‘pilot’ that will be set in both Greece and the US and broadcasted by a US network under the title Meet Me in Greece. The TV series is based on the novelist’s life as she’s drawn to Greece and meets Kostas Martakis as part of the writing process of her novel, Protogenesis, which unites Greek mythology and science fiction through the romantic story of a 17-year old American girl in Greece. During this pilot filming, Alysia Helming and Kostas Martakis talked to us about how they met and how this turned into a successful collaboration.
Why did you choose Greek mythology and to set your story in Greece?
A.H. My 17-year old niece, Hannah, encouraged me to write a story that would be related to Greek mythology, and that’s how I started writing Protogenesis. I decided that I wanted all this, the story plot, to be set in Greece so as to differentiate it from all other stories in the US and which although they are inspired by Greek mythology, they don’t really take place at the birthplace of mythology.
Kosta, how did you feel about being picked out by the novelist through an online search?
K.M. It felt nice and weird. From what I’ve gathered from what Alysia has mentioned to me, she had in mind a guy with my particular features. So, she searched online “man with dark hair and blue eyes” but the results were too many. As she was going through these photos, she saw mine from the album cover of “Pio Konta” where I had very short hair, and she said: “That’s him!” She printed out this photo and put it up on her wall for inspiration as she continued writing. When she decided to visit Greece and research for her book, she happened to see one of my posters for my live shows on the streets as she was heading to her hotel. And that’s when she realized that I am someone well known in Greece and she instantly started finding a way to reach out to me through my record label, Panik Records.
At your first meeting, did you feel weird?
K.M. To be honest, by the way, that this whole thing was described to me, it did feel a bit weird. In fact, for a moment, I thought she must be crazy! But I did want to meet with her because I was curious to find out for myself what was all this about. I couldn’t begin to imagine how someone could be inspired by me to write a story, just by seeing one of my photos on a random online search. So, of course, all this highly intrigued me. When I first met her, I had no idea that all this would follow. It’s a great honor to be an inspiration for a writer.
So, how does that feel, to be the inspiration for a novel character?
K.M. Very flattering. In the book, his mother is from Australia, as is mine. And this, amongst many other things about my life, Alysia didn’t know. It’s a karmic relationship between us and I’m starting to believe that all this is happening for some reason. And that’s exactly why I’m following this, taking part in it and wanting to be close to it.
What other common things do you have with the hero?
K.M. I have a lot in common with him, but I also share some things with another of the book’s characters. Things like personality traits that the public doesn’t know about, like being intense and strong-minded, especially at work.
Let’s talk a little bit about your live shows at “Frangelico” and your collaboration with Hristos Holides.
K.M. It’s a great collaboration and he’s a remarkable artist. I didn’t know him that well before we worked together; in fact, we got to know each other more during our rehearsals. He’s an open-minded person, very giving and easy to work with, and I’m even happier because he used to be a professional basketball player like I was.
So you have two things in common…
K.M. Exactly. So, it was a great fit for us. We also haveVasilliki Dada on these shows, and she too used to play basketball. We’re actually looking for two more so we can have a basketball team! (laughter). Also, I’m very pleased with my collaboration with Thanasis Gougousis because he completely renovated the night-club and our shows are the beginning of a new era for “Frangelico”.
These shows will be until when?
K.M. They are each Wednesday to Saturday until September.
Any new song coming up?
K.M. We’ve already released “Axize” that is doing very well and it’s high up on the charts. It’s the first single from my upcoming album that will be released by Panik Platinum around the Christmas holidays, as I’m currently still recording it. This album will also have many surprises!
INFO BOX: Alysia Helming’s and Kostas Martakis’ most recent collaboration was for the short-films series, Footsteps in Athens, hosted by the singer and inviting the public to travel to Greece and explore our country’s magic as narrated through the book. The films are available on www.footstepsinathens.com