Valencia. It’s nine in the morning and we’re in La Punta. The industrial warehouse in which we were called belongs to the Bab Company which in fiction would become a sugar packing factory where Tristan, the protagonist, was Satan holds himWrite inspirational phrases to cheer up coffee for customers in popular bars. Filming will stop for several days at this venue, where his interiors will also serve as a set to recreate an office, prison visitor room, police station, and 1970s bathrooms in a roadside bar.
The first feature film William Polo he is road movies Iberian With multiple locations, vintage cars, and plenty of supporting characters (including dogs and kids). “Actually, I did everything Hitchcock said shouldn’t be done in the first movie,” laughs the Valencia director, whom we spoke with as the makeup team gets ready. Antonia San Juan (All about my motherAnd the aperture), Manuel de Blas (darkest nightAnd the goya ghostsAnd the Tell me what happened to youalso, overlap) s Paul Miller (Epidemic) to shoot the first scene of the day. The rest of the actors, who don’t have to shoot today, include other well-known names like Gruber Gonzalez (Leave it whenever you wantAnd the valeria), Isaac Ferris (giants), Montesdioca Pine (red sky) s Itziar Castro (eye for an eye).
William and his brother Javier Polo They repeat once again as producers, although the tables are turned upside down with regards to their previous feature film, docufiction piece. The secret of pink flamingos. Japonica Films, Vulcano International Productions s Batik movies Complete supported production À point meansThe Valencia Institute of Culture and the government of the canary islands.
The film is about a frustrated writer whose routine life changes on the day he, under mysterious circumstances, agrees to transport the frozen body of his wrestling brother Simon – a character played by Isaac Ferris (giants), from Asturias to Benidorm to fulfill his last wish: to be buried in the house in which they both grew up. Throughout this journey – in which Ferris accompanies him and turns into the “bluish ghost of the ’90s” – the protagonist will engage in strange situations in which he will have to deal with eccentric characters. The humor will arise from the contrast between the surreal context and the identical personality of Tristan.
“The kind and tone of humor is always a difficult thing to do when You don’t want to go to the typical comedy of gags and jokes. We find this humor along the way, because the idea is that it was born out of the circumstances in which the characters find themselves. Especially Tristan, who spends the entire movie trying to keep his sanity in some pretty crazy situations. Suppose we’re looking for dry, pathetic humor.”
It comes to our attention that the two feature films presented by the production company Hermanus Polo so far are road movies. “Yes, both films have an introductory flight point, although the approach is completely different in each case – assures Guillermo -. Journeys of self-discovery, where the hero finds answers. On a symbolic level, this also has something to do with my life, because the fact of going to live in the United States helped me rediscover myself and myself. I left Spain in confusion, in search of something, but the more time I spent there, the more I realized that I did not belong there either, and that in fact I had made it too perfect. That’s how I started falling in love with my country of origin again. I remember one day when I arrived in Spain two years later. I got into a taxi and was intrigued by everything I saw, from the cross hanging from the rear view mirror to the image of people in a bar eating churros. I felt like a foreigner, and I saw the beauty in all that traditional everyday life. I realized that I had a very big world to explore, and I could do it in an aesthetic way. In Spanish cinema, dirtier theatrical or costumes are often sought, and my suggestion is to give it a completely different aesthetic treatment. In colours, composition and harmony. There are other directors that I like Chima Garcia Ibarra Or the people of Little Spain, who managed to combine beauty, authenticity and traditionalism. In fact, I know that Santos Bacana Something very similar happened to me in Little Spain. We both happened to be in Los Angeles in those years, and when he got back from there recently, we were talking about it.
One of the most striking aspects The secret of pink flamingos Where Guillermo worked as a cinematographer lay precisely in the interest in framing, locations and theatrical use of colour. in Satan holds himThe direction of photography depends on it Pablo J GallegoWhile the artistic direction, locations and characterization of the characters are in the hands of the artist Carla Fuentes, whose work on a feature film about pink flamingos was essential. “We’re doing some very fine shots, with a still camera, and it’s all well lit. Our goal is to achieve a very high bill, despite having very limited resources, and that keeps us working to the maximum all the time,” admits Guillermo.
22 versions of the script over ten years
The nucleus of this project – which was originally to be called poor devil– I was born a decade ago and It was planned to be filmed in the United Statess, the country in which Guillermo studied film directing and worked on filming between 2012 and 2016. “Since I wrote the first treatment of the story so far, the script has already gone through 22 copies. At first it was planned to be filmed in English there, but I finally realized It makes sense to mix a very subtle way of shooting as it is done there, but to bring it into something traditional and local. David Pascual (Mr. Perfume) He started working with me as a screenwriter. later joined William Warriorand finally Vicente Pinaruga, is a screenwriter from the Valencian region who lives in Madrid and has more experience. We really did the finishing touches when we started working with the cast, because there are things that work on paper, but you realize later that it’s not organic.”
This is one of those films in which the chief director – not in the cinema, but in the feature film – has to direct actors with a lot of experience behind his back. Was it easy? “I was lucky because it was totally possible for a defiant person to arrive and give me a hard time (laughs), but it wasn’t like that at all, they are very close and they are people with their feet on the ground. It is a very smooth shooting process.”
The movie contains a file Budget around 750,000 euros. “It’s kind of a movie, given the style reference of others, I’ll need three times that budget. In fact, a few months ago, I had to cut twelve pages of script to cut out a week of filming and balance the accounts. But I’m well aware that it’s my first movie and that there are other directors who debuted in feature films with less money. It’s also true that you usually start out with a simpler production, with two characters stuck in a house and things like that. Here we went into something pretty crazy, with so many locations, so many actors, etc. To this must be added the fact that my brother and I We took the hard road of being productive and took on the responsibility to seek funding. The past four years have been very intense. You have to believe a lot in your project and act somewhat unconsciously, without stopping to think too much about the mess you are getting into, or else the movie could bring you down. “
He explains that budget constraints have their advantages, too. “Forcing you to express creativity all the time, to simplify plans, etc. But if I learned a lot from something, it’s from the production side. When I arrived from the United States, I was confused by the question of requests for help, which is a rather complicated issue What, but it is very important to know how cinema works from the inside.”
Filming will continue over the next few weeks in Aragon, the Canary Islands and Rocafort, Valencia. Although it’s still too early to know the release date, “The movie might as well Completed between late spring and early summer 2023“.