Monday, April 9, 2012

Help El Limpiador and Q &A with Director Adrian Saba

My friend Adrian's film El Limpiador has a few more hours left on its Indie Gogo Campaign. Please help out if you can! It is a truly wonderful film that just needs that extra push to finish post production and create a distribution package. For past coverage on the film please check here and here.

New poster!
I also had an opportunity to talk with Adrian and ask him a few questions regarding not only the journey of making the film, but also his ideas behind the film and the themes that permeate it.

1. What drew you to this story of death and decadence? How was the writing process? What was the original idea and how did it develop? How does the film's central theme of death relate to your own beliefs?
I had the idea of a mysterious epidemic spreading in the city for a while. The idea that death would hit massively and no body really would know why. Mixed with that, I had the character of a forensic cleaner that sort of came about when I watched a show on Discovery Channel about that profession, and finally when the time came that I had to make a film, I looked at all my notes and project ideas, and this one was the right one to make. My mind was just set on writing this story and I could feel it in my bones. On the other hand, I wouldn´t really know if the film´s central theme is death, perhaps it is more life, and what it means to live. But I guess in the end, life and death go hand in hand, one would´t really be much without the other. Regarding my own beliefs towards death though, I think that when you die you die, there´s no conscious you that goes off to wander somewhere else. You just stop existing. However, I do believe that there´s certain energy within us, from the universe, energy that has always been around, since energy can´t be destroyed, so when we die that energy moves on to something or someone else. But it´s just plain energy that´s always been around and simply tagged along with you for your lifespan. It´s kinda cool actually, you know, like they say ¨we´re all made out of stars¨

2. How is the character of Eusebio similar to Adrian Saba? How about the little boy (forgot his name?). How is he like Adriana Saba? 
I wouldn´t know really. I actually would hope that we´re not similar at all. Eusebio is very quiet, has gone through life without any attachments, without any real dreams, any sense of purpose. He is just numb to life, and on the contrary, I´d like to experience as much life as I can. And regarding Joaquin, the orphan boy he finds, I would´t know where to pick out any similarities either. Joaquin doesn´t quite grasp the meaning of death, or at better said, he is trying to find it, he is trying to understand what happens when you die because, inevitably with the epidemic crisis going on in the movie and after losing his mother, he is scared that death will literally fall on him.

 3.  What were the difficulties of making this film. You have made some successful shorts, but how was directing a feature different? What did you enjoy the most about directing this film? What did you enjoy the least? What were difficulties of directing (child actor) in his first feature film? 
I think the difficulties evolve. I remember at one point of the film the biggest thing was to find Eusebio´s car, which was a very specific car, a Fiat Fiorino, and many times I really thought we were´t going to get it because it was very difficult to find one and find someone who would just rented for a few days. But then we finally found one and suddenly we were 3 days away from shooting at the airport but still didn´t have any permits so that became the next problem. I think there were many little difficulties but nothing that couldn´t be solved. What I love about shooting a feature film as opposed to a short film is that you shoot for so many more days. The feeling of constantly getting up to go shoot, to go do something you love, is the best. In short films, you shoot for three days and then the whole thrill is over. You´re just so much more immersed with a feature. It is so draining but so satisfying, I love it. There´s nothing I didn´t enjoy the least, I really love every moment of filmmaking, we did shoot in Eusebio´s house for five days which would get pretty tiring, not seeing the light of day, spaces were tight, the movie´s vibe is so silent that the air on set would get pretty dense, but in the end I remember everything with a smile. Working with a child actor is great, kids have their imagination so vivid that they are simply the best actors, it´s just a matter of establishing that acting is a game, that he is just ¨playing¨ the role of Joaquin, that as soon as he hears cut he is back to being himself and all the things that happened to Joaquin in the movie are not a part of him. So after that is clear, you tell the kid the story, how it really is, and he will get into the world without even thinking about it.

4.  Why did you make this film? 
Because I had to. I have to make films, it´s what keeps me alive, it´s what gets me high. I have to fight for what makes me want to be here, I would´t be able to live if I didn´t make movies. I don´t mean it in a suicidal way, I just mean that I would´t be able to really live without making them. But I don´t really think about it. It just happens. Out of impulse, out of desire, I have to make films, and it was the right moment to make this one.

5. What's next? I know you're planning another film after post and distribution of "El Limpiador," but what is your next project about? How is it different from "El Limpiador?"
I´d rather not disclose too much information about my next film yet. But yes, I have another film that we´re looking to make.

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