TO SHOOT GUERRILLA STYLE YOU NEED TO WRITE GUERRILLA SCRIPTS: Exclusive Interview with Luis Cerezo, director of C@staways
A couple of weeks ago I received an email from Luis Cerezo, a guerrilla filmmaker from Spain, inviting me to write a post about the internet release of his movie N@ufragos (C@staways). I told him, why you don't send me the movie and maybe I can write a review about it.
I saw the movie, it's so interesting that I offer him to show it through this blog, it's about a group of people that show their intimacy in the internet for money without realizing that they are about to lose control of their own lives. So this Friday the 13tht, for the first time, Guerrilla Filmmaking will air in exclusive, Luis Cerezo's film, only for 10 days. I'm writing the review that would be ready for the day of the premiere.
As part of this event I interviewed Luis and this is what he said about the process of doing this film with $40,000 and more than 100 locations:
GF: How you developed the idea of the film?
LC: I decided to make a film so I spent the whole summer writing a script that I didn't liked it. One night I went to my bed and I said to myself "you're gonna be here until you have a great idea". I start thinking about snuff movies, I imagine how would that be in real time, I imagine people getting together to do atrocities and people watching it online.
GF: How you convinced the talent and the crew to work for free?
LC: Oh! I offer to divide the profit of the film equally among everybody. The crew was conformed for recent graduates from film school, their experience was running around with coffee in biggest sets, so this was an opportunity to do something more challenging.
GF: What was your gear?
LC: a Sony PD150 a couple of Sennheiser mics and webcams. I want to explore with different textures before HD kicked in. Now it just took over.
GF:How did you get the money to do the film?
LC: I sold my house. My great grandfather lose all his estate gambling and then killed himself. It runs in the family.
GF: How's is treating you the audience and the critics?
LC: The people from "The show biz" are always nagging about common mistakes from a first time filmmaker. Some people complained about the quality of the images from the webcams. That’s just a few people the rest of viewers really enjoy the film and the risk of doing a movie like this.
GF: There are tons of locations, How did you manage?
LC: We created a Location Team that was all over the city riding motorcycles. We paid for some of the locations, like the Parking Garage and the Restroom in the final scene, it was a big chunk of the budget. There are over 100 locations in this movie, I think I used the houses, offices, spaces... of all my friends. I also used images from people connected to the internet through their cameras, those count as locations as well?
GF: How long was the shooting and under what circumstances?
LC: It took 8 weeks and it was just madness. The crew used to come to my house to plan the day around 3 or 4 in the morning. Sometimes because of conflicts with locations we were shooting for 36 hours straight without sleeping. Just the actors and a few people from the crew lasted until the end.
GF: Something interesting that happened during the shooting.
LC: You named it. There's this scene between Uri and Pato, they were in the car in the middle of heavy traffic, we didn't have walkie talkies so I gave the action call through the cell phone, don't ask me how, they ended up crashing into a metropolitan bus, it was actually Pato's car, the big guy that also know wrestling... the thing is that all the crew ran away after this incident, only the two actors remained with me, Uri, because was in shock and Pato because he wanted to kill me. The crew came back after a couple of hours.
GF: What was the biggest challenge?
LC: Confront the different problems every day and remain focused after the calling of action. It's difficult when you're stealing shoots every day.
GF: What was the easiest part?
LC: Leave everything behind in order to make the film.
GF: Anything else you want to say?
C@staways was made calling a lot of favors and was a labor of love of a lot of people. To shoot guerrilla style you need to write guerrilla scripts. You need to leave your issues and your prejudice behind, you're not producing a formal project. You need to write based on what you have or you have access to, and you know what you'll always have: Actors. Write for them, they are the only one that can understand the guerrilla filmmaker because they're as insane as he is.
I don't think guerilla filmmaking is an alternative to mainstream movies, it's just an alternate way but both feed on each other. I think sometimes is stupid to make some films with those millionaires budgets, but it's stupid too trying to make Titanic with $10,000. It's a matter of resources and to move on without jeopardizing your destiny or the destiny of your film.