Hiscox Filmmaker Blog – Vainilla
One day, I remembered my last conversation with a deceased familiar. It was a silly theme of conversation, but it was going to be, forever, our last conversation… so, all of a sudden, it became one of the most important moments in my life. And then, “Vainilla” was born.
How do you relate to your characters or subjects?
All of the characters in “Vainilla” are part of me. I’m a bit of Gustave Flaubert: “Irene c´est moi”, “Maca c´est moi”, “Pablo c´est moi”…
What aspect of the story changed the most during writing and production?
The introduction changed. It was different in the script: it all began in a different way. In the script we saw the story that Concha narrates in the first sequence. But during the shooting of Concha´s monologue I realized that the actress was doing a great job, so I took the decision of keep the monologue in full. Her face showed all the emotions I wanted, it was the perfect beginning.
What influenced the visual style of your film?
Maybe watching “Vainilla” you can´t see the influence, but I love the work of an American photographer called Stephen Shore. There´s also the films by Terence Davies (“The deep blue sea” specially), a Spanish film called “Loreak”… All of them capture the loneliness of their characters in oppressive, but esthetic, interiors.
What was the most courageous decision you or your crew made during writing and production?
We had an small budget, so… every decision was courageous!
Were there any risks that you faced during writing/production and how did you find a way to embrace them?
As a director, the more important risk I faced it was to make interesting a long conversation with people just seated during a long time. But I was lucky to work with a group of great actors and I quickly realized that I was getting the rhythm I wanted just with looking at their faces and their emotions.
What risks does your story take?
All the sad emotions that our main character travels trough in the last sequences of “Vainilla” are told with no dialogue… just with our actress ´face. But… what a face! I love Irene Anula´s gaze: the most beautiful gift she could make me at the ending of “Vainilla”.
How would you encourage others to tell their story or manage through the process of screen writing or film producing?
Nowadays it´s very easy to produce a film with a very small budget… but maybe, it´s not so easy to have something interesting to say. So go find your own story and, also, your special way of telling that story. And listen, listen, listen… sometimes your crew has the answers to your problems.