Interview with director Aline Romero

  • Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?

I have tried different artistic disciplines, where I ended up with an object, a painting, a sculpture, which might finish in the living room of someone. The opportunity of sharing it with a small number of people did not convince me. The film is the opposite, it is about sharing an experience and it can be
massive. The potential it has for delivering a message and generating emotions were the main characteristics that made me wish to be a filmmaker.

  • Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?

I think there is not a particular path to become a filmmaker or a successful one. Nowadays, there are plenty of options for becoming an autodidact filmmaker. In my case, I went to school because I needed structure. Sometimes it is hard to make time for the things you want to do rather than the things you need to do. So going to school forced me to take the time for it. Also, in school, you get to know other creative people and start a network, which is essential in the industry.

  • Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?

Getting started and finishing are the most difficult moments. Turning all the ideas into action, for me, is the hardest. It is like a leap of faith, but once I do it, then I know that I´ll do everything I can to finish it. Later on, when you think you are close to the finish, but new problems appear and the finish line suddenly is farther than expected, that extra effort is the hardest.

  • What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?

To lower the expectations. It happened all the way. Since we started with the animatic, we realized that we could not make a longer film. Later on, during the animation, we could not deliver a flawless, fluid motion, because we did not have the skills yet. All the time we adjusted our ideas to reality. Till the end, we just wanted to finish the film, no matter how good or bad it was. We did the best we could, with the resources, energy, knowledge, and time we had.

  • What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?

As I said we did not have much time, nor experience, or budget. So considering that (after hitting the wall many times), we managed to deliver the best we could. It was achieved thanks to the support and advice that we received. It was a mix between hearing the advice from more experienced
filmmakers, the support of friends, family, and persevere to the end.

  • What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?

Having the camera still. We did not have the time or equipment to make it different.

  • You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?

It was like flipping a coin. All the team members were random, we were the classmates from the Master in Stop Motion Animation, from the Escola de Cinema de Barcelona (ECIB). The only thing we had in common is the love for stop motion animation, slapstick, and Hitchock. Again, we did what we
could with that. But I am sure that even with the people that you know and choose, it is challenging to go through the intense experience of filming stop motion animation.

  • What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?

To feel, to empathize, to experience firsthand, to have a good time, to evade reality from time to time. I think that my role is to care about the audience, by delivering the best visual content that I can create.

  • What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?

Well, I am just starting in this business, and my film came out a few months before this pandemic situation, so I have not been able to experience the festivals. But so far, I know that festivals are a great place for showcasing your films, your work and even better for meeting brilliant people, and to
keep building the network.

  • Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?

It can be tricky to expect ourselves to be original. It can put a lot of pressure on us, so much pressure, that maybe you end up doing nothing, cause there will always be someone better and more original. Now it is worse with the social media out there, making us believe that there is a creative and brilliant army out there, producing content nonstop. For me, the aim is, to be honest. But to accomplish that, you need to find out who you are, what you like, what moves your guts, and why it is important to share that with the world.