Interview with director IGNACIO RODÓ

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

I’ve always loved telling and writing stories. When I found cinema many years ago, it was love at first sight. After my first short film, a really amateur production, I just knew I’d found my blessing and my curse: I knew I wouldn’t be able to change careers at that moment.

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

What I think is essential is to film, as much as you can, in as many projects as you can. That way you can experiment and fail. And the more you fail, the more you learn. Theory is great, but until you don’t practice, you don’t really start to learn.

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

Accept failure is hard. We’re very used to get things kinda easily. To most filmmakers, it takes many tries to do something good. Learning and growing is a part of that process. Accepting your mistakes, owning them, and standing up again for the next project.

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

Patience and listening. Patience, because everything in the movie business happens much slower than you’d like. Listening, because if you have a good cast and crew, your projects become much better if you listen to everybody’s ideas and needs.

  • 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?

This film was written by Sergio Sarrión, the leading role. He wanted to shoot it with his colleague Xeui Jiménez, and they came to us. We thought the script had potential and we started working with them in turning it into much more than just a scene.

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

As the script was a one location scene of 12 pages, the most important for me was the blocking. So I made a technical choreography that involved shooting 40 different shots in 10 hours. So we had to be very fast when shooting, which is not the best way to get everything you want right.

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

You have to make your team feel it’s their project too. I like to think of directing as leading a group of friends who are equally excited about the same project.

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

There are two ways to think about that. You can do whatever you want and you’ll probably find some audience that likes that. We are, after all, 7 billion people in the world. Or you can create from your heart, doing what you feel, but thinking while you do it, in how the audience will react, and try to work for them.

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

If there’s something I love as much as cinema, it’s travelling. Film festival have given me the amazing opportunity to travel with my work, and meet fascinating people around the world. In the internet age, people question film festivals, but there is something about meeting with other filmmakers and artists that is very special and magical. I always come back from festivals truly inspired, wanting to shoot something new.

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

It’s a combination, I’d say. Nothing is original. All stories have been told. But… your prism is unique. There’s only one of you in the world. So you can find a way to tell the same old stories in a fresh and original approach.

TOMASITO (Tommy) | Spain | 2017 | 12’
Cinematographer: LAURA CACCIA
Synopsis: Firing someone is an easy task. Unless that person has been in the company for 12 years, has a flawless CV and his name is Tommy.