Pro čtenáře preferující originál před překladem přinášíme anglickou neupravenou verzi rozhovoru
s kolumbijským režisérem Juanem Felipem Orozco.Obitus: AT FIRST, YOU ARE A NEWBIE ON THE FIELD OF HORROR MOVIES, SO PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF.
Juan Felipe: I studied graphic design at a local university in Medellin, Colombia, called Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana. I started shooting short films as a hobbie when I was eleven (11) years old and I always have been a big fan of movies and specially those in the western culture tradition of the film industry. The main influence for me as director is the VCR generation, because I´m 28 years old now (1978) and grew up watching movies in the VCR format, so it was our main influence to make movies, all that tradition and experience, it was our school, when I was kid and together with Luis Otero (cinematography director of At the End of the Spectra) and Esteban Orozco (my brother and co - writer of the script and composer of the score of At the End of the Spectra) used to watch hours of movies, it was our greatest passion and we liked directors as James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis and so on, but we also got in touch with the horrror movies through popular magazines as FANGORIA and many hours of watching thriller and horror movies in the stream of directors as Peter Jackson, Sam Raimi, films of Roger Corman, as many of the big classics as The Shining, Carrie, The Omen or The Exorcist.
O: AS FAR AS I KNOW, AL FINAL DEL ESPECTRO IS THE FIRST COLOMBIAN HORROR EVER AND IT’S ALSO YOUR FIRST MOVIE. WAS IT YOUR DREAM TO MAKE A HORROR MOVIE, OR WAS IT JUST A COINCIDENCE?
JF: Just before At the End of the Spectra, a Colombian Director, Jairo Pinilla (a b – series film director in Colombia) had tried with thrillers and horror with low budget movies in the 70´s, which was a first attempt to make genre films in our country. At the End of the Spectra is perhaps the first Colombian movie which follows the psicological horror mainstream of films as Sixth Sense, The Others or Dark Water.
I´m a big fan of horror movies, but I do not think on it as my favorite genre; it was just a coincidence to initiate my carreer as film director making a movie in this genre, but I really enjoyed it too much and I tried to make a film very respectfull with this genre, with a high artistic, narrative and technic quality and, at the same time, making a tribute to my favorite films.
O: YOU WROTE “AL FINAL DEL ESPECTRO” TOGETHER WITH YOUR YOUNGER BROTHER CARLOS. WHO CAME FIRST WITH THE IDEA OF THE MOVIE AND WHERE DID THE IDEA COME FROM?
JF: As a matter of Fact, the first plot of the script was an original idea of Juan Pablo Aristizábal (Director Assistant), Germán Garcés (Editor) and me, when we decided to make a film about phobias, a very scary movie, claustrophobic and using CCTV and webcams… then, I started to write a script along with Juan Pablo and my brother Esteban Orozco, but a year after starting the writing we felt that the script needed to be improved so we decided to Start from just the very beggining and my brother Esteban Orozco had the initiative to lead the writing of the new script with the same characters but a new plot. Then, when we had the treatment, we started to work together (Esteban and me) and spent two months writing the final draft. Esteban is a great writer, has an enourmus understanding about rythms, narrative and he has an extraordinary creativity.
O: THE TRAILER FOR YOUR MOVIE HAS PRETTY CREEPY ATMOSPHERE, IT SEEMS THAT YOU’RE INFLUENCED BY ASIAN GHOST FLICKS, AM I RIGHT?
JF: We inspired in many different movies, as in terms of images as in the narrative structure. The Asian movies showed that there were other ways to get people scared, other worlds, different scenarios, different atmospheres, different colours to the Hollywood tradition, but which could be universal too. We looked for our proper referents in the Latinamerican pop – culture, something which is not very known abroad, something never seen before. In our country and Latinamerica there is a long tradition that mixes the catholic tradition with pagan rituals as witchcraft, so we decided to show a horror movie with such an atmosphere and achieving our goal to get the proper temperature of the colour and a different look apart from the Hollywood tradition, something between cold and hot colours.
O: YOU ARE A PRODUCER, DIRECTOR, CO-WRITER AND YOU ALSO WROTE MUSIC WITH YOUR BROTHER. WHICH OF THESE ROLES DID YOU ENJOY MOST AND WHY?
JF: I´ve always thinked of myself more as director than anything else: it´s my favorite roll, though I also enjoy writing and producing films. I´m the kind of people who has a new idea about a film each week and I know I won´t direct every movie I can imagine. I think that the production process let you leaving your ideas to other directors, avoiding that these ideas loose because of the lack of time.
Regarding to music I must say that my brother and me have been always amateurs musicians since we were childs, we´ve played in some rock bands and we have an enterprise called Mantarraya Studios of music design. However, we really didn´t to create the music of our film, cause we´re not professional musicians, but we couldn´t find anyone who could express what we wanted to: we didn´t want to create an orchestral soundtrack, but we neither wanted to make a composition of a rock soundtrack or electronic music, we wanted to create an atmosphere, full of sounds and noises that fuses with the story, that couldn´t be felt by the spectator, that be a part of the narrative structure and actings, something very dark. We know that it had to be composed by us, so I decided to take the lead in the mix process and some part of the composition, but the main work was from my brother, Esteban.
O: IT’S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET MONEY FOR A MOVIE IN OUR COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY A HORROR ONE. WHERE DID YOU TAKE MONEY FOR SHOOTING?
JF: In Colombia it´s strongly hard to get money to finance movies, because we don´t have a film industry and there are no many private investors who want to put their resources in movies because of the lack of a tradition of movies here. Anyway, our Government is promoting a film industry through a new Film Law launched three years ago, and we had experimented an eclosion of new films (we had nearly zero films four years ago and in 2006 will be launched almost 10 Colombian Films), with monetary awards and tax break benefits for those who invest in Colombian Films, so now investors are more confident in this new industry and exhibitors here are more confident too, but things are still more difficult here than in other countries with a developed film industry, as U.S.A. or India. In Colombia, in the recent years, there are almost five films that yearly get into international distribution and at least one overpass the one million spectators in Colombia, which is good in our country where the average spectators amount per year is about 20 million persons and where the films range their budgets between 300.000 and 1.000.000 Euros.
O: WE WERE TALKING ABOUT INFLUENCE OF ASIAN CINEMA. NOW TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE HORROR FLICKS OF ALL TIME.
JF: It´s a little bit difficult to choose a film, because I´ve seen many movies and I like the most, but The Shining is for me one of the best thriller – horror film I have ever seen. Just recently I could watch The Innocents in DVD format, a great classic which I liked too much.
O: Alejandro Ángel wrote on STUDNA.net, that there’s a possibility of remake of “Al final Del Espectro”. If there are any news about this project, please share them with us.
JF: At this moment we are working together with Roy Lee, a great film producer, who made The Ring, Dark Water, The Grudge, among others. He recently launched The Departed, directed by Martin Scorssese. We are working on the script with a great American script writer and we´re casting high top actors. We´re on the development stage, but we´ll tell you more news about this topic soon.
O: Talking about remakes, what do you think about this Hollywood wave of remakes?
JF: I used to feel myself a litle unconfortable about the idea of remakes, because you as an author try to protect the identity of your own projects and the original vision, but I also think that there are stories that must be opened and being casted to the general audience and let the autor to be known, and you must be awared that sometimes it´s necesary to make adaptations to an specific audience, specially in terms of the language, because I really prefer a remake than a dubbed film. I also think that original versions usually lack of the quality the authors expected of, so the chance to remake a film with a bigger budget is ideal. I also like to watch the vision that different authors make about the same movie: the japanese version of The Ring (Ringu) is very dark, very indi, and extremely rustical and agresive, as the Verbinsky´s version is very stilysed, with an incredible sthetic; both tells the same story, but both are great and different; I couldn´t choose the best between them, but it was a great decition that the remake could be made.
O: Are there any recent horror movies and directors you really enjoy? Why?
JF: I really enjoyed the original version of Dark Water by Hideo Nakata. Since a long time ago I had not seen a horror movie that I liked as much as I did with this. I also like Alejandro Amenábar, though I really don´t know if The Others could be classified as Horror, but one of the greatest revelations of the recent years is Chan – Wook Park: his films are not necessarily horror movies, but his preference for violence, bizarre stories and, at the same time, fine and exquisite tendency to make esthetic films make him one of the best contemporary directors.
O: It’s often difficult for a Czech fan to get a foreign movie that didn’t make it to worldwide distribution. Will “Al Final Del Espectro” be distributed worldwide on DVD? When?
JF: We are currently working together with Lumina Films from U.K, and they´re in charge of the international distribution sells in theatrical, T.V. and DVD releases, so we expect to show our film in the Czech Republic around the summer of 2007 and the DVD to be launched in the winter.