It's a special day dear readers. Two weeks ago, and after 10 months of finishing shooting, I realeased (vía YouTube) my very first work as filmmaker. Today, the shortfilm has been successfully subtitled in english for all of you to watch. It's a horror story, it's filmed in Xalapa, Veracruz and it's something I want the whole world to watch.
But, I'd like to share with all of you, moviepilot followers and creators, the great oddissey that making a shorfilm is. Since I was a kid I have wanted to be a film director, and 19 years had to pass since I was born so I could finally find the strenght to take a story to the screens, and if maybe it is in deed way more difficult than it looks in all the behind-scenes we watch in TV, I can also declare is more exciting.
I had a time where I started reading all the books that my father had in his horror collection, and one of those days, I found a very particular one called "Espejo de Tinta". A spanish collection of short scary stories written by non-famous but very important spanish journalists and writers. Although even today it's for quite difficult to just pick one of those stories as my favorite, I have to say that "Si Tú Me Dices Ven" was the one I always pictured as a potential shortfilm. It's written by Antonio Mñoz Molina (Príncipe de Asturias Winner).
I guess that the thing that really marked me was that, deep inside, this was a story of a scaried man, living a very trubled night alone in a room, but always motivated by love to keep waiting for his lover. Is love such a powerful reason to stand a full night of insomnia and ghosts? It's the kind of situations you have to experience to be able to answer.
On May 8th of 2014, I finished the script, and in less than a month, the production was about to start. I found my leading actor in my day job -I work in a cinema-, Luis Bautista, a brave young man who said "I would do it without problem, if you run out of time to find someone else", and I did.
Start of production was set for the night of May 30th, and a day before, I hadn't found a woman to play the ghost that troubles Guzmán -the name of the main character-, so you can imagine how stressed I was. The room was borrowed, the cameras were hired, everything ready except for the woman in the shadows.
Fortunately, my photography director, Pablo Estrada, linked me via Facebook to Alicia Medea, a woman who he had seen previously in different kinds of performances and thought she would be ready in less than 24 hours. Today, I can't imagine other person in the part of the phantom, her body, her hair, everything was perfect in her to create a dark, both attractive and misterious paranormal presence in that room.
With Parabox, we started filming in Xalapa around 9 o'clock, the exterior sequences were done first, because the Hotel Mexico hadn't allowed us to shoot inside, so I had to bribe the nightwatcher for keeping his mouth shut and let us work. It's strange, but now that I remember, in the whole night, none of us of the crew, saw any other guest of the hotel in the hallways.
At 3 am, the main sequences were finished, but I totally forgot who was gonna play the husband in the phonecall scene, so my brilliant assistant Alfredo Hernández offered himself to do it. His beard was just perfect. Almost accidentally, a lot of thing helped me to create this story. I don't how it would have been without those little curves of faith.
So everyone left the place -a hotel that has been in Xalapa for almost 70 years- at 4 am, and I decided to stay to sleep in there. I'm telling this for the first time: After I remained alone in that room, I started to hear someone coughing in the bathroom. Everytime louder, and louder... and I fell asleep.
Are we ever really alone? Do the Any time you're really alone? Does the stormy memories and longed presences not count as company? Guzman fidgets in his hotel room, but as the night progresses and loneliness increases, you will discover a strange presence that awaits along with him.
Ghosts do not hide under the bed, hide in the darkness of your mind.