Entrevista a la directora de "The Day Before The Day"

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Entrevista a la directora de "The Day Before The Day"

Mensaje  HonestlyOK el Mar Dic 09, 2008 12:21 pm

Esta es la primera de una serie de entrevistas con los directores de los diferentes cortometrajes que acompañan cada canción del nuevo álbum de Dido.
La primera entrevistada es Cristiana Miranda que nos cuenta cómo se filmó el video para The Day Before The Day, la historia de los protagonistas que son reales y la vida que viven, entre otras cosas
Arrow

Hello Cristiana. How did you get involved with the SafeTripHome.com films project?
I'm a director at a company in London called Knucklehead. I'm 25 and only started directing when I was 23. I worked as a receptionist at Knucklehead before this, but then I did a little film for the Discovery Channel about Dita von Teese, the Burlesque artist. Anyway, we have a representative for music videos and when he got the proposal from Sony he thought it was completely up my street, so he sent it over to me. But he actually sent me the English pitch, not the Mediterranean one. I thought, given that I'm Portugese, it would be great to do the Mediterranean one. And that's what eventually happened. The second I heard the track it clicked instantly, because it really feels a lot like this tradition of Portuguese songs that we have called fado. They're very melancholic, deep, emotional songs that mostly talk about you surviving pain or having to deal with pain but carrying on. It's such a powerful track with such a powerful subject that I just thought, "Wow this is a great opportunity to do something quite emotional".

Obviously death is very much at the centre of the track. Would you say that death is at the centre of your film?
I wouldn't say specifically death, it's more the feeling of loss. That's why I didn't choose to shoot anything directly related to death. I think the track reflects very much this feeling that you get from the fado. Death's there, it's almost like a ghost, but you overcome it. That's why in the track she says, "Clocks will carry on". I felt that was the most important thing of the track. It's very dark and it's obviously about death, but there's an undertone of survival that appealed to me and that was what I wanted to get in the film. It was this sense of we deal with pain, we live in pain, but we survive and we're proud of it.

Were you given free reign to hear the song and do what you want with it?
Absolutely. I keep saying to people, projects like this don't come very often. It was purely down to your instinct of what the song makes you feel and how you'd like to tell a story about this. In my mind I automatically wanted to talk about fishermen. Growing up close to the sea I always watched fishermen, and admired them. They have such an authentic expression of having a hard life. It's in their faces and the way they're burnt by the sun and the way they look at the sea. So I thought that just linked perfectly. The only brief was the theme of home: what is home to you and what is home to someone who you'd do this film about? And I thought it was perfect because fishermen have two homes: they have the home that they live in with their family and then they have their other home, the sea, which they respect and admire. So I tried to show both, and how different they are in their lives, but how similar at the same time.

Your film does seem to tie into the lyrics, even though it's about something different.
I chose this theme - the fishermen - because I knew it would link. I knew that I would get the images to reflect the feelings I think Dido's trying to portray in the song. Obviously I'm slightly manipulating the song to fit to my subjects as well. But once you see them together - the song and the film - they can tell a story. It's not a specific story, it's quite vague. I wanted to keep it that way because I think the hero in the song and the hero in the film is the feeling, is that feeling. It's not the fisherman, it's not the boy and in the song it's not the person that dies that she's talking about, it's the feeling that she's communicating. So that's why I kept it slightly distant. Even in the way I shot it, I never went very tight or very close.

When you watch it, you're aware it's very beautiful and very nicely shot, then you start to realise that something bad appears to have happened, that people are in mourning.
I hope people will want to go back and watch it again. You kind of want to understand the emotion you felt when you saw it. Did I connect with the people? Did I connect with the place? Or was it something that kind of disturbed me because it is obviously sad? And that is my point. I don't want to give you answers, I want to give you a challenge. I based it on a Portuguese word that's saudade. It's a very specific word that only exists in Portuguese. It kind of means "longing for". It's sort of a nostalgic feeling, but you can't really explain it. It's something that you mourn about and then you long for, but at the same time it's something that you've loved and that you look back and you still take some pleasure from. So when I thought of this film I thought that's the feeling I want to capture, even though it's quite a difficult thing to explain.

There is a sort of beautiful sadness about your film. It's emotional without forcing it down your throat.
Exactly. That was always my objective. And I like to keep questions open. I'm a big admirer of David Lynch and directors like that - they give you a lead or a dream and then you can walk away from it and make your own narrative.

You call the film Fisherman - as opposed to Fishermen.
Well, obviously there is a tale there of this young man. My reason to put him there was because there's something slightly whimsical about the film and when you're trying to shoot things from a perspective of a younger person I think it's easier to make it more dreamy. And I also really wanted to show that there's a gap in the generations. You obviously see he's much younger than everyone else. He's a real-life fisherman - people keep asking me if he's a model or an actor. He is the last of the young fishermen. Once he's gone there'll be no one left to replace him. His kids are not going to be fishermen any more. And again, it's that sense of nostalgia that I wanted to transmit. It is also a dying tradition that I was trying to portray. Also it was very important for me from a cultural point of view to try to be as faithful to what the fishermen do and to who they are as people and to try to film them in the most honest way. Because I didn't want to dramatise, I just wanted to report, but to give it that emotional setting.

He does look like a Hollywood leading man.
I know. When I met the young fisherman, I thought, "This is going to be quite difficult because you look like a Calvin Klein model! People won't believe in me". But when he dressed as a fisherman you could tell he was a fisherman, because he knows what he's doing - it's his life. His father was amazing too. We called him the Clint Eastwood of the fishermen because he's just got this wonderful look and his eyes are so strong.

Did you have to spend a lot of time on a boat?
Yes. We followed them on their typical days because they obviously couldn't stop working for us. We went out fishing and spent five or six hours with them. They go out and don't come back until they find fish. So once you get on the boat there's no coming back. It was an amazing experience because the sea was incredibly rough. We couldn't shoot anything on a long lens because my DP [Director of Photography] was getting very, very sick. It was the most phenomenal experience because it was very rough. You begin to understand how dangerous it is and how much effort they put into it. And that anxiety - they go out to the sea and they need to bring fish back, it's their meal ticket. When they come back they shut down the lights in the boat and you're just travelling back for hours. There's the sky above and there's nothing else but the ocean. And all the fish look like this beautiful silver sea in the boat. It really was an amazing experience. I'm very grateful to the fishermen for allowing us to be part of that.

How did you find the women who are in the film?
We kind of kidnapped people in the streets! I would see someone and say, "I'm so sorry would you mind coming in and I'll film you for two seconds". It was hard work, because they're actually very nice, happy, friendly people. So I would have to tell my DP, "I don't want to be unprofessional, but I'm just going to turn my back and shut up and you just film them quietly, because if I keep looking at them they're just going to keep talking and we can't have that". But the second they stop they have a natural sad expression. And that comes from generations, because these people did grow up seeing their families going to the sea. It used to be quite heavy for them, because the sea there is very rocky and dangerous. Once the boats were out at sea they would sometimes be at the beach looking far away and they would see the boats getting completely smashed by the waves, without them being able to do anything. So I think there is a cultural grief that's been passed down. It's not very present but once you look at their faces, it's there and no one can take it away.

So are you pleased with how your film turned out?
Absolutely. It was a stunning experience. I'm very grateful that Dido came up with this concept because I think the way music videos are going nowadays, it's often not very interesting. But she really picked up on the fact that people get emotionally connected to her music and these films are a brilliant idea to extend that emotion and that trade of feelings.

Have the fishermen seen it?
They have! I went to Portugal recently and sat down with them and watched it. It was the scariest experience I've ever had because I know they're so honest. If there was something bad about it they would definitely tell me. But it was so gratifying because they were very pleased with it. They felt that I didn't lie. They said, "You didn't try to make us look happy when we weren't not happy and you didn't try to make us look sad or more sad than we are. You just portrayed the truth of our lives." They're very humble, but they were incredibly giving and it just comes across. It was a very emotional, human experience to watch it with them. They don't understand English, so they don't understand the lyrics, but they all said the music was so beautiful and really matched the film. For them to say that there's clearly a connection, an emotional connection. There's no better response than that.

Now we just need the Calvin Klein scouting people to come and find your fisherman.
Ha! Actually, his father said to me at the end, "Can you take him to England?" I said, "I think that's kidnapping!" But if there's any chance of him being scouted I'd be incredibly happy. He was such a nice person and such a beautiful human being that it would be a beautiful twist of fate if someone should pick him up.
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