Interview with Jorge Dorado
"A film for the world" Jorge Dorado defines his first feature "Mindscape", which has helped him to get a Goya nomination for Best New Director, which is always a success. Some say it's luck or fate, but it is not the case with Jorge, for whom success is based primarily on fighting for what you want.
- What skills do you consider essential to be a good manager?
It is very important to have a way with people, leadership skills and know how to lead a whole team, and that all these people perceive what you say you say it with certainty and clarity. Although shooting is about working in group, the final decisions are always made by a single person, and that one must be firm in what he does and that is what makes it work.
- Do you like planning or improvising?
In my case, I prefer to work on paper and keep things very clear. I am more in favor of table work, organization and, occasionally, improvisation at a certain time.
- You claim that the shooting of Mindscape has been learning experience for you, what have you learned and what has it brought you (as a director) Mindscape shooting?
I already had a lot of experience in shorts and advertising. Actually, not much distinguishes the filming of a short from a feature film, it is only duration that changes, but there is no big difference. I've learned in terms of narrative, i.e., as moving ideas from paper to screen, which in terms of duration, is new to me as a 90-minute film is not the same as a short, in which the story is much more condensed. It has helped me a lot to know which parts of the shoot were more important so that the assembly could work. As Jaume has been for me a kind of creative producer, a wildcard, someone who was there to fix my doubts, my questions and somehow make the shoot more effective.
- Mindscape is your first film, how was the project born and what did inspire you?
The project was born in Los Angeles out of a script previously written by an American minister. What I liked the most was that I found in it many ideas that were also in my previous short films ( half-truths, hiding, two-faced characters, etc) and I thought it was very good material for my work, to whom I could contribute a lot. I think for a movie director it is very important to feel related to the material he is going to- work with, because it is a story you are going to tell the world and you have to have some social responsibility.
- You have worked with leading directors like Guillermo del Toro or Almodóvar, in what ways has it affected the way you work and make movies?
The truth is that I am self-taught, but I have noticed how they do. Neither Peter nor Guillermo have never told me how to do things or have set guidelines for me, but I can tell you that thanks to them I've learned to lose some fear. Moreover, it has not been a kind of teacher-student learning, it’s been about observing them, for example how they deal with certain situations, some scenes, etc.
- Your first film has been shot outside Spain, what factors led you to decide going to the U.S.?
Basically struggling to make my first film, something very complicated for a new director, either here or anywhere in the world. I had long been trying to build a project but I couldn’t, not that it’s easier in Los Angeles, but it is the first market and different. Also my friend Luiso Berdejo had to do with my decision, who had previously gone there and managed to make a movie. Luiso showed my shorts to his manager (there in America is very important to have a manager) and he loved them, and that gave me a lot of strength to go there and have a go.
- According to the latest data published by the ICAA, Spanish shootings have dropped 28% in relation to the previous year and Spanish films have lost up to 1.4 million viewers, as a professional filmmaker, what do you think are the reasons of this crisis the Spanish cinema is going through and what measures could be taken to improve this situation?
I would say it is due to a combination of factors. Firstly, cultural 21% VAT , which has influenced much, the economic crisis that we are living, which has led to the closure of many rooms as people go less to the movies because of ticket prices, but it also has much to do with piracy and technological advances; it is now much easier to access to contents quickly. I do not think it is due to only one factor, in fact, if the VAT decreased to 4%, improvements would be noticeable but I do not think that is the only solution to the crisis of Spanish cinema.
- This crisis seems to flood Spanish cinema, from your point of view is the crisis due to intellectual level (directors, screenwriters, ideas, etc.) or is it economic?
I do not think it's a problem of ideas or themes, but making movies for impulse. That is, one must know the movie and know the target audience. Here films are made by impulse. It is very important to know the aim of a movie, to have a strategic plan and to know what you’re the target audience is: i.e., to determine what the move is aimed to, and that's something Spanish cinema does not do. Here we just make movies because someone has an idea and wants to tell it, so it is shows in the romms but it is not well-positioned. It's a marketing problem because art, and therefore the film is also a product and should be positioned as such.
- After the successful debut of the film "Mindscape", belonging to the horror genre, tell us the way you would like to continue your career, would you like to go on with horror or are you open to other genres?
I like thrillers and it is a genre that I feel very comfortable with because it supports many options and I would like to continue with it, but perhaps I would like to give it a more down to earth approach, not fantasy. I'm not closed to any other genre yet but I can’t think for example, of making a comedy.
- Tell us about your start in advertising, was it a way of livelihood or do you have a real interest in the world of advertising?
I love advertising because for me it is a great mental exercise that I think any filmmaker should ever experience in life. We must keep in mind that in an ad you have to tell a story in seconds, and that is a great mental and synthesis effort. Moreover, it has not meant a way of survival for me, but rather a way to be active and keep in touch with the audiovisual world, because between one film and another might pass 1 or 2 years, and making advertising is not the same as making a short or a movie, it keeps you active professionally and allows you to work with the latest technology in terms of cameras, sound equipment and installation.
- Many associations are currently emerging (CIMA, Theater Violet) demanding a greater role for women in the audiovisual sector and that somehow denounces this discrimination. Is this situation real in this sector?
I do not think there is such discrimination. It is talent what matters.. It is true that there is a certain sexism in some technical departments such as cameras, but because it is not an area sought after by women and it is true that there has been a rejection. Directing is a road of thorns, but there's no discrimination, you have to be a fighter, it is not worth to make a movie and go out to complain that no one produces it, but the important thing is to more and keep looking for, and to fight for what you want.