FATHER/DAUGHTER FILM REPORT’S First Thursdays Film Festival Selection & Interview: JUANJO JARO
Written by: Alyssa | February 1st, 2019
Hello…! We are David & Amanda, also known as the Father/Daughter Film Report & would like to share with you some of the best films seen and screenplays read from all the film festivals we have covered, the submissions we have received & those “accidentally” found…
Here is an interview with Juanjo Jaro whose film below, “30 Minutes with Laura” is one of the best films we saw in 2018. We were honored to hook up with him to ask a few questions, and he has graciously allowed us to share this wonderful film with all our readers..check it out:
30 Minutes with Laura
1. What outside event or person moved you into the film industry?
I’ve always enjoyed cinema and writing stories. I wondered what it would be like to turn these stories into images, so I started helping other filmmakers in their projects while learning from them. This made me feel confident enough to make my first short film “Oneiric”.
What skills are needed in writing film that are different than other careers/jobs you have pursued?
I do graphic design for living and I think both disciplines —cinema and design—, have a strong creative component. However, in cinema I had to learn to visualize movements, to tell a story that is going to be enacted by others and in a live format, absolutely different from paper. In a design you represent feelings in one or many images, but it’s your hand moving on the paper. In cinema you need to write them down so that others can show those feelings you imagine.
Who are the filmmakers who have influenced your work & in what way?
I must say I don’t know if there’s any director’s influence in my style, actually. I really admire directors who are specialized in fantastic cinema, such as Michael Bay or J.J. Abrahms, but I don’t feel I have enough experience to resemble them in my works. Maybe with the use of lens flare… (laugh). More than directors, I focus my incluence on genres: action, science-fiction, suspense…
How have making films changed you personally as a human being?
I’ve always been a person who respects the others and very cooperative, so cinema boosts all this. You’re surrounded by a group of people who trust in your idea, they are going to sacrifice their time and efforts for you… therefore, I must be even more respectful and treat my crew as if they were my own family. So, more than a change, it has been an improvement of what I consider vital virtues.
What were you trying to achieve in 30 minutes with Laura before making it?
I came up with the short film story thanks to its own title. One day I had a date with Laura and she said “I only have 30 minutes”, so I answered “30 minutes with Laura worth it”. That sentence made my head spin and I started writing a script based on a cheating game; I wanted to tell the public a story but do it in a surprising way, so they couldn’t imagine what was going on. I created this uncertainty from the very promotional poster and we kept a great part of the shooting in secret, so the audience would be shocked at the cinema.
What was achieved unexpectedly in 30 minutes with Laura after making it?
Until now, nobody knows what is going on during the story and end up open-mouthed when they discover the surprise. In the different festivals we see the same feeling among people: what’s happening? Why is the actor doing so wrong? Did they forget the restaurant’s ambient sound environment? And, when the end comes they finally say “Oh, my God, now I understand everything”.
What do you feel is the future of film making?
I think that some film industry has currently entered into a spiral of remakes, teen movies… and that’s not good. There are so many great works who deserve an adaptation, great new stories that could become wonderful films! But they tend to cover their backs and make sure cinemas are full of people. I understand that, in the end it’s about their money, but I don’t share the same idea and I believe the future is in platforms, such as Netflix —which is producing very varied and original contents and giving a chance to projects which have been rejected or ignored by film industry.
What advice would you give one who is entering the film industry?
When I showed the script from “30 Minutes with Laura” to several filmmakers, some of them told me to remove the entire final scene, after the surprise. But I didn’t do it, because I truly thought it would work —and it does! —. The audience told me it was amazing and said it was “incredible, like a scene from a film or series”. So, here’s my tip: get a piece of advice from experienced ones, but don’t let your idea to be affected. If you make a short film about spaceships and you ask for opinion to someone who doesn’t like that genre, this person will tell you to change things. Make your own film and let the audience decide. Oh, and never forget the audience! If you make a film for the little public, then don’t complain if the general public doesn’t like it; be consequent. And the most important thing: your crew means everything; without them you’re nothing more than a guy with an idea.
What advice would you give yourself back when you were starting out in film?
I would give myself a lot of technical advice but, most of all, I would encourage myself to do a more challenging, difficult cinema. Something that nobody has ever dared to do in the region I live in.
What did you learn about yourself by being in this industry?
I started my first short film to see if I was capable to tell stories on screen. I learned I am and that I enjoy doing it!
Anything you want to add that I haven’t asked about?
It’s been a very cool interview and I’m really grateful to you for contacting me and for your words about my short film… oh, and thank you Ana for translating all this. I had to do it: my crew means everything for me 😉
– Amanda & David Bryant Perkins