Interview with our Best Indie Film Winner, Pedro Morata !
-What made you go into filmmaking ?
My obsession and passion for cinema made me enter this business, to put it in a general way. Since I was a child I was already very passionate about video games for example, and I have been a regular player before I became an inveterate moviegoer, until in the middle of my adolescence I began to become obsessed with the different films I watched, especially one in particular that I will comment on later. When I finished my basic studies, I decided to study a higher degree in image and sound., and currently i'm finishing a 3 year degree in filmmaking. So yeah, my passion about watching films made me interested in creating my own stories.
-What is your favorite movie, and why?
This question is very difficult for me to answer, because depending on the day I would tell you a different movie, but what is true is that when this question comes to me, there are always two specific movies that come to mind immediately, and one is the film that made me interested in cinema as it is, and other one is a very special film for me that has inspired me both as an artist and as a person. So I'm going to cheat a little bit and I'm going to say two: Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City" is the one that made me interested in cinema. The first time I saw it, it completely blew me away. All the aesthetics and dark atmosphere impressed me a lot; the shots, the characters, the story... The way it's told with that constant voice-over. It is a film that amazed me beginning to end, and it continues to amaze me today. It also made me really interested in how a movie is created, and to start searching the filmographies of the different actors in the film. From that point i continued watching films like Children of Men, 12 Monkeys, Pulp Fiction, The Wrestler or Rumble Fish among many more for example. The other one is "Drive" by Nicolas Winding Refn. I have been appreciating this film more and more over the years since I first saw it, but I was also very passionate about it from the first moment i watched it. Right from the introduction with that car chase scene in which the camera does not leave the vehicle at any time, and then the credit titles with Nightcall playing in the background. There you already know that you are going to see something special. The silences, the gazes, the dark atmosphere of the Los Angeles night and the way is shot is pure gold. It's a movie that I will never get tired of watching, and I get emotional every time I see it.
-How would you make your last script better, if you had that opportunity?
I'm not sure how I would make my latest script (Blue) better, if such a thing is possible or if my perception of better is the same as of anyone else. When writing a script, at least from my short experience, you're constantly changing things and getting feedback. In addition: what you write one day that seems wonderful to you, the next day it may seem like shit. We are constantly changing, and that is also reflected in the scripts we write, besides it is very difficult for me to set a final draft of the script because I'm constantly changing things. One day I'm happy about what i wrote but later I want to change this thing, and the other thing, and then this other thing... (And in editing is the same process more or less). Therefore, and answering the question, I think I would not do anything with the script of the short film that I wrote to make it better, I would leave it as it is, which I think is the best.
-Why did you choose that particular subject for your latest film?
This is curious because the first draft of the script was an ordinary slasher story about a girl who is alone in her house and suddenly she feels a strange presence inside the house. That presence turned out to be a disturbed acquaintance who was obsessed with her. He ended up dying at her hands at the end, leaving the girl traumatized. When I finished it, I didn't end up completely satisfied with it, so I left it there with the thought of "I'll film it one day", but the days, months and even a couple of years passed and it was still there, until it occurred to me to introduce a big twist in the story and address the issue of mental health, due to the previous two years in which I had not been at my best. It occurred to me mainly due to a phrase I heard from a writer: "The only way to be universal is to talk about what you have next to you" And this has helped me a lot because it made the story much more interesting, much more personal and much more exciting by giving it that special touch. This is something that has encouraged me to this day, to write about my own experiences and about what I see around me.
-What do you think is the most important thing to know when you start a career in screenwriting?
I think that the most important thing to keep in mind if you want to dedicate yourself professionally to writing screenplays is to have a good understanding of the work methods and the steps that need to be taken so that someone takes interest in your story. Your main objective is to attract the attention of a producer for him to finance your project, so that it sees the light of day. Well, to get there the first thing is to have a good story, one that it is well written/planned and, most importantly, that you believe in. If a producer or whoever asks you questions about your story and you don't know how to answer well, it will show that you don't know what you want to tell, and the basis of everything is to have a good story in which you believe in. A story that you really love. Then the next thing you must take into account is to familiarize yourself with the different strategies and documents that are required when selling an idea/script. It is very important to be clear about the terms of logline, storyline and treatment, especially treatment. A treatment is basically a summary of a movie or any fictional element. You must communicate all the essential scenes, themes, and tone of the project to entice producers to read, develop, or even buy your idea; and with this you have to go to the limit, since it is what is going to take you the most time and it is going to be the fundamental aspect for someone to green light your work. Lastly, another thing that you have to work hard on is the whole essence of the pitch: knowing how to tell your story in a given time without going off on a tangent. By the way, I have said all this without even being a professional screenwriter and being still in the process of getting there, but this is what I have learned the most in these last two years studying the art of screenwriting, so I hope anyone finds it helpful.
-Can you give us a hint about your upcoming projects ?
Well, something i have up my sleeve is a complete script for a feature film, but I still have to retouch and polish it. The story is about revenge, in which a woman will try to avenge the death of a loved one, killing whoever is needed in order to do justice. It is a project that makes me very excited because here I also talk about personal experiences (although it may not seem like it from the summary) such as bullying and about something that each and every one of us has, that is the anger that we keep inside capable of exploding in any moment. In the future i plan to polish this script and also start showing it to producers in order to sell it or even (god bless me) direct it myself. I would also like to continue making short films, either my own or helping my friends and colleagues with whom I studied with their own stories.
-Where can we follow you and your projects ? (website, facebook, etc)
Well, the thing is that I don't actually have any specific site where I talk directly about my projects, the only thing I have are my personal Twitter and Instagram accounts which I use from time to time, since I'm more into gossiping than creating content on social media so to speak, but I like to talk about the movies I watch, video games I play and something that has happened to me. So for anyone interested in reading all the nonsense i write, you can follow "@peterpayne9" on twitter and "@peterpayne_mr" on instagram. Thanks in advance.