“I would never be a director without a digital technology” – Albert Serra
Festival in Media
2018-06-08

On June 6-7, the master class of Catalan filmmaker Albert Serra was held in the frame of the project "Masters of Contemporary Cinema."

"Masters of Contemporary Cinema" will offer many other interesting master classes and workshops and will meet you with the filmmakers who create the cinema of today" - the author of the project, Vakho Jajanidze delivered the speech before the audience gathered in the hall of Theater and Film University. "Right now, the negotiations are being held to invite guests like Carlos Reygadas, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Yorgos Lanthimos, Cristi Puiu, Lucrecia Marel, Pedro Costa, Christian Mungiu, Ruben Östlund, Matter Garrone and etc. And today - continues the author, - our first guest is, acknowledged Catalan filmmaker with quite an interesting worldview, Albert Serra."

During the two-day master class hosted by Theatre and Film University, Serra talked about the film production, screenwriting, the shootings and post-production and shared his experience and stories with the audience. We had the opportunity to attend the master class of the first day so here's some fragments from his speech: "The method of working on the film and its film language is very specific. To understand it, it's important to know, the stage it was preceded by and what are my roots like, - he said and remembered the times when he was still a student. He learned literature for 6 years. He was about 26 years old when he understood - everything was so boring. Every summer is worse than the last one. Nothing happens. He said, he had to do something to be able to go on. "And if you study literature, you have to become a writer, don't you? But it's something like a routine and we have so many good writers in Spain. What could I do then? A cinema! Yes, a cinema! And it was the time when the age of digital technologies and computers was starting. And the filmmakers we have are very bad" - he added.

The experiment started because of the boredom still continues and it continues with Jean Vigo, Louis Delluc and Gaudi Awards. Although he says that if he were a millionaire, he would never make movies at all, he is still proud that most of his movies are financed by himself. „When I started working on films, everyone was looking down on me. The generation of the 80-90s was so academic and a filmmaker working on the digital technology meant the amateur, a dilettante for them."

But the advantage of the digital technology, from Serra's point of view, is that it allows you to make a film almost alone. "You can never become a director if you never try. At school, we used to say - he's good at Math, he's good at languages, but if you want to be a filmmaker, you have to try. Back then, when people were shooting on 35mm films, it was impossible. Now you don't need to fix the focus in millimeters every minute, you don't have to carry such heavy camera, where you can put the film of only the certain length. And also, you don't need so many people to make a film."

And here, Serra remembers an important story of his life that defined many things. "Back then, it was almost impossible to make a movie and deliver it to the big audience. Everything was managed by the institutions, the festivals had communication with them. The start of the digital technologies was followed step by step with the appearance of film agents, private producing companies. I remember, I sent the script of my first movie in 35 companies, as I was looking for co-financing. Only two of them answered, and the answer was No. When I made this film anyway, I took it in Barcelona Film School. That was when the Cannes film festival representative arrived who was supposed to choose the films. One day, when he went to school, he found out that it was a day-off and he won't be able to see anything - there was no mechanic, there were no films ready. There were only two CDs on the shelf, my film was on one of them.

So, I don't understand when people say "I've made the movie. What should I do now? Who can I show it to?" Send it everywhere! If the film is good, there will always be someone. Don't pay attention to what people think. "The Death of Louis XIV" turned out to be the most successful of my films but "The Story of My Death" is my own favorite, the film with much less success. As I said, I started filmmaking just because I was bored. I don't work on cameras or on the light. My main work is people and to make the environment for them to feel comfortable" - he ended up.

Meeting with Albert Serra will also be held in TBC Gallery on Friday, 19:00

 

 

 

 

 

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