Ugu Film Festival's Duduzile Mpase interviews the producer of "Candela"
Q: Who are you and what is your background?
A: (As a film producer) I'm a composer, writer, producer and manager of Tear Blue Productions, a Film Production Company based in Valencia (Spain) and Calendula Studios, a small subsidiary of Blue Tear. I compose music for musicals, films, TV and songs and lyrics for singers. I write stories for both film and theater. Always I've been fall in love with music, so my parents encouraged me to study music. I studied music theory, harmony and Solfeo at the Conservatoire of Music of Valencia, classical piano and guitar at a Private Music School. I studied Arts and Literature at the High School and I attended at several writing workshops. Also I studied Computer Science at University of Valencia.
Q: Why did you decide to produce Candela?
A: Candela was born at a lunch. The director Manuel Camacho and I already knew each other a few years ago, because we joined together on the production of a music video. Following that, we used to meet occasionally for coffee and talked about movies. That day Manuel commented me that he was quite overworked, and he had to deliver various projects and did not have enough time to prepare all. One project was to write a script for a short film about time travels, my weakness! so I offered to help him. He accepted and I began to develop the idea of Candela. I was so excited with the history that finally I developed it as a feature film, not short. When Manuel read the script, he liked it so much and told me "we must to shoot this". I was delighted and from then on, we decided to create Blue Tear Producciones and shoot Candela.
Q: Did you have a budget?
A: No, indeed not. We had never shot a film like this. I started to raise a budget. It took me two weeks. There were many sets, actresses and actors, extras, technical team... This project was not economically feasible in Valencia. I talked with Carmen Blanco, manager of Teatrola Musical, based in Murcia (Spain). I had already made “Make a wish: The Musical” with her. We had a long meeting. I showed her the screenplay and she liked it. Murcia was the perfect place to shoot Candela. Teatrola Musical disposed all the resources available to reach the project forward and finally both Companies decided to bear the cost.
Q: Who do you think helped you the most to make this film happen?
A: Certainly Carmen Blanco was the light at the end of the tunnel! She and Teatrola Musical were our unique and very supportive. Very professional and I very much enjoyed working with her. Also she's a great actress (she plays Paqui's character in Candela). It was a hard project but Carmen with her energy and enthusiasm caught in and filled us with optimism and desire to work.
Q: Have you screened Candela anywhere else?
A: We premiered Candela at Murcia Francisco Rabal’s Film Library on December 27, 2014 in a private screening for actress, actors, technical team and press.
Q: How long did it take you to film it?
A: Filming took us three months. When shooting was finished, I spent a month assembling the footage. The first cut of the film lasted almost three hours! Luckily, Manuel Camacho was the master key to lead and guide us, leaving the film in an hour and fifty-three minutes and having to sacrifice some very intimate scenes, but after all, expendable. Finally, the color correcting was conducted by Alicia Bel, following the instructions of Manuel, gave the whole film a gradual color tone from the coldest to the warmest. Six months of hard work.
Q: Please share your funniest moments on Candela set.
A: We were rehearsing how it was going to be a scene which Bea (Angie Alma) is talking on the phone with her friend Sandra (Marta Lopez), hallway up and down. The director was giving some advice to Angie and she used her hand like a phone. It was time to shoot and Angie continued with her hand like a phone. Some of us realized, though nobody dared to cut or say anything. Until finally Manuel, was fixed and stopped the shooting. The look of wonder on Angie's face was surprising.
Carmen Blanco plays the role of alcoholic mother. In one scene, he had to be drinking beer and smoking a lot. Carmen is a non-smoker and non-drinker and also we were wrong with beer and brought it to her with alcohol. After several takes, Carmen became ill from smoke and alcohol, but endured to the end.
The nightclub scene was one of the most fun to shoot, but also the most exhausting. Imagine having to mobilize and coordinate a hundred people to dance, laugh, drink, and have fun... That night we finished filming at five o'clock, very tired. We were scheduled to start shooting at eight o'clock the next morning. I don't think anyone was submitted, except Marta Villa (Candela), -she does not appear in the nightclub scene-. She was fresh as a daisy... and alone.
Q: If you could work with any other film maker in the world, who would it be and why?
A: If I would have to choose one, he would be Steven Spielberg. I see him as a lay person, very near and a good professional with a lot of imagination. I think he must be an organized and creative person. He enjoys making films and that is shown in them. I've seen the most of his films, as a director or as a producer. Really I enjoy all of them.
Q: Which languages do you speak? Spanish, English (I read and write better than I speak) and Catalan.
Q: What does this film mean to you?
A: It's a very special film for me because Candela is a very human story that talks about feelings, how we get attached to someone, the maturity process in adolescence, self-improvement, second chances... Some are memories of my own life. For example, when I was a child I was afraid of what could happen if my parents were to die and I was alone. Candela feels something similar. The film is the real life with a touch of imagination.
Ugu Film Festival team would like to thank José for sharing his story. We are film makers and it is stories like these that inspire us and keep us going!