Q1: Please tell us a bit more about yourself and your company. How did you get started with filmmaking?
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to make films. I guess I couldn´t stop myself from trying to make my own. So I first started to storyboard them and then, when I was like eight years old, I laid my hands on my Mom´s friend´s video camera and shot my own star-wars film (with actual Star-Wars action figures) From that on, I´ve never really stopped making lousy films. Only they eventually got better! My company Lovetheframe is just another step on this very same road. I´m especially proud of a heartbreaking documentary I shot in Cuba called Knockoutkuba.
Q2: What was the response to your 4k film Cave of Wonders? Why did you decide to make a longer version now?
The shortfilm was a great fun in terms of experimentation. Our aim was making a short doc so visually powerful that words would get in the way. Like the “no comment” section we used to watch on the News. You did not wholly understand them but you felt them even more because of that. Apparently we succeeded because it won many international awards and got great reviews and recognition. But I say apparently because by succeeding, we paradoxically built an audience that wanted to know and learn more about the Cave of Wonders. And so we had to face a new challenge: Make it longer and narrated without losing any visual power. I would like to believe that we did it again. Time will tell.
Q3: what were the particular challenges with filming in HDR and how did you solve them?
The real challenge was to shoot inside this dark and impossible-to-light, beautiful cave. Therefore HDR was not an artistic choice but the only possible solution. Our time-lapse photographer, Rafael Asquith, who had been playing with HDR photography for a few years now, armed himself with patience and we went for it. And so we took a minimum of three exposures for every frame in a Canon 5D mounted on a motorized slider.
Q4: We hear so much about HDR and high frame rates and many other technical innovations like 360 degree/VR. In your view what is the most interesting area?
I´m no expert but I think that, regarding HDR, there´s a huge misconception. We get the photography technique mixed up with the brand new capacity of some TV sets for delivering an image with bigger latitude. They´re obviously related but far from being the same. New HEVC/H265 encoding (used properly) will let us enjoy better quality images despite the way they were shot. But there´s not yet a video-camera that can match the latitude you can achieve by mixing different exposures in every frame. It´s a question of mathematics.
As for the rest of innovations, I strongly believe in 3D as a narration tool. Ever since the beginning of cinema I have seen how great artists like Keaton, Ford or Ozu actually tried to achieve the 3D effect we can control now. Like B&W, it´s perfect for some movies and awful for some others. And like what happened with color or sound, it has been horribly over-used as if it was a momentary fashion to exploit. But it´s not. It´s a fantastic narrative tool. High Frame Rate (HFR) is also an interesting tool. I´m not too sure about it because it produces a movement way too clean for my taste. Just like the “enhanced movement” effect in some TV sets, it tends to make every image in action look more like a computer game than what we´re used to watch in movies, which is, the typical motion blur produced by 24fps and 180º shutter speed. But Ang Lee is shooting right now in 120fps (4K 3D), so I might change my mind soon. 360 degree and VR is exciting but it will never be for cinema as we know it. A movie forces the audience to see, hear and feel in a certain way (the director´s way). If the audience can choose where to look at or what to hear, it´s just not cinema. It´s something else…
Q5: What are your plans for new films?
In January we plan to premiere a new feature film, Never learned how to lose you. And as we take it to festivals and find distribution for it, we will be looking for funds for our next movie, a twisted psyco-thriller.