martes, julio 23, 2013

My coming of age: the thank yous and the fuck yous

Hi y'all:

I was supposed to write this email long ago, before the filming of Fear of Water started, which is the first feature I'm fully involved in. Finally. After all these many years. I still remember studying sound (thanks to all my awesome teachers there, it was so cool coming across in Font d'en Fargues) because of my love of music recording, how I failed at that and started working in a radio station with a legless racist cunt as a boss and how, just like that, Meritxell Laseras introduced me to Alba Soler, who had a friend called Ernesto Hidalga who required a sound recordist to make a short film. "Why not?" I said. I remember when, a few weeks later, I told Pancho Martín a decent sound recorder was around 1000 euros and no way I was going to buy one of those - "I'm not that passionate about film-making", I stated. I remember buying one from Germany a few months later, along with a couple of shotgun mics.

My favorite movies usually contain timetravelling devices, dinosaurs, explosions, robots or ninjas. Fear of Water is about the coming of age, getting to know oneself and other subtleties I always find hard to pick up (there's two beautiful girls making out at some point, so yeah, check it out).
Overall though, I've always found myself feeling uncomfortable around these themes, probably because I was --still am-- a late blossomer, and always thought everyone had it better and easier than me. I tried being a hippie, but my body can't handle certain substances and I find reggae boring (probably because of the first). I tried being a geek, but social interacting is weird and Bronism, even if 20% cooler than most things, won't cut it. I tried to be a sorta social activist person, but I'd rather stay indoors more often than not, and I just don't have the patience to deal with some kids, let alone their stupid parents. I tried feeling Spaniard and then I tried feeling Catalan, but still couldn't grow roots anywhere.

I've come to accept than the most interesting people are the ones that don't have it easy to fit in, or simply don't want to give in just like that. While I still firmly believe so, it can get annoying sometimes and drag oneself down.
I left a country and a family behind just to become a sound recordist, and after three hardcore weeks of hectic shooting, I can say it's the best decision I've ever made. It's been a really long journey, and the list of thank yous to the people that lead me here is wide and difficult to track back, but I'll give it a quick go. Forgive the fact I don't mention many Londoners as it's a bit hard to me to retain foreign names, and it's always the first and more recent memories that you keep closer.

Thanks to Ernesto Hidalga for teaching me the importance of a really planned and solid shotlist. Thanks Pedro Ortuño, RIP, for teaching me the importance of taking care of the herd and for being a really caring person under a harsh appearance. Thanks Levinson, for having a product-selling mindset in a country full of so-called artists and pulling out one of the best videos in my reel and one of the funniest shootings I remember. Thanks Pepa Arcioni for recommending me to him and being a brilliant AD. I hope everything's fine in Argentina. Thanks David Vilaplana for having an attention to detail from the first shot to the DVD cover, and pulling out one of the most tasteful products I've ever been even if it was your first short film. Also thanks for being the awesomest friend a guy can have - we still need to learn to differenciate work from bromance, but we'll get to there someday. Thanks Demian Sabini for showing it's possible to do a feature with a minimal budget and that social films don't have to be effing boring, and thanks for taking sound post so seriously - it is SO usually disregarded. Thanks Carol Magallón, for being my favorite person I've ever met in a shooting, and illuminating every set I've seen you in with a million smiles. I always expected you to be equally awesome when not shooting. Thanks English people, in general, (and one Polish, and one Chinese, and one Nigerian, and... Hell, London is awesome) for being more business-driven, understanding that a professional deserves to be paid and/or the importance of a working callsheet and a few pints after work. I'm so happy to work with you. Thanks to shooting minicrushes for bringing 'vidilla' to long-ass working days, even if it's sad to say goodbye at the end of such days. Thanks to people that do FX, severed legs, blood-oozing cuts and cool stuff like that - it's always so incredibly entertaining to have you around. Also thanks to Theatre, which I enjoy doing, perhaps on a more side-thing, and its people, who often interact with cinema. Gritos del Más Allá and Song of Seasons, to name just a couple, were a blast. Thanks El Racó for allowing me to play crazy movies in the cineforum.

If you haven't been mentioned so far, there's a check in your post.

After the thank yous, should come the fuck yous, I think someone said at the beginning of Fear of Water's production, which feels too long ago. I'll skip those, though, because the people who deserve them are still probably in my contacts. However, thank you all the same for teaching me which paths not to repeat and which companies not to get closer.

A huge thank you for the Fear of Water crew. From Rebecca, for putting herself in such a risky-bananas project, to Greg for being an awesome AD and putting his audio equipment in, Ben and Simon for helping me when I bossed them around. Also, Simon, I found your story about Ninjas inspiring - believe it or not, I had this as a backup plan if finding myself didn't happen anytime soon. Thanks Sophie for being aware of everything and absolutely helpful, attentive, fresh, clean and ready to rock, Nick for being as sharp as a blade, Michael for being close on that category and reminding everyone of health and safety on set, Bobbi for allowing me to work side by side around someone's breasts (I have some of your hairpins, but I look fabulous with them, so consider them lost), Chloe and Lily, the actresses, for learning quickly how to be OK with me fiddling stuff on said breasts - believe me when I say in a job like this you desexualize this kind of things really quickly. Thanks Liz for the patience. Thanks Hannah for sewing my trousers. Thanks Chloe fucking Harwood for being cool and laid back on certain situations that might've arisen - we must be relatives after all. Also thanks for having the coolest Catalan grandma and being the best of companies, wether it's with a pint in hand or DITing the shit out of those hard drives. You're awesome, girl. Also good luck with your Spanish classes and your journey to the States.

As a said, Fear of Water is about getting to know oneself, finding what makes us feel alive, but as we cinema people know, the resulting film is just the tip of the iceberg. You could make several 90-minutes, ranging from absurd comedy to heartwarming memories, of what happened during production. To all the people mentioned here and many, many more that I haven't mentioned: you are my coming of age, my somewhere to belong, my herd and my roots, wherever it is your shooting. "Home is where your heart is", Captain Hammer once said. "Late is better than never", it's said in Spain.

*holds beer up* I fucking love each and everyone of you, motherfuckers!!! *throws up*

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