Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Interview with filmmaker Lucas Rebelo

Forgettable Days will premier at the Straight-Jacket Guerrilla Film Festival

Honestly I don't know, it just happened. The first time I thought about making movies was in 2013/2014, but at the time, I thought it was a very distant and impratical dream, specially because I'm from Brazil, a country that hates Brazilian films (no, this is not a joke). And I'm from the Northern region of Brazil, where's there's very few structure for making films. But this eager of making films maybe have stuck unconsciously on my mind, because i didn't made any effort in studing or buying cameras or anything about making films. But I went to study Multimedia Production on local university, and then I made a specialization in Audiovisual Production. I was in the middle of the specialization course, back in 2017/2018, when I thought "Hey, I can make movies now!". The specialization course wasn't like the cinema school because it was more practical than artistic. Well, I didn't went to film school, but when I read about it, I see that's very different from what I studied. I was thinking about having a Master degree on Filmmaking, but the coronavirus postponed it. 

Several things. But I realized that movies are bigger than the media itself. What inspires me most are music and books. It's odd, I know, but I cannot see myself making movies without listen to music and imagining what kind of scene comes to mind, or reading a book without thinking "What actor/actress would be suitable for this character?", or "What kind of edition would fit better for the scene I'm reading?". But since I was a kid/teenager, according to my parents, I enjoyed offbeat movies like "Being John Malkovich", or films that aren't mainstream, like Arab or Japanese features. My family always enjoyed watching films of any kind, from Chaplin to obscure indie mystery thrillers. Another great inspiration is the experimentalism in cinema, like Neorealism and Dogma 95. It shows that it is possible to make films in a very easy way, you don't need mountains of money and a all-star cast. And you sometimes don't need to have a rigid structure to make a film, you just have to film and see what's next, like "Man with a moving camera", a film that inspired me in making "Forgettable days [part.2]" Bad movies. Very bad movies. Weird inspiration, I know, but I think we have to learn about bad movies to avoid the same mistakes that make them so bad. And you remember that, back in 2000's, several indie musicians/bands started to publish their songs onto internet without the need of a label? Well, that's very inspirational because I think it's time to do the same thing with films, since we have the same internet to publish and it's in fact easier nowadays  because of the streaming services. Actually, it has already begun, because youtube was created as a plataform for amateur films. 

It didn't evolved yet, I guess, since this is my first featured lenght film. But I really enjoy making very long takes because it make the edition faster and no, this is not lazy beacuse I have to decide what I have to film for so long without any interruptions that can spoil the take. Sometimes it takes weeks to film a 15-minute take. 

The film has no sound, this because the idea is to make the film different to each person who watches. This is the "Artistic" answer. The "Pratical" answer is because there were too much music playing around and I would have to pay for it, but I didn't know how I was suppose to do that because I don't know the name of the music or the name of the band/artist. I tried to take the music out, but I couldn't do it without damaging the ambient sound of the scene itself. Because I had to get rid of the sound, I had to make the music myself. One of the places I went, a church, had a piano hidden on a room. I tried to play the piano, but a security guard had to stop me because the piano was 120 years old and wasn't suitable for music anymore. I didn't film that part, unfortunatelly. At least, I recorded 2 minute of music with a sound recorder. Well, there's still absolutely no sound in the film, so where's the music, right? I didn't make up my mind about what music would be on the film and what'd not. So I released as a completely separeted soundtrack. You can search the internet for that. 

It proves, for me, that the indie film is the future of cinema, just like indie music began a new way on listen and consuming music. Without indie film, we wouldn't have youtube, and without youtube we wouldn't have netflix for example. Well, it also remembers me that I wrote a 4-page film manifesto about 2 years ago. It's called "Disfilme - O Cinema em seu mínimo" (transl.: Disfilm - The Cinema in its minimal way) and it's basically the faster way you have to make your film done with the least of the effort and no money. Like the Dogma 95, it has a set of rules that guide you onto make your own film. I wrote it when my brother was searching about Alfred Jarry, the creator of "Theatre of Absurd", and it influenced me a lot. ---The rules of disfilm: i) Disfilms look like incomplete films, but they are not. There's several production choices that explain the amateurish visual. ii) They're made with little money and support. iii) Spontaneously made, without script and rehearsal. iv) Long scenes, with little or no edition at all. v) Breaks the 4th wall so much that's virtually no 4th wall. vi) Almost no post-production. vii) Disfilms may have a bigger production, but the idea is to have just one person behind everything and the amateurish vibe is still dominant. As I said, it's a 4-page text, so I won't put everything here, it would be boring.

It will be another very low budget film. In fact, will be lower than Forgettable days [part.2]. It will be about the pandemic. Just like my first film, my next film will feature a bunch of long scenes, but with audio this time, I promise! I didn't decided the name yet, probably "Zeitgeist" or "First Great War". I make more than one film simultaneously. Actually, before the pandemic, I was making four different films; they're extremely experimental and low budget.