Synopsis: A series of life-threatening experiences pale in comparison to a situation that requires real courage.
Where did the idea for Voice Over come from?
I was looking for something really challenging to direct. When I read VoiceOver I totally fell in love with the script. It was the perfect idea for my next project.
Why is the VoiceOver in French?
We loved the song of the end, “Elle etait si Jolie” by Alain Barriere. That was something that we were sure that we wanted to use because it was perfect with the story. Also our soldier is French. More importantly, it is a love story so we thought that French was the perfect language.
Is the guy who does the actual voiceover a well-known announcer in France?
Yes, Feodor Atkine actually made some American movies like Ronin with Robert DeNiro. He’s made more than 100 movies. Also he’s Doctor House’s (played by Hugh Laurie) voice in France for the TV show. My producer knew him so I went to Paris one day to record his voice.
So he’s sort of like the Morgan Freeman of France.
Yeah, exactly. He’s the voice in France. I think he and Andre Dussollier are the two biggest voiceover actors in France.
There are a lot of sponsors for this short film. How did they get involved?
There is not as much money as we were expecting because it was a very expensive production. In Europe, we have government subsidies every filmmaker applies for and depending on the quality of the script and the crew, you can get it or not. We got money from two film festivals from awards for the scripts at the Gijon International Film Festival and Almeria Film Festival. We also received money from the Canary Island government and from the Andalucia government in the south of Spain.
How long did it take you to make the film?
We shot it in eight days. We shot most of the film in Tenerife, Canary Islands, because they have this kind of volcanic landscape that looks like another planet. And it’s also where we found the perfect place for our soldier’s water scene. Then we went to Almeria for the final scene with the kids.
I saw that you were voted one of Variety’s directors to watch. And you have just signed with the William Morris agency in New York?
Yes. I signed with William Morris in Los Angeles in connection with an agent in New York.
So there are some exciting times to come around the corner?
It’s been super exciting since we finished VoiceOver in January. We started to present at film festivals a few months ago and through it I got an agent. Since then I have been getting many scripts and offers to direct my first feature film.
So it was because VoiceOver that you signed with William Morris.
Yes, I got an email from this agent saying he saw my reel and that he thought it was very visual and interesting but it was after VoiceOver that he decided to sign me in.
How many short films have you made?
This is my fifth short film.
What advice would you have for someone who is about to direct their first short film?
Always trust the story. You have to be very passionate. Try to do something unique, something special that shows who you are and do the best that you can. Also, I remember when I made my very first short--that won 55 awards from film festivals--it was something so small with one person in a room but the story was very, very good. I think that the most important thing is to be aware of the resources that you have and try to do the natural steps. I mean when I was 21, I was never on a professional set before. I didn’t know how to manage properly on the set, so that’s why I decided to take a super, simple story that I loved and make a short film. Ten years later, I was aware that I could take on something much more challenging. That’s when I decided that VoiceOver was perfect for me. I think that it is important to know yourself and what you can do well.
Is there anything else that you want to say?
Just that I’m so proud to be part of this Manhattan Short Film Festival. I know how hard the selection for the finalists is and I’m aware of all the exposure that you get as a filmmaker and that is probably one of the best festivals for someone like me at this time.