May 28th, 2015
Martin Rosete has made numerous short films. His most recent Voice-over was selected in 300 film festivals and won 100+ awards. He is now on his way to make his debut in Hollywood with thriller.
Here he is sharing his experiences of making Voiceover and the challenges of an indie film director.
1) Hello Martin, can you tell us what attracts you towards filmmaking? How did you decide on this medium ?
I was always interesting in telling stories, but I was not sure about the media. At some point I thought that I should be a writer or a journalist, but then, when I was 16 I saw a Spanish movie called TESIS directed by Alejandro Amenabar, and I decided that I wanted to make movies to tell stories.
2) What attracted you towards this story. How did you meet the writer?
I admire a lot how Luiso Berdejo writes, and we had friends in common, so when I moved to US we got in touch and I told him that I would love to direct something powerful written by him. He let me read VOICE OVER and I felt in love with the story.
3) "Voice Over" is a very productionally intensive film. Which locations did you use to shoot for "alien planet" sequences. Also the underwater sequence look non-trivial. Can you deconstruct and share behind the scene wisdom with us.
We shot the alien planet in Tenerife, that is a volcanic island in the South of Spain. Actually we also shot the soldi er scene and the underwater there. We did not have the budget to shoot on a tank and add CGI so we decided to shoot it into the ocean. It was really complicated, but I love the result.
Also, there is a "behind the scene" video that you can see where we explain pretty much everything that we did to get the result that we got. Here is the link: https://vimeo.com/54857750
4) Who are your key influences?
My influences are good storytellers. From George Orwell or Hermann Hesse, to filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar, Robert Zemeckis or Stanley Kubrick.
5) How did you audition and select the "voice" as it is very powerful. You are Spanish but you decided a french voiceover. What quality of French language attracted you towards using it?
We decided to do it in French, because VOICE OVER is a love story, and it is more poetic in French. The script was written thinking to make the film in French, and I believe it makes the story much better. We were looking for a very powerful voice of an old person, and when I heard Feodor Atkine's (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0040545/) voice I knew it was him.
4) Your past short films have also been fairly successful. How did you leverage their success to help get funding and team for this film? Having asked that, how did you get a chance to make your first film?
Getting fundings is always the most complicated thing. We had to shoot VOICE OVER for less than half of the budget that we had in mind, because with the crisis, the Government in Spain cut the Grants for artist and also, the private investors did not want to put their money to make movies. It is always exhausting. Right now I am working in my first feature film with an amazing international cast and a very powerful script and again, the financing part is making us crazy. So I invite any wise investor to jump into this new film adventure because I am sure that they will be very proud of it.
5) What is your advice to other short filmmakers? How should they make and market their films in a way that it is noticed. We also see that you tried to raise funds through Kickstarter. How was the experience?
Again, if you are not wealthy (as it is in my case), you need to be talented not only directing but also in raising money for your movies. I did a successful Kickstarting campaign for VOICE OVER to cover part of the postproduction. And sometimes I feel that I spend more time and energy in getting the money than in making the film.
But at the same time, when you feel that you are making a great movie it is much easier to convince people to invest on it.
6) You have had formal training in filmmaking in Cuba, New York and Berlin. Can you tell us how they have added value to your work? Besides formal education that imparts a strong foundation, how can a filmmaker continue to learn and grow?
I think film schools are great places to meet people and teachers with the same passion that you have for telling great stories, but it is not necessary to success and it is not mandatory for a filmmaker to goto school. I was lucky enough to get scholarships that let me study filmmaking for free in Madrid University, Cuba, Berlin and New York, but I feel that more important than the formal lessons, were the free time that I had to think about the stories that I wanted to tell and explore the best way to tell them (making a lot of mistakes and learning from them).
But I believe that the best school is life. Reading good books, watching great movies, traveling, meeting people,...
7) What do you think is the future of short film making ? Do you think it will be more mainstay because of accessibility to equipments, editing softwares and internet as a viewing platform?
Making a short film is easier than ever. 10 years ago you needed a lot of money to rent a film camera and all that stuff. Today you can shoot it with your phone. But at the same time, there are so many short films our there, that it is very difficult attract attention, and that's why I am so happy with VOICE OVER, because it let me show that with the right team I can direct very powerful stories with a very limited budget and that helps to bring the attention of producers, investors,...
8) Best wishes for your future. What are your current and future projects. We loved the alien planet. Can we expect some awesome science-fiction from you in future?
I am working on a feature film now. It is a thriller. Great script. Great cast. Same team that we had in VOICE OVER, but this time we will shoot in English.
From what we have heard about the film, they definitely have a winner! ShortFilmWindow team wishes Martin Rosete all the best for big debut. More power to you.