Medeas Examiner Interview


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Pallaoro details his career path leading up to critical darling Medeas.

Steven Lebowitz | Examiner | April 19th, 2015

The goal for most film directors is to make feature length movies. Most directors start off making shorts and they hope those will lead them to bigger and better things. Director Andrea Pallaoro got off to a quick start with his short film, “Wunderkammer” winning awards left and right. This led Andrea Pallaoro to making his feature directing debut, “Medeas” which has gone on to critical acclaim and is now available through Google Play and iTunes.

I was given the opportunity to interview Andrea Pallaoro and we talked about how he became interested in filmmaking, how he nabbed Oscar nominated actress Catalina Sandino Moreno and what he’s got planned next in his directing career.

1. Let’s go back to the very beginning, how did you first become interested in becoming a filmmaker?

I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker since I was a little boy. Cinema and theater have had a profound impact in my life since I can remember. I think that my desire to make cinema comes from a need to join and contribute to the “conversation” that so many other auteurs had started and that inspired me so deeply.

2. One “rule” in screenwriting is “Show, don’t tell.” “Medeas” has that in abundance. Tell, what was more difficult and why, writing a screenplay that relies on very little dialogue and more on the action within the script or directing a film that relies on very little dialogue and more on the action within the film?

I gravitate towards a sensorial and experiential cinema; a cinema that aims to capture, to photograph the internal world of its characters. This is the approach for both writing and directing that comes most natural to me. Writing and directing “expositional” scenes is much more difficult for me.

3. What happened during pre-production on this movie? I saw in the end credits that you had two sign language teachers. How long did it take the cast to learn it as if it was a second language to them?

Since the beginning for both Catalina and I it was crucial that she learned sign language and that she spent a considerable amount of time with members of the deaf community. It was a great challenge and I believe Catalina succeeded. The children were also taught sign language but their process was considerably different and less immersive.

4. Many directors like to storyboard their movies? Did you do that for “Medeas?” Did you have the whole movie envisioned in your head from beginning to end?

Yes, the film has been envisioned in detail from beginning to end. This is not to say that things haven’t changed and evolved because they have.

My creative collaborators and I approach filmmaking visually, sensorially, and aesthetically which means that the film is conceived shot by shot throughout all its phases from writing to post-production.

5. How did you get Catalina Sandino Moreno, an Oscar nominated actress involved in the project? It can be really hard for an independent filmmaker to get through an agent or manager these days.

The process was actually relatively simple. Our casting director contacted Catalina’s agent and after a few days we were informed that Catalina connected to the material we had sent her and was interested in meeting me.

6. What do you hope audiences walk away with after seeing “Medeas?”

My objective was to make an observational character study, a film of questions, not answers. I hope the individual spectator can see himself/ herself reflected onto the screen and the characters and in the process question their own singular experiences of their worlds.

7. I see on IMDb that your next project is “The Whale.” What can share about that film?

That’s correct. “The Whale” will be my next film. For now all I can say is that it is a film I co-wrote with my collaborator Orlando Tirado and that it will star Charlotte Rampling.

8. Finally, what do you love most about making a film?

Its collaborative nature. Collaboration is an integral aspect of filmmaking and is what inspires me and excites me the most through all of its different phases.