Today’s interview is with filmmakers David and Francisco Salazar. David and Fransisco are brothers, and both brothers write/direct/produce. Both men blog for Latinospost. Recently, they’ve had short films shown at several film festivals. Both David and Francisco maybe found on imdb.
Justin Samuels: You both covered what you saw as the top 10 films at Tribeca Film Festival this year. What was that like? Did you also learn anything about the industry?
David: Covering Tribeca was an educational experience on a number of levels. First of all, it enabled us to gain access to more international and independent films than we usually get throughout the year. We viewed over 30 films of different kinds. This not only enabled us to understand different styles of filmmaking, but also gave us the chance to discover new talents. In terms of the industry, the festival enabled us to make connections and learn about the journeys of different filmmakers. Surprisingly most filmmakers gave us similar stories and trajectories. The common theme? Just going out and doing it no matter what the odds were.
Francisco: I agree it was very educational. Tribeca was one of the most interesting experiences because we were able to learn a lot about the industry and meet many of the filmmakers. It was interesting to see how each of the filmmakers funded their films and the strategies they used in their casting process and filming process. It was also good to experience a big film festival because it can be overwhelming so you have to pace yourself and make sure you get to the most important events conferences and parties. Believe it or not it the parties are most important because it’s where all the industry members go and where most the contacts are made. So you need to know how to work them and how to get into them.
JS: Which films have yours have recently been screened at festivals? Please name the festivals and the year.
F: Well we had two films in festivals last year. Messenger went to three festivals, the Big Apple, Sunscreen and the first annual Pittsburgh Independent Festival. Conciliation was the Long Island Film Expo and actually screened this past May. Dave and I recently produced a new short film called Late Text. Together with the director we are currently sending it out to festivals and hoping it will start its festival run in the fall.
D: Conciliation screened as part of the Best of 2012 Fest in Elmont a few weeks ago. There was also another film we produced called Last Game, and it screened in LA and in New York. The film won a number of awards as well.
JS: Conciliation was the first film that you two worked together on. What was it about?
F: Actually conciliation was the third short film we worked on together. There were three films prior to this one but they were minor works that taught us to work together and that really helped us figure out a process.
D: Conciliation was about an elder father who tells his children he is dying of cancer. Faced with the reality of losing their father, the two adult children battle over taking care of their father in hopes of reconciling their relationship with him.
JS: What’s it like working with a family member on a film? Is it easy or difficult working with someone you’re so close to?
F: Its not really something new because we have worked together as musicians so we had already established a rapport. It was really learning how we would use our capacities in film and how we divide the work. It still something we are figuring out and something that I think you get better at it with more experience and more practice.
D: Working together is a wonderful experience. Having someone else around motivates you to work your hardest simply because you don’t want to let the other one down. We have similar ideas and perspectives, making it easy for us to compromise on important decisions. We respect each other immensely and trust the other’s creative input, making collaboration easy.
JS: What is your film the Messenger Film about?
F: Messenger is a movie that we set in post apocalyptic times and is about a 10 year old boy Henry who decides to run away from home to find a better life. He eventually finds it with a group of nomads, but realizes that his new life is not everything he’d hoped for.
JS: Has anything come out of having your films screened at festivals? Like any potential work opportunities?
F: We have obtained a great number of connections and made some friends that are working with us now. It has also given some exposure and the festival coordinators have enjoyed our films. The audiences have also given us a good reaction. I don’t necessarily think festivals are ways of getting work. I think they are ways of growing your fan base meeting potential investors, producers, actors or even friends that will end up helping you on your way.
D: Like I said Festivals are opportunities to make connections. If those connections are fruitful then perhaps then jobs will come.
JS: Are you sending your shorts out to distributors?
F: Well we were really busy with the feature script and waiting on festivals to respond that we haven’t thought of it yet. But I think we will very soon.
JS: Are you guys working on any features? Can you give us details?
F: David and I are working on two scripts at the moment. One of the scripts is almost complete and it is entitled The Next Page. The script is very personal and is inspired by real events that happened throughout the past year. The other script is still in its first drafts and is still being worked out.
D: The other script will be a bit more experimental than the The Next Page and I think will only make us grow as writers if we are able to pull it off.