“My film is about a tooth who grew inside an ovary and triggered a conversation about the industry of reproduction.” Director Ana Perez Lopez on the animated short LAS DEL DIENTE which screens at South By Southwest Film.
So how did you get into this movie-making business? Talk to me a bit about how you got your start and what you have worked on in the past.
I used to be a journalist for the EFE agency, the main new agency in Spanish. After working for a bit in Spain and Chile, I was granted a scholarship to study animation in the US to explore how unconventional film languages can be used in non fiction storytelling. Since then a couple projects that I’ve worked on were nominated to the local Emmys, the Oscars and my own projects did a good job in the Festival circuit: Slamdance Mention! Dok Leipzig screening! and now SxSW! I would like to be more involved with newspapers again because I miss being in action, but I want to keep drawing the world.
How did this project come together for you? Give me a rundown from the preparation, to shooting, to post-production to now!
I did a first round of research. Actually, I spent a whole year gathering information about surrogates and ended up not using any of the data. I decided to stay with the core elements, and try to show something that felt real and true. It took a lot of time to find the right people to interview, and, of course I fully animated 5 minutes. That is quite a bit! The music was done by gathering a lot of people in a room and improvising some flamenco.
What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you? How much coffee are we talking about here?
Coffee and a scary deadline.
What was your biggest challenge with this project, and the moment that was the most rewarding to you?
I thought that a film in Spanish, done by a student who is an immigrant, about the female body was like shooting myself on the foot. But I found that it reached to a lot of people, did very well in festivals, and surprisingly, was liked by a lot of older men which was not the expected target audience. I think this proves that animation in a language that can safe certain topics from the media exile.
I’m about to get technical, but I would love to know about the the visual design of the movie and how you made it.
No camera! everything drawn frame by frame. Slowly but steadily!
What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie here in Austin?
I’m very excited about the tacos, but also about watching a lot of movies and seeing a whole city celebrate art.
If you could show your movie in any theatre outside of Austin, where would you screen it and why?
Maybe projected onto a Trump tower, Jenny Holzer style.
What would you say to someone who was being disruptive through a movie?
My film is five minutes long. If you can’t make it through 5 min of a film with naked ladies, you might actually need Adderall.
We have a lot of readers on our site looking to make movies or get into the industry somehow. What is the ONE THING you would say to someone who is wanting to get into the filmmaking business?
Make films for you. When you try to make a film thinking of what others would like to see, it doesn’t quite work. We live the era filled of fake news, egocentrism and too many followers of the Howard Roark way. Get a camera and be yourself…unless you are an asshole.
And final question: what is the greatest movie you have ever seen at a film festival?
MAGICAL GIRL by Carlos Vermut which I saw at San Sebastian 2014!
This is one of the many film titles playing at SxSW 2019. For more information on this and any other title playing in the festival, point your browser to http://www.sxsw.com/film!