Published on March 6th, 2018 | by Biz Books
2018 VIWIFF Interview: Gigi Saul Guerrero
BizBooks.net is pleased to showcase a few of the local filmmakers at the 2018 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival.
In this interview, we talked to Gigi Saul Guerrero about directing Bestia.
Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and your VIWIFF film?
Bestia follows the lone survivor (played by Mathias Retamal) of a disaster as he awakens on a deserted beach. It becomes clear that there are more dangers lurking in the woods than a hungry beast.
I am so excited it will be showcased at VIWIFF because it is the first time Bestia is part of a festival that showcases and empowers female voices in film. For me that’s absolutely incredible AND that fact that it is in the city I live in is a huge honour!
What does this film mean to you?
Bestia is truly a love for indie film with my team, Luchagore Productions. I wanted to try a different approach to horror I never have before, and that is a more psychological turn, rather than gore and guts. We recently finished our biggest project yet, with Warner Brothers – A 7 episode series called La Quinceañera – and that was a project with budget, and we are talking like 90+ people for crew and cast a day. It was intense! Also it was my first studio project as a Director. So Bestia was a perfect way to get back into our indie roots, take our small team up to a dangerous location (haha oops..) and shoot something for no money. Just kick back to what we love and that is indie film with the family – Luchagore!
What can audiences expect from the film?
They can expect beautiful cinematography, an amazing performance and a breathtaking location. Luchagore team bring a different kind of Latin Horror to the screen with this short film. Not to mention a musical score and sound design that will blow your mind!
What was the biggest challenge for you in making this film and how did you overcome it?
Always having no budget is a challenge. However, most of this piece is driven not just by our location, but the performance by Mathias Retamal was very important to me. The entire short film has to be driven with no dialogue, and only one actor. I wanted the audience to really be invested in what was happening with our character. It was important to me to work very closely with cinematographer Luke Bramley to make this work. Especially with the dangerous conditions of the location itself. Hahaha I can tell you… it was not easy to get there, and oh man was it cold!
“Go out there and film something. You have so many resources, more than you can imagine. Shoot around what you have and create something. Do not let anything stop you.”
What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learned in your career so far?
I learned so much at film school, Capilano University, and especially shooting my first studio project with Warner Brothers. The biggest lesson I have learned is to “Never be afraid of failure. Learn from it, embrace it, and grow.”
What would your advice be to women who are aspiring actors, writers, directors, or producers in the industry today?
Go out there and film something. You have so many resources, more than you can imagine. Shoot around what you have and create something. Do not let anything stop you.
Who are the women in the film and television industry who have influenced you the most?
That a tough question… If I had to narrow it down, it would have to be Salma Hayek and of course my idol… Maria Felix.
What film and television-related books and authors have been influential in your career?
Lately I have been working a lot with horror author Shane McKenzie. I consider myself lucky to have worked with him for over 4 years now and call him my friend. He isn’t afraid to take horror to the next level, and also bring Latin horror into a screenplay.
What other projects are you working on right now?
Been co-writing a new game for Capcom Game Studios! My first video game experience. So excited for that! And… MY FIRST FEATURE! That’s right, after 18 short films, and a series with a Hollywood studio, it is time to step into the feature world. Luchagore Productions and I are currently seeking funding for our latest feature script. I am very excited.
But even more PUMPED that our big anticipated show La Quinceañera is about to be released internationally any day now…. BUCKLE YOUR SEAT BELTS!
Where can we find out more about you and your film online?
Facebook: Luchagore Productions
Thanks to Gigi Saul Guerrero for speaking with us!
You can check out Bestia at the 2018 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival as part of the From Haunting to Horrific Shorts Programme which screens on March 9th at 5:30PM.
For more information the VIWIFF, please visit WomeninFilm.ca.