Roger Guàrdia directs ‘Avril 14th’ for ZARA Origins.
Words from Roger below.
An iconic piece of music. What language were you using in the early stages of production to describe it, and how did that transfer onto the screen?
RG: From the beginning, we knew we wanted to play with a Symphonic Orchestra performing a song. The brief wanted to mix the classic with the contemporary and give it a twist. We thought about different kinds of songs and artists if we wanted something more pop, or more experimental, big artists, or someone more underground, etc.
I wanted Aphex Twin. I’m a big fan, and I pushed to go for him. He’s one of my favourites and one of the most influential artists of our era. And he has been on the top of the game, being a true artist for more than 20-30 years. So I proposed Avril 14th as a track, and we went for it.
I adapted a little bit of the idea and some visuals according to the track’s piano melody. I built a crescendo with revealing the song slowly. Playing with the first five notes of the track as a leitmotiv until we get into the Orchestra moment.
What advice would you have on building a scene?
RG: It depends on what you want to talk about and the feeling you want to transmit. But for me, I like to play with a crescendo or an evolution. You cannot give everything to the viewer from the very beginning, because it’s boring if you do. I guess that’s pretty obvious. I feel writing, storytelling, building a scene or a film is about creating what you think is the most interesting/cool stuff. It’s like seducing the viewer. How you show and give the information, how you build the scenario, the tempo, the atmosphere, etc. Then with this, I play with my intuition. I’m not attached or established on academic rules.
How about in the edit?
RG: For me, the edit is really important, and I think about the edit when I’m thinking about how to shoot everything. How the scene will evolve and which are going to be the key moments in the film. And at the same time, working in a way that allows me to have a little more freedom to try and improve things, both on the shoot and in the editing room.
I like to play with a crescendo or an evolution.
What are you reading at the moment?
RG: I’m NYC-based but travelling here and there, and it’s been more than a year since I left my apartment and I still don’t have a long-term place for all my things.
I’m reading different texts and books at the moment, overlapping, losing some on my travels, and sometimes not finishing, haha. Recently, I bought Patti Smith’s poem book ‘Auguries of Innocence’ for someone. And my really good friend Pato from Pantera gave to me ‘In Praise of Shadows’ from Junichiro Tanziaki when we were in Barcelona together this summer. And I just got ‘Soft Machine’ from Burroughs.
- Víctor Mata
- Executive Producer
- Marga Sardà Badia
- Director of Photography
- Oian Arteta
- Production Designer
- Lane Casting
- Casting Director
- Marq Rise
- Lucy Bridge
- Louis Ghewy
- Hair Stylist
- Jack Sedgwick
- Sound Design
- Production Company