‘ONLY FOOLS RUSH IN’
SHORTS: NETWORK CONNECTIVITY PROBLEMS
When his student visa expires, Carlos spends one last night in New York with Mark.
Hey David, thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?
Your short film Only Fools Rush In will be screened at Fringe! Queer Film Fest this November, what does it mean for you to be at the festival?
I couldn’t be more thrilled. This is going to be our European premiere, and Fringe is a very prestigious festival. I am so happy that I get to showcase the movie in such a remarkable program.
How important is it for LGBTQ+ films like yours to have a platform like Fringe! Queer Film Fest to be screened?
Very! While growing up it takes such a long time to realize what normativity is and understand our place outside of it, and it is thanks to festivals like Fringe! that the idea of even questioning the norm is not only part of the conversation but also celebrated.
In the same way, it’s hard to make movies with narratives outside of the norm. LGBTQ+ festivals are both a celebration of those but also a more direct and effective way to find your audience.
Do you think these types of film festivals open up LGBTQ+ lives and stories to a wider, perhaps mainstream audience?
Not necessarily: Which is not a bad thing!
The world is diverse and so are the stories we tell. What we identify as a “mainstream audience” is just another way of describing what has become “the norm”.
Festivals like Fringe –and other festivals committed to showcasing diverse stories– play a key role in deconstructing and demystifying what normativity is, which is great in both an industry level (movies that wouldn’t reach its distribution/screening through general festivals find a place to exist) and a social level: diverse audiences find stories they can empathize with, feel represented, share and celebrate.
The intersection between “mainstream” and “non-mainstream” can happen and be catalyzed by a festival like this, but I don’t think it is its mission in any case.
Tell me a little bit about Only Fools Rush In, how did this film come about?
In the past few years, I have lost sense of what’s home. I moved from a little town in rural Catalonia to Barcelona, and then from Barcelona to New York. In the process, I had to say goodbye many, many times. I honestly suck so bad at it.
When the opportunity of shooting a short film as part of my graduate program came, I instinctively was driven to share a story about the last goodbye, and everything that happens once you’ve hugged screamed, fucked and kissed someone for the last time.
Production took over two days in one location: a small apartment in Brooklyn, which is home to Francesca, our production designer.
Did you draw on any of your own experience for your screenplay?
I did. Definitely. In school, I was always taught to write about the things I knew, and the things I loved. In the process, you end up figuring out things you don’t know, and also things you don’t necessarily love. It is a very collaborative and nerve-wracking form of therapy.
As well as write and director your film you also appear in it, how easy is it to director yourself?
The idea of acting in it was never part of the conversation. I wrote the script and we began production. We held meetings with Spanish actors currently living in New York since we had no money to fly actors from home. We even considered changing the character’s nationality to broaden the possibilities, but that felt like cheating to me…
I was very inspired by the mumblecore movement, and it is in the nature of how we always work to merge, blend and have every position on set be a little fluid, so when the time came I ended up acting in it.
Do you find it hard to keep these roles separate?
It was challenging, but also so much fun.
I truly admire directors that can keep the set in a vertical way: you know, they will call “cut!” and then give very private notes to the actors and the crew and end up in the editing room with an impeccable cut. It almost seems like a virtuous approach to me. But the way we like to shoot is very different: the conversation is always open, and the set becomes a very intimate space. Roles are all very fluid, so it doesn’t feel like I am wearing two hats: one as a director and one as an actor. If anything it feels like we’re not wearing anything at all.
What were the biggest challenges you faced making Only Fools Rush In?
The movie happened in an academic setting as part of my graduate program, and one of my biggest challenges was to find the voice of the project in such an alien space. On that note, it’s been very satisfying to screen the movie in film festivals, which is really when you get to read an audience and their relationship to the material.
What made you want to make this film using Super 16mm?
I was lucky enough to work with Alfonso Herrea-Salcedo as a cinematographer for this project. Alfonso’s understanding of this craft goes beyond the technical aspect. We both found something really magical in the idea that these two boys were consuming their last minutes of the relationship in the same way film rolled out of the camera. It made so much sense: these were going to be a lot of intimate, pristine little moments and shooting them on film was a way to make them justice so that an audience would also pick up on it.
"Falling in love and depending on someone on such an emotional level might, in fact, be something only a fool would do."
Have you always wanted to be a filmmaker?
I was always fascinated by stories and their potential to influence an audience, and the way a lot of professions benefit from this: from lawyers to educators. But I was very scared and intimidated by the privileges that come with wanting to become/becoming a filmmaker. Within time, my passion for storytelling kept growing and I found a comfortable way to introduce myself to the craft of filmmaking. I don’t think that if it weren’t for how democratized this form of art has become in the past ten years I would have been able to pursue it as a career.
How much has your approach to your film changed since your debut short?
Very! It is always so much you can take from such an intense shooting experience like a short film. I think that with time I have learnt how to economize filmmaking to its most minimal form. In terms of logistics but also in terms of story: the rule-of-thumb is always to find a way to make less become more.
Do you have any advice or tips for any fellow filmmaker?
I would say… try not to confuse rejection with permission. I spent so much time listening to the “can’t”s and “don’t”s that I almost don’t become a filmmaker myself! Also: always be on time and make sure to drink enough water.
And finally, what do you hope people will take away from Only Fools Rush In?
I hope the movie serves as an invitation and celebration of romantic love. Being gay, I find it hard to project myself in classic romantic comedies (mostly because of how heteronormative they are) and that has completely shaped the way I understand romanticism today. Sometimes for the worst. Falling in love and depending on someone on such an emotional level might, in fact, be something only a fool would do. But you know what: it is extraordinary.