Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Interview: Paco Plaza, Writer/Director '[REC] 2'
If I were to vote for best horror movie of 2010 so far, (OK it really came out in 2009 but its just now invading stateside) hands down, that award would go to [REC] 2. Not only does it expound upon the foundation its predecessor built to more horrifying effects, but it also employs new tricks with the found footage schtick, keeping the audience off kilter throughout as perspectives shift multiple times.
Through the miracle of modern technology, I was able to briefly email interview/shoot questions over to Paco Plaza, one half of the Spanish filmmaking dynamic duo (Jaume Balaguero being the other) responsible for this terrifyingly terrific film.
Let's hop right to it!
Cortez the Killer: [REC]2 hinted as to what could have been behind the ‘outbreak’ towards the end of the film. But it really didn’t divulge everything and show all of its cards. Without giving too much away, what was the idea behind the drastic plot shift in [REC]2?
Paco Plaza: Yes, that is part of the background we created. At the end of the first [REC] we gave a lot of clues, in the tape, in the newspapers on the wall. Everything was already there. With [REC]2, we wanted to dig further into the idea of the 'zombies' being infected by evil itself.
CTK: I love horror films that defy conventions and yours certainly does that, not only how it’s filmed and presented from a first person point of view but also with the concepts in this second installment. Tell me about your horror film influences and inspirations.
PP: While writing the script we constantly spoke of Lovecraft, and his vision of the uncanny, the evil beyond imagination. That was our main inspiration.
CTK: For the first time in the films, the first person camera view shifts multiple times. I thought it was interesting in showing different perspectives and points of view. Tell me about that and your reasons for keeping the viewer off balance in that regard.
PP: It comes from the hours spent playing videogames. We thought it was a great way to introduce other POVs and at the same time add something dynamic to the storytelling. It was a plus to the audience implication, increasing that 1st person experience.
CTK: The acting at all times feels natural which allows us to empathize with the characters as we’re thrown into their world. Part of that was the ‘realism’ inherent in the filming from a first person point of view. But more importantly, the actors onscreen in their ability to convey true dread and fear. Describe for me the process in getting the most out of your cast, which in turn, allows us to enter into their world of chaos, fear, and uncertainty.
PP: You said right. Our job was to create that environment during the shooting. We had lots of tricks, like giving fake scripts to the actors, taking the light off without them knowing. We played a lot with them. We let them improvise and it helped us in creating that chaos. It was a really nice collaboration, we provided them the freedom to create, and an actor seldom has the chance.
CTK: Some of the best horror films released within the past 10 years have been released in Europe. Is something in the water over there?
PP: I don’t know! It’s true, but not only from Europe. We've had great films from Asia and Latin America as well.
CTK: Any upcoming films or projects that we should be on the lookout out for?
PP: I just finished a 3D concert for Spanish Rock star Bunbury (he’s on tour in the US right now). And I'm beginning to write [REC]3.
Cortez the Killer