|reporting the edge||credits|
home | about | news | contents | gossip | photographs | venues | brighton | dublin | edinburgh | film | features | interviews | awards | fashion | recipes | no more drinks | newsletter | links | contact
Fringe Report is now closed. Fringe Report closed on its 10th anniversary, Thursday 12 July 2012. It remains online as a record of 10 exciting years in the arts. Till July 2013, previously unwritten content is being added to the site from the past 10 years, but we are no longer reviewing new material. You can still write to us on the existing email addresses. Good luck with your shows.
Interview - Katina Medina Mora
by Kevin Gillette, Dallas correspondent
Fringe Report (FR, Kevin Gillette): In the two short films, The Journey and Fragile, you draw the viewer principally to the visual aspect of the story (this is quite literally true in Fragile since it is a silent film). What is it about the visual component of story-telling that interests you particularly? Do you feel that this is a conscious decision on your part, to relate the story by means of what can be seen, or is it a result of being a primarily visual learner? Or is there another underlying reason? And is it this motive force that has brought you to this point in your life, working in film (as opposed to, say, writing)?
Katina Medina Mora: The visual, I think, tells much more that any dialogue. In this particular story the whole story was focused on an old man and his memories so there was nothing much to say but to watch him going through his stuff, having emotions about it. The little girl is just the guide in a way for him. So we didn't need much dialogue. Also because everything is built in a stage I wanted the people to see every detail and not get distracted by unnecessary dialogue. I wanted the audience to walk with this old man and discover these things with him. In fact it was very difficult to choose where to put music because silence for me is so important in films. I didn't want to put music [just] so the audience would feel something; it's very easy to put very sad music in a sad scene so you influence the audience how to feel. In fact now that I see it again I think I would even take out some of the music - it seems too much for me now.
FR: In The Journey you have the two principals in frame for nearly the entire film. Lucy Joyce and Alan Breck, though both experienced performers, differ considerably in age, by at least two generations. Are there any inherent difficulties in directing and coordinating performers who span such a broad spectrum of age? Both of them are very facially expressive - as with the previous question, it seems that they are asked to tell their story through facial gestures. Are there any limits to what you are able to do with the performers based on their general age?
Katina Medina Mora: That was one of the more difficult things for me. You have to direct [them] completely differently. For a kid you don't explain much about the character or what she is feeling; you have to be very practical so they understand what you want. It's not easy to put them in a situation because they haven't lived too much, you know? So for example, on the last scene when they say goodbye, Lucy didn't know Alan very well and she had to hug him and smile and she wouldn't do it, she didn't know him, so I had to talk to her and ask her to close her eyes and imagine she was hugging her grandfather - so she did and she smiled on the shot and that was beautiful. I love working with kids, they are so natural, and Lucy is amazing.
For Alan [it] was completely different, I talked to him a lot about the character. This short is based on the death of my grandfather and for example the workshop is a copy of one my grandfather had so the whole thing was very emotional. I talked to him about my grandfather and his past life and his life with my grandmother etc so he had an idea of where he was coming from. Then in every set I would explain what the character was feeling, what was crossing his mind and it was very easy from there, Alan got it right and knew what I wanted and we talked so much about all the feelings that it was easy for him to hit it. The day we shot the workshop I arrived at the set, and my grandmother called saying that there was a sign and that was that day exactly my grandfather had died two years before so it was his anniversary of death. I was very emotional, and Alan came in to the set next and I told him this, and that day was so special and he was so sensible about the whole story that it helped with his performance.
I loved to work with the two ages, they are so different, one starting, the other ending, one full of fear, the other fearless; [I] don't know a more beautiful combination.
FR: What sort of work do you have simmering on the stove at present? More short subjects? Any feature-length film? What about television, or even your own screenplay to be rendered by another filmmaker?
Katina Medina Mora: I am writing a feature with the script writer that helped me with The Journey, Peter Devonald. It's been difficult because both of us are busy working in films but it's getting there. The main story is there; we just have to fill it in. It's a feature to be shot in México City about a relationship and has a little bit of fantasy in it. I hope to finish it next year and try to shoot it soon.
In the meantime I have a Super-8mm camera that I love and trying to shoot a little story with it, maybe something that would be part of the feature as a reel or something.
FR: Is there a single story you'd like to tell, but that you feel you may never have the opportunity to tell?
Katina Medina Mora: Wow, I don't know. I guess there is, but right now [I'm] trying to focus on the ones I can tell
(c) Kevin Gillette 3 January 2008
Fringe Report (c) Fringe Report 2002-2013