VISUAL STYLE & INFLUENCES
"What attracted me to the idea of adapting this ancient writing to the modern medium of cinema is its use of irony and what I perceive is the underlying humour that indicates the lack of control that man has over his own fate. It depicts a kind of cosmic joke at the expense of the individual that reflects my interests in black humour and how it deals at its core with a very serious subject matter, in this case, the issue of suicide.
What I find interesting in the western as a genre is that it depicts an actual historical period in which the story can be presented realistically, but also it is a mythologized and highly stylized setting in which fantastical elements are allowed to appear. With this story, I want to challenge the archetype of the cowboy by presenting my protagonist with the challenge of having to reshape his identity.
Since he no longer fits the role of the self-reliant and powerful man who can control the world around him, he is forced to come to terms with the idea that he no longer is who he used to be.
The main point of conflict in the film is between man and nature. On the one hand, nature will be depicted as calm and magnificent by filming the vastness of the landscape in establishing shots, most of them static, in which the human characters are just tiny, almost insignificant figures. This imagery can be seen regularly in the western genre, but my main inspirations are the films Paris, Texas (1984), No Country for Old Men (2007), and There Will Be Blood (2007).
On the other hand, as a way of contrast, I want to reflect the internal turmoil of the character by the use of a handheld camera that would make the world around him more unstable and unbalanced when we follow him closely.
An important reference for this is the film The Diving Bell and The Butterfly (2007), which puts us in the head of the protagonist, a man who cannot communicate with the world around him. During the first part the film, we get to see the world the way he sees it, as well as perceive the anxiety and discomfort he feels in his particular predicament.” – Juan-Felipe Balcazar (Director)
A DOWNWARD MOTION
Short film – in early-stage post-production
Shooting format Arri ALEXA MINI
Production company – The Old Film Farm LTD & London Film School
Location – Las Bardenas Reales de Navarra, Spain
Kyle Hellman is found in the middle of the desert by hermit Horace von Clunk, who amputates Kyle's right leg after he discovers that Kyle has been bitten by a rattlesnake. Kyle is desperate to go back to the nearest town, which is miles and miles away, in spite of his inability to walk properly. What ensues is a very challenging and painful experience for Kyle, who is affected physically and mentally as he struggles to get across the vast and desolate landscape.
Producer and Unit Production Manager – Anna Parcerisas
Director and Writer – Juan-Felipe Balcazar
DOP – Jean-Baptiste Le Mercier
Camera Operator – Raul Mulas
1st Assistant Director – Javier Martin
Art Director – Julia Lopez-Melia
Art Department Assistants – Aitor Freeman, Julia Ventura, Antonio Lopez and Efrem Llorach
Editor – Marco Recalchi
Colourist – Marco Recalchi
Sound Designer - Marco Recalchi
Sound Recordist – Jaime Bermudez
Focus Puller – Paula Capdevila
2nd Assistant Camera – Julio Velez
Production Assistants – Arnau Soria and Elisenda Guardia
Original Music – Jaime Bermudez
Catering Manager – Andresa El Batticano Arguedas
Kyle Hellman – Jason Matthewson
Horace Von Clunk – Joerg Stadler
Guy Holderstrack – Daniel M. Jacobs