Interview: Andres Ramirez
Interview done by Nabadipa Talukder
[dropcap]J[/dropcap]ose Andres Ramirez Ortiz is Mexican independent filmmaker known as Andres Ramirez. While growing in the world of cinema and literature, Andres started writing short stories. Later on in his life he moved on to Monterrey, Mexico where writing and filmmaking became more important on his life. We talked to Andres to find out more.
1. In your biography, you have mentioned that you were surrounded by a world of Cinema and Literature and that is how you started writing. Can you throw some light on how you chose filmmaking as a career? How did you grow from a writer to a filmmaker?
Andres: When I was a kid, I enjoyed reading a lot of books. Many of the books I read were later made into movies. I grew up with franchises such as Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings. Growing with this influences made me get attracted to storytelling. For me, filmmaking is the perfect combination of storytelling and visuals.
2. How did moving to Monterrey, Mexico bring a change in you as a writer and a filmmaker? As mentioned in your bio, after moving there writing and filmmaking became more critical for your life. How so?
Andres: Moving to Monterrey, Mexico was crucial because it allowed me to meet filmmakers. I had the chance to learn my first steps on professional filmmaking standards at the high school. At that point, I started taking seriously the idea to pursue a career as a filmmaker.
3. In what way did formal school education help with filmmaking? Is it necessary to get a formal education for a filmmaker or the power lies in the stories we tell?
Andres: I believe film school gives you the tools to become a better filmmaker. As a student, I have learned many useful things, such as the art of blocking. The other important thing is that formal education gives you the chance to practice. But I also believe that ultimately it is about the story that you want to tell. Sometimes you have to make decisions following your instincts to tell that story. So a right combination of knowledge and following your guts is essential.
4. What is the inspiration for your film “FRAME”? Where does the idea for a film come from, since all filmmakers are storytellers?
Andres: It has a strong correlation to a personal situation when my Canadian visa was about to expire and I had to leave the country. Similarly, Sophia in Frame has to leave the country. The 8 mm camera itself was an inspiration, I bought it online and I wanted to film with it. I wanted to honor the way many influential filmmakers started their careers shooting in 8 mm.
5. You seem like a multi-talented filmmaker. You have done the editing and the music for your film “FRAME” as well. How did this plan out? Are you interested in any other facets of filmmaking other than these?
Andres: In terms of editing I had to edit this film by myself because I knew the pacing of the film. In terms of music, It was not my intention, but when I asked for a price, it was more than what we spent in the whole short film. Today, there are several useful tools to produce your music.
I believe that I want to continue pursuing my skills as an overall filmmaker. But I feel more confident and qualified to either direct, produce or write.
6. Why did you choose to film “FRAME” in this format?
Andres: Like mentioned before, the camera was inspiration itself. But ultimately, I believe that the reason it’s because of the thematic element of remembering. Super 8 gives a nostalgic feel and at the same time, it relates to the story, where Alex questions how many frames are in a memory. To me, the film is about friendship and the friends and memories you leave behind.
7. “FRAME” is your first film as an Independent Filmmaker. What are the hurdles you had to face?
Andres: Working with super 8 film in a camera built in the 70’s, we had to test the camera first and learn how to use it before we shoot. Obviously, with a low budget film, resources are scarce and we needed to be creative to solve issues. For example, we recorded the voiceover at 1 am in an 18-floor apartment to avoid street noises.
8. Are there any new projects in the near future?
Andres: Yes, I am developing a couple of screenplays that will hopefully lead me to make my first feature film.
9. Is there a message that you would like to give young filmmakers?
Andres: I would tell them to follow their dreams and persevere, hard work always pays off. Get together with a good group of friends that can work with you, making a film is a team effort. The better the team the better the chances to make a good film.
Dr. Nabadipa Talukder is a doctor by profession with a passion for creative writing and has been into digital content writing for almost 5 years now. She practiced as a dental professional for two years in Kolkata before she quit her job in order to pursue a career in writing. Nabadipa was exposed to the freedom to write for various fronts which opened up her mind and introduced her to the world of screenplay and script writing. She wishes to travel and understand various cultures and wishes to write their stories.