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Industry Report: Documentary

Short Film Odyssey


- Interview with Melissa Suarez del Real, director of Furniture

With a little help from my friends

Melissa Suarez del Real, is a Spanish film maker who in 2008 with Furniture won the 7th NISI MASA European Script Contest for short film scripts.

I'm a scriptwriter; that's what is written on my business card. Even though I've been recently learning (and hopefully will learn a lot more) some production and direction skills, still I am actually a scriptwriter. It means I can write and rewrite a story; but when it comes to get some action (real action) concerning finding actors, money, costumes, it turns out so difficult, to solve the conflicts.
But there are some positive points in this issue as well. Practicing on production skills can eliminate the disadvantage of the film school years, which have passed in front of a word processor, trying to figure out the numbers of the letters in a dialog column. Even though I have already had a small budget to produce Furniture - which was awarded during the NISI MASA European Short Script Contest 2009 – I just couldn’t organize the things and get in to action because of the lack of a production crew.
Extra funding "season" was over, no producer answered any single email, and my rare professional film contacts in Madrid were already exhausted of me.

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Surprisingly, while having a beer with old friends and complaining about the situation … what happened?

Old friends who study in film school offered to get some free equipment for us. Old friends who are architects volunteered to find the piece of land with a fallen building that we need, thanks to the pathology department in their university. Old friends also know good actors. Old friends just want to help.

At the end, the collective spirit of filmmaking is, at this time, working better than any production company for me.

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