Olmo Figueredo • Producer, La Claqueta
"Our content is destined for the international market"
- Sevillian Olmo Figueredo has been selected by Spain to participate in Producers on the Move 2020 and we have spoken to him
Head of La Claqueta along with his partner Manuel H Martín (also director of Huelva Film Festival), Olmo Figueredo is behind films of all genres, from documentary (Born in Syria [+see also:
film profile]) to horror (Ánimas [+see also:
film profile]) or historic drama (The Endless Trench [+see also:
interview: Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño an…
film profile]). This Andalusian producer has consolidated a career and a prestige with titles from all genres and formats, always focussing his attention on Europe. He has been chosen by Spain to participate in the EFP's 2020 Producers on the Move and we have spoken to him.
Cineuropa: ¿What are your criteria or intuitions when it comes to accepting a new film project?
Olmo Figueredo: For the first five years of our company we focussed on advertising and we got to work for firms like Cruzcampo, Armani and Sony, making communication videos: we learnt to sell ideas and I was effectively a salesman. And so you learn that the only way to be efficient is to believe in the product that you are selling and cinema, if we treat it in a purely industrial way, is also a product. So I either fall completely in love and believe strongly in the story and the gaze of the filmmaker or I don’t take it. I also fall in love with stories depending on the particular moment that I am living: I keep changing and so do the stories that I choose at any given moment.
And I see in your CV that you fall in love with all genres…
Of course, because I started making wedding videos. I love giving talks to students: I have one called From Weddings to the Goya Awards. When we set up the business, we did wedding videos at the weekend and with the money we earnt we invested in equipment to look for clients and work with them Monday to Friday. You can apply that very functional business plan to anything: we had a great time producing and directing those videos and it was amazing training, because a wedding is a production that takes place on just one day and you can’t mess up. I love all things audiovisual and I think you have to take it step by step, which is why I started with advertising, then shorts, followed by documentaries under 60 minutes, and we moved on to long documentaries with 30 años de oscuridad, which was nominated for a Goya Award. Later we produced documentary series and fictional feature films, and now we make series.
¿Which part of the process, from the script to the release, do you get more involved in?
I am a creative producer and I like to get involved in everything, knowing that my role consists of trying to give and offer the director all the tools possible so they are able to put what they imagines into practice. This implies working from the development of the script, although I am also present at filming: I become a psychologist at times because it is very stressful for the film-maker, after so many years of imagining something, to deal with that moment when they have to decide whether to repeat a scene or not. But I am only with the director if they want me to be: I don’t comment if they don’t ask, because it’s their moment. And in postproduction I also get involved, of course: in the end us producers spend years involved with a film.
¿Are you taking a project to Producers on the Move with the intention of finding international partners?
This year Producers on the Move is going to be more necessary than ever because everything is stopped, so it makes more sense for 20 professionals to get together online to continue taking projects forward, because you have to keep moving forward. I am taking four, looking for European co-producers: they are all first films, like Secaderos, which will be directed by Rocío Mesa from Granada; Tin y Tina, by Extremaduran Rubin Stein; Alegría, by Violeta Salama; and Mamacruz, by Venezuelan Patricia Ortega. All these films will be shot in Andalucía between 2021 and 2022.
(Translated from Spanish by Laura Villada)
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