You can see Framed at Horror on Sea on Saturday 12 January 2019 at 10:30pm at the Park Inn by Radisson Palace Hotel.
Tickets are available here!
The first feature film from Spanish director Marc Martínez Jordán, Framed dwells on social media and the ever-increasing need for attention, views and followers. A house party goes horribly wrong when home invaders show up with the goal of becoming famous on a popular new streaming service. The partygoers are trapped as their captives resort to ever more depraved acts for the camera.
We caught up with Marc to find out more about the film.
Naomi: Framed is your first feature length film. What were the challenges in moving on from shorts to feature length?
Marc: The first challenge, of course, was the writing the script. A short film can be just a cool idea, a powerful sequence, but writing a movie means you have to elaborate a “little” universe, everything needs to make sense. It’s like a symphony of various instruments, the music has to play at the same time, co-ordinating. The second challenge was the shooting. A short can be filmed in two or three days, but not a movie. You need to plan everything very well. If you don’t go on time with the shooting schedule it can affect the next days of shooting, creating a waterfall of disasters and unforeseen consequences, so you need to be smart on planing scenes and be very far-sighted. Also, as a director, or even any professional in any department of the movie, you have to dose the energies because you can’t arrive at the final days of shooting (which normally are the most important) with no energy and clinically dead.
Naomi: There’s been an increase in social media based horror movies recently. What do you think makes this subject so compelling for filmmakers?
Marc: I believe social media is showing the worst part of ourselves. Facebook, Instagram and shit like that has shaken the life of new generations, and this explains very well what kind of age we are actually living in. The hypocrisy and falsehood of people, the extreme desire of being viral at any cost, cruelty against social minorities, and other phenomena are contemporary subjects that seduce filmmakers, even if you shoot a slasher horror movie like me.
Naomi: The film carries the message that social media and the need for more likes and subs can lead to a degradation of morality. How far do you think this is true in real life?
Marc: I don’t want to be extremely pessimistic, but we are fucked up. The easy message that we have taken from social media all these years is that it allows us to connect with other people, well, not sure I agree with that. I really believe the opposite: when you are more into social media, the more alone you are (or you feel). I extremely hate the hypocrisy of people faking their lives, I call that the disease of faking. I watch everyday people in their 30s doing bullshit and having the behaviour of a 4-year-old on social media. This is very sad and very concerning about the next generations of young people.
Also, people are obsessed about having the attention of others, so they do stupid things, like showing their nude body. Sorry to all the people that do that every day and try to convince me that they are doing it for artistic purposes – it’s not true, they do it for likes. However, the worst of this is that social media is confronting people in a very subversive way, in that we are actually unable to group ourselves.
Naomi: The invaders in the film are just as compelling as the protagonists, and Alex Maruny has been getting a lot of praise for his high-energy portrayal. What was your experience working with him on creating a truly villainous character?
Marc: I’ve known Alex for a very long time. In fact, we have a very close friendship. I was aware of his capacities as an actor even before we met, in fact, he is a very well known actor, especially for young audiences. However, he had never played a role in a movie like in Framed, but I was convinced that he had the capacity to make something like this because in real life Alex is a little bit crazy.
Working with him was so easy. Once the script was written, Alex and I watched some references for his role in the movie. One of them was Malcom McDowell in A Clockwork Orange, another was Heath Ledger’s Joker from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight. Then we rehearsed to find the right tone, avoiding extreme eccentricity. Having said that, Alex was the one who built the character on his own, giving him the final touches and working hard on making the dialogue realistic.
Naomi: Visually, Framed is very stylised and has some stunning lighting throughout. Are there any films that influenced your visual style?
Marc: Yuse Riera, the director of photography, did some very nice work with the illumination in Framed. The visual references we worked with were several movies. Probably the most influential was Spring Breakers, taking the concept of electric light. Yuse had the idea of making the movie look like it was shot throughout an Instagram filter, so he also made use of this lighting effect, especially in the post production process.
Naomi: The film has great effects for an independent budget. You’ve talked before about how important it is that effects are immersive. What did you do to get the most out of the SFX resources you had?
Marc: Making effects in a low budget are always a risky move. However, we tried to prepare it before shooting the movie. David Chapanoff, our FX artist, Yuse and I worked on every detail of the shoot that contained FX in order to avoid problems during the shooting. So the three of us would decide what was the best perspective to record the effect, also the lightest. However, on set you always find other kinds of problems that you never thought about before, but this exercise definitely made us save time and made the FX more realistic.
Naomi: Are there any sequences that stand out in your mind as particularly challenging to shoot?
Marc: The sequence with all the extras outside the home was probably the most challenging of all of them, because we had to coordinate all the extras and the actors who played the special forces. We were not sure how many extras would come that day so we hadn’t got a close planification of these scenes. We just improvised a little bit.
Naomi: What’s next for you? Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to tell us about?
Marc: We are working on another long feature film. I can’t confirm anything yet because the project is in a very early stage. Our hope for the next year to have some news about it and be able to give more details soon.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Marc for taking the time to speak with us, and to congratulate him on his upcoming screening at Horror on Sea! You can keep with him and the film on Twitter.