At this year’s Transilvania International Film Festival, Yellow Bread talked to Pablo S. Pastor, the director of “Into the Mud” that screened in the Shadow Shorts competition program, about the film, his inspiration, the horror film genre as well as the short film scene in Spain and what else he has in the pipeline.
Can you tell us about your background?
Pablo S. Pastor: I’ve always been a Cinema lover, especially horror films; that is what made me start filming my own short films when I was fourteen. I majored in audiovisual communication and I worked on TV series like “Águila Roja” in Spain. Although my career in the last few years has been more oriented towards the fashion world, where I currently work as a journalist and on social media, I have never abandoned my passion: Cinema. And, that has led me to where I am today, talking to you about “Into The Mud”.
“Into the Mud” is your first short film. Can you talk about this first foray into filmmaking?
P.S.P: This is my first professional short film. As I said, I’ve been doing a lot since I was a teen. It has been a fantastic experience. I shared it with a wonderful team and I’ve learned a lot from all of them. It has helped me realize how much I liked this and has encouraged me to keep doing it in the future.
“Into the Mud” is a survival horror story. What inspired you to write it?
P.S.P: One of my favorite genres within horror is the one known as survival. Movies like “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Evil Dead or I Spit on Your Grave” are in my top favorite movies and I guess I’ve always wanted to make my little tribute to them – always being true to myself and putting my own stamp on the story, of course. Basically, I wanted to tell a classic horror story – simple yet direct. That was what I wanted with this film and what inspired me to make it.
“Texas Chainsaw Massacre”, “Evil Dead” and “I Spit on Your Grave” that you have just quoted are clear sources of cinematic inspiration. But, were there other?
P.S.P: Sure, Rob Zombie’s films; he’s one of my favorite genre directors and was another clear inspiration to me. But, basically, these have been my references for this short film, especially on a visual and aesthetic level.
You have assembled the multifaceted artist Ramón García del Pomar, María Forqué and Colin Arthur on this project. Can you comment on that?
P.S.P: Working with people as talented as all of them has been an honor for me. María is one of the most talented young actresses in Spain. She internalized the character so much that I practically didn’t need to say anything. Her job was outstanding! Ramón gave us the touch of experience, and it was a pleasure to guide him and see him do exactly what I had in mind when I wrote the script. And, working with Colin, responsible for the effects on films like “Neverending Story”, was amazing; a unique experience that will be difficult to forget.
Can you talk about the shooting process?
P.S.P: Everything was really fast. We shot during two intensive days in midsummer. Despite the harsh conditions, there were no complaints from anyone and everything went great. Maybe we should have had a little more preparation in advance but things went well and I’m very happy with the result.
What about the aesthetic and style?
P.S.P: The aesthetic was something that was clear from the start. I wanted to make a horror but I wanted it to be something aesthetic – even beautiful. I think to convey the aesthetic of a film and the imagery is very important and that’s what I wanted to do with this short.
Are you only interested in the horror genre?
P.S.P: I’m not a radical person. If a very interesting project comes to me or it really touches me personally, I would have no problem filming it. But, my passion for Cinema came with horror and it is the genre in which I find myself more comfortable. Although you never know what might happen…
Can you talk about the short film scene in Spain?
P.S.P: I think that every year we have more and more amazing new talents in Spain when it comes to cinema. It’s great that there are festivals like this where young directors have the opportunity to show their work and have some visibility. In Spain, we also have festivals like Sitges, which are an amazing window to the world.
What about the horror film scene?
P.S.P: I think the horror genre is an underrated genre in the world. People tend to think of it as something commercial and with nothing more to bring other than that blood and screaming girls, and it’s not like that. A horror film can use our worst fears to talk about something as intense and important as any drama, so I think we should start taking it more seriously.
Do you have any other project in the pipeline?
P.S.P: I’m always thinking about new ideas. My partner Javier Parra can tell that better than anyone. In fact, I’m writing a new short film with him and we hope we can film it next year.