Review Fix chats with 9 Steps’ Moisés Romera to find out what inspired the film and more.
Review Fix: Why is the topic of this film important today?
Moisés Romera: This film has universal topics in time and place. The fear from childhood and the bad education from some families. It is difficult not no empathize with the characters.
Review Fix: What inspired this film?
Romera: Most of our jobs are based on our obsessions, our fears and traumas. We both belong to complicated families and were teachers for years, so we are very interested in the education of young people. The future depends on it!
On the other hand, we shot the short film as a sample of a feature film of the same name that we are working on.
Review Fix: How difficult was this film to put together?
Romera: The film was very simple to produce. It has very few elements and a very tight budget, 100% came out of our pocket. The really difficult thing was to find its protagonist. We had to delay shooting for several months, until we finally got lucky and found the little and talented Pablo Muñoz.
Review Fix: Tell me about the cast.
Romera: There are only two main actors and the process of getting them was very different. Jordi Ballester is a professional actor with a lot of experience and after a few emails and an interview we reached an agreement. With the child it was much longer and more difficult. We even chose another child, but after several weeks of rehearsals, we decided to back off and start another casting. As soon as we did a five-minute test of Pablo, we knew we had our main character.
Review Fix: What was the feeling like on set?
Romera: The whole film was shot in one day. It was like walking on a cable, it was always good but also with the feeling that we could fall. Finally we kept the schedule including the rest times and ended up very happy, with the feeling that we had good material.
Review Fix: How have the audiences been reacting to 9 Steps?
Romera: It works extremely well in movie theaters. The audience gets tense, frightened, laughs, relaxes… It’s a great experience, like a roller coaster. While everyone is watching the film we look at their faces and feel very happy and excited.
Review Fix: What films have inspired it the most?
Romera: We haven’t invented anything new. Children (and many adults) have always been afraid of the dark corridors. It is true that it is our first film in which we intend to scare, so we watched several horror films and analyzed them, to learn the technique and style. A couple of critics have compared it to Kubrick, but I think it’s very exaggerated and pretentious. Another thing is the critical message and the final twist. In that sense, it resembles other films of ours.
Review Fix: What have you learned about yourself through this entire process?
Romera: We have learned that sometimes less is more. In this short film we used very few elements, it was produced with very few resources and the shooting team was very small, but that helped us to have more control over the process. We were able to create it with “good calligraphy”.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Romera: We are developing several feature film projects that are in different phases. One of them, also called 9 steps, is related to this short film and has several elements in common. If all goes well, we could be shooting it within a year. We also have a lot of ideas that come to us for short films and it’s costing us a lot of effort not to start shooting them.