Your new movie The Cage
- in a few words, what is it about?
The shortest answer is love, the movie is about love. Longer answer, it's
about love and solitude of Eva, Fausto and Daphne, and the power of
nature retaking earth after humans were wiped. And the longer version
is: Well, we humans are destroying the planet, the wars, the racism,
sexisim, and all the things that the media doesn't cover, my movie is
about that, about the earth being better without us, and cleansing the
earth of humans.
Cage being a post-doomsday movie of sorts, is that a genre you're
at all fond of, and some of your genre favourites?
Well, I am thrilled with The Walking Dead graphic novel. I love the
Cloverfield saga and the Mad Max
saga. Melancholia, also. Hmm... also the
part where Dr. Manhattan is on the moon in The Watchmen graphic
sources of inspiration when writing The
Well as mentioned above, Dr. Manhattan in the Watchmen, The
Walking Dead comicbook series. Omega Man maybe.
What can you tell us about your co-writer
Inti Torres Melo, and what was your collaboration like?
It took us 4 years to have the script ready, he lived in another city
than me, so we used to go on trips, smoke weed and write... it was a
great experience, now he is one of my close friends.
the three survivors in your movie, whom do you identify with the most, and
why? And quite honestly, what would you do if you were among the very last
humans left on earth?
All three characters are based on me and Inti, and all of them have a
piece of myself in them, but my favourite character for sure is Eva, she
had the guts and the courage to go with her instincts, even in the post
apocalypse, even if that meant doom for the human race, and her political
statement on why we as human deserved this doomsday.
Making a movie set in a world
devoid of people - what are the major challenges there, from a logistical
point of view?
Shooting in Venezuela gave me a great chance to shoot this, we have so
many non-permit required locations. I would think the greatest
challenge was getting the sound right, if there are no humans, there
shouldn't be any human sound... that was a challenge. Also
this is a very minimal budget movie, we had to travel a lot to get
locations, that was also a challenge.
What can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
Well I wanted a very slow paced film, where you can see the main
characters slowly falling in love with each other, and also the solitude
of Fausto, going mad feeling alone in the universe. I had long takes and
a lot of wide shots for this.
The B story was narrated through animals and nature retaking the planet.
This had a lot of close-ups of animals and timelapses.
about your key cast, and why exactly these people?
Well, this is hard for me to talk about ,but I had another girl as lead,
and 10 days before shooting she said that she did not like the part, and
she ditched me, and we found Karina Velasquez, one day before we shoot, and oh my,
it was the best thing that has ever happened to the film. I am not a
director that rehearses, I usually develop characters and rehearse one
time on set, so I was going blind with her, and damn she can deliver
some great performance.
With Juvel Vielma, we met during the shoot of Inti's debut short film, and it
has been set since then.
And Ananda Troconis, I knew her other films and I loved her, now we are very close
words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
This is my first film, so everyone was very supportive, by the end
of the film we all loved each other so much.
you can tell us about audience and critical reception of The
It has been very positive, it has won several festivals, and the public
loves it. It has been on 2 Venezuelan critic sites with very positive
Any future projects you'd like to share?
Right now we are in post-production of my second film Esto no
es Sad Face (This ain't Sad Face), it's about rock and roll in the
90s. It is a great film, totally different from The Cage. And we are
writing my third film called The Darwin Project, it's dystopian
got you into filmmaking in the first place, and did you receive any formal
training on the subject?
I am an engineer, worked on the field for about 3 years, and one day
trying to get away from a toxic girl I decided to use all my
savings and study ANYTHING in New York. So I googled "quick study
programs in New York" and an Google ad from NYFA showed up. Without giving it a lot of thought I enrolled, and
here I am 12
years later writing my third film.
What can you tell us about your
filmwork prior to The Cage?
Mostly commercials, nothing major tbh.
made the reportedly first science fiction film of Venezuela, what can you
tell us about the Venezuelan film scene as such, especially when it comes
to genre films?
Well, Venezuela has had a great film industry for several years, including
Goya- and Cannes-winning films, and we also did some amazing genre films
such as La Casa del Fin de los Tiempos. Of course there is not
denying that we are going through a very rough economical and political
situation, but movies are still being made.
How would you describe yourself as a
Efficient? I don't know, I don't like to waste the audience's time, everything on the screen needs to say something...
Filmmakers who inspire you?
J.J. Abrams, Danny Boyle, Kubrick, Tarantino, Vince Gilligan,
so many to
mention, but that's the short list.
Not in any particular order and depending on the mood: Full Metal Jacket, Kill
Bill, Grizzly Men, The Art of Killing, A Clockwork
Orange, Songs from the Second Floor, SuperBad, 8mm,
many to mention, hehe.
... and of course, films you really
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
I really didn't like Wonder Woman 84. I am a fan of the comics and the
films, but that one I didn't like.
Your/your movie's website, social media,
My Instagram is @jishmedia, but I rarely post.
Anything else you're dying to mention and
I have merely forgotten to ask?
Don't think so.
Thanks for the