I began directing my first films when I was 15, always alone behind the camera, working all roles: not only as Producer-writer-Director, but also as Cinematographer, Camera Operator, Gaffer, Grip, Production Designer and Sound. I worked in this way, during my whole teenager hood, before beginning my film studies, when my only filmmaking experiences were the amateur films I made before that: little movies in Super 8 with my family and friends as my Cast & Crew.
Then, in 2000, at once I began my film studies in the school Micro Obert in Barcelona. As my first-year final project in this school, my teachers gave my first chance, to direct my first "professional" Short film, Mohamed (2001), in 2001. I mentioned "professional" because Mohamed (2001) was to me, in a lot of aspects, my first time in a lot of things: not only I left of filming in Super 8 to filming in 16 mm, but also I could say that was my first "real" contact with a professional filming. Cause I also left of being me alone the Camera, to have a Crew. I left of being my own Camera Operator, for instance, and both Torrella, una vida pel cinema (1997) and Mohamed (2001) are already a chapter in my career, which these filming memories I'll remember while I'm still growing old. Torrella, una vida pel cinema (1997) was my first feature film (made at the age of 18) and Mohamed (2001) was the first film as Director when I left to be alone behind the camera, which experience made me learn a lot for the following films I made till nowadays. Mohamed (2001)'s filming, as the young film student I was, seemed to me as hard as Apocalypse Now's. Maybe because I found new experiences, which we will never learn none in a classroom none in the best book.
This Short was filmed in Barcelona, on 1st. and 2nd. June 2001. And, when I back from my Summer Holydays, Micro Obert gave me the new that this film was selected, to compete in Sitges '01 XXXIV Catalonian International Film Festival. But then, this festival was just the beginning of further International Film Festivals, and which won him, among other awards, a scholarship to further my film studies at the New York Film Academy. Then: Mohamed (2001) was also my first critical success.
Sometimes, all I need to start off with is a song in order to imagine a basic plot for my next script. Alicia Keys' Piano & I inspired me to create my film Connie (2004), also based on events from my personal life. As a general rule, each person's life story is always interesting enough to inspire a script. Oliver Stone chose Vietnam, a relevant topic in his youth. Me, I never had a girlfriend in my teenage years. With the memory of conflict and failure still fresh in my mind, I feel I'll always be searching for this lost youth in all the stories I have yet to tell.
At present, in view of already seeing the faces of the actors when I write a new script, now my greatest source of inspiration is the illusion of the new actor or actress that I will want as the protagonist in my new project. To the point where my scripts have already become love letters to my actors, even though I want to consider myself, above all else, a director of actresses.
My body of work is often created with melodrama as its' backdrop, filled with visual portraits of environment and moods, almost always without following the accepted classic structure of a script by elaborating and then assembling brief sequences like pieces to a handmade puzzle inside of which impossible romances, farewells and open endings have all proven to be recurring themes in the various works of me.
The parallel phase of my career as a filmmaker reflects my work creating documentaries. Starting off with a simple interview, each project quickly becomes a catalyst for an explosion of seemingly unconnected ideas. Only during production and later during post-production do they slowly find their place in the form of a script.
Up the Down Staircase (Robert Mulligan, 1967) Eutanasia di un amore (Enrico Maria Salerno, 1978) Frantic (Roman Polanski, 1988) La Femme Nikita (Luc Besson, 1990) Man on Fire (Élie Chouraqui, 1987) Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1959) Zelig (Woody Allen, 1983) Another Woman (Woody Allen, 1988) Interiors (Woody Allen, 1978) Alice (Woody Allen, 1990) Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989) The Purple Rose of Cairo (Woody Allen, 1985) September (Woody Allen, 1987) Shadows and Fog (Woody Allen, 1991) Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988) High Heels (Pedro Almodóvar, 1991) Raining Stones (Ken Loach, 1993) Ladybird Ladybird (Ken Loach, 1994) Carla's Song (Ken Loach, 1996) My Name Is Joe (Ken Loach, 1998) Ae Fond Kiss... (Ken Loach, 2004) The Story of Qiu Ju (Yimou Zhang, 1992) They Live by Night (Nicholas Ray, 1948) The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955) The Heiress (William Wyler, 1949) The Miracle Worker (Arthur Penn, 1962) Johnny Belinda (Jean Negulesco, 1948) It All Starts Today (Bertrand Tavernier ,1999) The Straight Story (David Lynch, 1999) Shining Through (David Seltzer, 1992) Little Nikita (Richard Benjamin, 1988) Young Sherlock Holmes (Barry Levinson, 1985) Limbo (John Sayles, 1999) The Fourth Protocol (John Mackenzie, 1987) Amsterdamned (Dick Maas, 1988) No Mercy (Richard Pearce, 1986) Year of the Dragon (Michael Cimino, 1985) The Rain People (Francis Ford Coppola, 1969) Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore ( Martin Scorsese, 1974) Made in Heaven (Alan Rudolph, 1987) Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959) Welcome Home, Roxy Carmichael (Jim Abrahams, 1990) The Evil Eye (Mario Bava, 1963) Bunny Lake Is Missing (Otto Preminger, 1965) Wait Until Dark (Terence Young, 1967) Hannibal (Ridley Scott, 2001) Besieged (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1998) Nine 1/2 Weeks (Adrian Lyne, 1986) Bright Lights, Big City (James Bridges, 1988) 5 girls (Maria Finitzo, 2001) The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993) In America (Jim Sheridan, 2002) Dead Man Walking (Tim Robbins, 1995) Man on Fire (Tony Scott, 2004) On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Peter R. Hunt, 1969)