Marlowe Diego Fawcett Jiménez [marlowealias]
What is your specialty? Production, direction, something else?
Writing, directing, producing
Is there a link to a site where we can see references to your work?
How did you begin in this field? Who introduced you to it?
I started out as a film journalist, writing film reviews for The Economist and other publications. At the same time I completed an MFA in Creative Writing. After graduating in 2003 I combined the two by writing a feature film script, then was fortunate to attach Vinnie Jones and within six months was in production on my first film with a crew of 30 and decent size budget.
The film, "The Other Half", has been released globally and sold over 130,000 dvd's in the UK.
From that experience I couldn't really ever look back and I've been doing visually creative work ever since, from graphic design to video production to trying to get another feature film going.
Which have been the most symbolic works of your career?
The Other Half
Do you work for a client, for the audience, or for your own creative adventure?
All three. They are completely tied together and anyone who tells you different can't think either holistically or strategically.
The client provides the initial funding, the audience decides whether what you have to say is worth anything and one's own creative energy is what makes one's work interesting and compelling. You can have one of those or two of those but only all three will get you another job.
What should a good script have in order to interest you?
A well-flighted plot - what that means is, a narrative should work like a dart leaving your fingers. Once in the air it's trajectory is a given and it should arrive at the dartboard with a satisfying thunk.
This holds true for all dramatic arcs, whether a conventional action plot, a 5 min short, a documentary or a mind-bending psychological drama that flips the linear narrative inside out. The arc should still be straight and true. So when I read a script I look for the writer's ability to "flight" his narrative.
Elements such as character development, dialogue, action sequences etc are all factors that determine the height and length and force of the dart's trajectory.
If the flight is wobbly then there's no hope to rescue the script with high production value or good acting or dazzling special effects. Those will just make it wobble more.
Name three contemporary directors or producers that you admire.
Top two contemporary directors: Pedro Almodovar and Woody Allen. They don't always get it right but when they do it is wonderful.
That said, there aren't many contemporary directors who can regularly "flight" a movie with style and grace, so I'm hard-pressed to come up with a third...Wong Kar-Wai I suppose, or Tarantino (if you can get past the sophomoric violence-for-violence-sake themes).
What movies or television shows inspired you to work in this field?
Hmmmm. Everything I ever watched. Even the bad stuff. Though I have a small list of outstanding films that I return to over and over again for inspiration (in order of preference):
Aguirre: Wrath of God
The 400 Blows
To Be or Not To Be (original Lubitsch version)
If an actor delivers the lines but is not believable, how do you direct him/her?
That depends on the context and who it is. Obviously, every actor is different. Generally speaking, when an actor isn't believable it's either because the dialogue itself is badly written and they don't believe it themselves or they are distracted and are not just saying the lines but "reading" them as if they had a script printed out in their head. The most natural deliveries are always the ones where the actors make the words their own.
Then again, a natural delivery isn't always what one is looking for. David Mamet deliberately directs his actors to deliver their lines with as little inflection as possible. That's his style and that's how he writes his scripts. There's also the occasion where an actor just wrongly interprets the lines giving an inappropriate emphasis or tone that doesn't match what will fit around it in the edited scene.
So, a lot to think about for a director, and no silver bullet to fixing poor delivery besides good people skills combined with a dedication to one's own interpretation of the script.
What actor would you love to work with and what type of character would you propose to him/her as a challenge?
Timothy Spall. The character of "High Risk" Nick in my next feature film. :)
Are you the type who instantly knows when a take is good, or one who does another three takes to be safe?
If you know it's good then move on. Your crew will love you for it.
What type of direction are you used to giving the director of photography?
"Just make it work!".... :)
In seriousness though, I do my best to find a DP who has a love for the art of cinema and who gets it when I make references to historical styles such as New Wave or Italian Realist or art terms such as chiaroscuro.
But most important, I discuss a scene with the DP until I feel he/she is on the same page as me as to what the scene is about, what emotion we want to create and how we plan to get in and out of the scene later in post.
Beyond that I won't step on their toes to tell them how to light something.
How interested are you in image technologies such as robotized cameras, special effects, etc.?
All great if you have a story worth telling. Otherwise it's just a random light display.
Do you enjoy post-production, or do you prefer to leave that in the hands of other professionals?
Absolutely love it!!!! Editing is where the story really takes shape, and sound editing/mixing is where it comes to life. I especially love collaborating with musicians on the score. I find it fascinating to watch other artists work in a medium that I know very little about, and get to be part of their creative process.
Do you approach an editing session with a clear idea of what you want to do or with an attitude of experimentation?
It's important not to start with no concept of where you want to go otherwise you'll get pulled down blind alleys and irrelevant tangents of creative thought that will just waste your time. That said, sometimes you have to "go around the block" to work through creative obstacles, so I tend to come to an edit with an open mind and willingness to play around.
What do you think of public subsidies for cinema?
Absolutely vital. Of all the art forms, movies are the most labor intensive and expensive, but bring so much pleasure to so many people. I think there is an untapped market for quality short films, semi-experimental work etc. Public money would really help encourage and develop quality film-makers.
Do you change the dialogue after selecting the actors in order to adapt the characters to them?
Not really, but I'm happy to allow an actor to come up with variations on the dialogue that fit their diction and delivery better. Of course, if you've picked your actor well then the dialogue matches them perfectly!
Which do you like more, large budget or small independent productions?
Both. Large budgets pay well. Small indie productions allow more creative freedom.
Is the future of cinema the Internet? Mobile phones?
Both, though for a while at least the large screen will still attract audiences for blockbuster style films. The main cinema-going demographic is males between the ages of 15-23 followed closely by females in similar age bracket, which is why large theatre exhibitors love to show films that appeal to that age group - plus they love to buy the junk food.
Marlowe Diego Fawcett Jiménez