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Ricardo Islas - Taking American Independent Cinema By Storm! PDF Print E-mail
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Sep 08, 2004 at 02:00 AM
Since coming to America from Uruguay, Ricardo Islas has slowly been establishing himself as among the most talented directors in the b-movie scene. His most well-know feature, Plenilunio, made for under $1,000, took home the "Best Foreign b-movie" Award at last year's B-Movie Theater Film Fest! More recently, Ricardo was able to secure a producer for his first U.S. production - the serial killer / monster movie Headcrusher! Recently, Ricardo sat down with us for one of our patented quickie interviews!
Dark Gallery) What inspired you to start making movies?
Ricardo Islas) Probably my father's tales. He used to tell me about the horror movies he watched at the movies when he was a teen - old Universal Classics I didn't see until I was adult. Since I couldn't see them, that fed my imagination.
DG) Are there particular filmmakers that influence you the most?
RI) In the past, Terence Fisher from Hammer, John Carpenter in his early movies. Now: Scorsese and Coppola.
DG) Tell us about the plot of your best known feature, Plenilunio?
RI) Strange crimes happen in a small town and a bunch of teenagers discover it's a werewolf. The problem begins when the werewolf discovers them...
DG) Was it a difficult production?
RI) It was considering I had the ambition of producing a monster movie with less than a thousand dollars. Probably the most difficult thing, like always, is getting the people together during weekends for months. As an addition to that I was kicked out of our main location, (a TV station) because they started to remodel it! So I had to change part of the story so that it ended up in an old school. Now that helped, since the old school was a great location!
DG) Headcrusher was your first U.S. production. Did you prefer it to the previous productions in your home country?
RI) Actually I hoped there would be more of a difference, but there wasn't. When you make indie/low/no budget movies, they become (in the poor version) what Sundance guys call the "author movie". Of course these are author movies...you have to be the author, the make up artist, director, grip and, if you are egocentric enough (as I am), you are also the actor. In Uruguay I did whatever I wanted. This was true for Headcrusher as well. John, my producer, never controlled me except for the selection of some actors. I'm kind of freaky and I follow my instincts. I liked a girl who was 5 feet for the main role and he didn't let me cast her... As in Hollywood Tim Burton chooses Christina Ricci. Well, I also have my own special selections...
DG) Is there a particular dream project you would like to make - maybe one that focuses on a particular monster or subject matter?
RI) No. I fall in love w/one project at a time. As I'm making a project, this one is my one and only love and I even refuse to think of another one. I'm a faithful guy...at least w/movies...
DG) What projects do you currently have in the works?
RI) On May 6th we start shooting Amor Brujo, five hour mini-series about the antichrist. It's like in The Omen. It's been an old ambition of mine to produce something in that style.
Thanks Ricardo - and continued luck with all!

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