Interview with ASFF 2013 Thriller Director G.G. Puentes

The countdown to Aesthetica Short Film Festival 2014 is on with 26 days to go until the deadline of 31 May. To continue the countdown here we talk to ASFF 2013 filmmaker G.G. Puentes about his thriller Ashes in which, cloaked by darkness in the depth of a forest, lit only by the cold moonlight and the flickering fire, two girls dwell on their relationships and recent events.

ASFF: Where did the original inspiration for Ashes come from?
The main inspiration came from a song, I was in a plane and the the song played, Hammerheads by Caribou, there is a line in there that got stuck in me for a while, so I build up a story around it, around that line, in the same flight. As for the story itself, I have always have a dark side to my writings, and for this time I thought that two beautiful murderous girls could be the characters of this story. Listen to the song, see the short… I kind of quote the line in there, see if you can find it.

ASFF: What do you think the benefits of short film are over feature length?
I guess the benefits is just that maybe everything is just short. production time is short, post production is short, well, compared to a feature film, but also sometimes you get to tell something in a different way, maybe a way that in a full feature length it could be tedious or maybe complicated to understand. I think you also get to try new things, experiment more. Plus if it is bad or don’t get it, people wont hate you cause they just lost a few minutes, and not 2 hours on your crazy mind playing experiment.

ASFF: How was it to be involved in ASFF?
GGP: This is the second time I was in ASFF, the first was for a this short film called Umbral. It was something I did out of the blue and didn’t expected anything from it. but the people from ASFF seemed to like it and asked me if I was doing something else the next year, and I was. In a way also I did it so I can premiere it in ASFF. In reality it helped me set my deadline to it.

ASFF: For filmmakers starting out, what advice would you give?
GGP: Just to do stuff, money or not. Money certainly comes as a problem for many directors and producers, but in my experiences, well unless you wanna do a super fantasy film with lots of CG creatures, you can do them anyway. And maybe even if you wanna do the super fantasy film with creatures, maybe is destiny’s way to tell you to do something different, maybe the creatures are just people, same personalities, a new approach. Remember that a creative person is not the one that has crazy ideas, but the one that can have lots of solutions to one problem.

ASFF: Which directors have inspired you?
GGP: Well, many have, many do, many will… Lets think, Tarantino, Scorcesse, Kubrik, Chris Cunnigham, Spike Jonze, Hitchcock, Rod Serling (not really a director but a writer), Wes Craven, Tobe Hooper, Pasolini, Richard Kelly, Gregg Araki, Cohen Brothers, Oliver Stone, Darren Aronofsky, Mary Harron, Michael Mann, David Lynch, Nolan, Luis Buñuel, Polanski, Jonathan Glazer, Pablo Larrain, and last but not least, Alberto Fuguet, Chilean Director, who finally convinced me or made me realize that I just have to jump in the river if I want to get to the other side, meaning I just have to do my movie, How? we’ll see that in the way.

ASFF: What do you have planned for the future?
GGP: Currently I’m working in my first full feature film, now developing a teaser trailer which will help get money for production. The film is a Sci-Fi Drama, I wrote the story and backing me up with the project is Cristobal Tapia Montt who will be starring with Manuela Martelli, both great actors and awesome people. Also for the teaser Pilot Priest has let me use one of his songs and hope he will be involved too for the full feature. I’m very excited about all this, but has been a lot of work specially cause besides directing and producing I’m doing post production and vfx too, but its also awesome cause lots of friends and artists are helping me out, so Im not alone in this. I’m a designer, I didn’t studied film, and I wish this film is a gathering of great designers and artists developing something very special.

ASFF 2014 is open for entries. Submit your short film here:

1. Stills from the thriller Ashes by Guillermo Gomez Puentes