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Pablo Hernando • Director

"Carlos Vermut showed me how to make free cinema"


- Pablo Hernando's second feature-length film, the thriller Berserker, by nature independent, alternative and free, has been screened at the Seville Film Festival

Pablo Hernando  • Director

The second feature-length movie by 29-year-old filmmaker Pablo Hernando, the thriller Berserker [+see also:
film review
interview: Pablo Hernando
film profile
, is competing in two sections of the 12th Seville European Film Festival: New Waves and Resistances, owing to its independent, alternative and free nature.

Cineuropa: In the final credits of Berserker, a list of patrons appears, featuring people who have contributed to the funding of the film, including Carlos Vermut, among others.
Pablo Hernando:
We launched a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs of post-production, and all of those people gave money. I was assistant director on Diamond Flash, and it was there that I met Carlos and saw that he was able to make films without having to wait and without money, so he showed me the light.

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Berserker, therefore, also will have cost little…
Yes, there have been many favours and people who have worked without pay: perhaps now we can pay them back. It meant making the film with what I had to hand, writing and thinking about it bearing in mind distribution, objectives and locations, and making the film with that. I don't like to talk about money, because I think that with low-budget films, there can be a kind of pornography relating to who can make the cheapest movies. I don't understand why when it comes to cinema the public has to concentrate so much on the economic side of things.

The dialogue in Berserker is quite natural and even funny…
Well, it's difficult for me to write the dialogue, because it's necessary to find the balance between the explanation of the essential information for the plot and the interest that can come from naturalness and from jokes and dramatic moments.

How many days of filming did it take to complete the movie?
It was quite a long shoot because we had to combine it with our working lives: I'm an editor and a cameraman; I make making-of films and corporate videos. We filmed in the home of Julián Génisson, the main actor, which we had for between six and eight hours a day, and he combined his role as the protagonist with his work as a translator. It was a long, slow and very laid-back shoot because seeing how we didn't have the means, it's impossible to do things quickly, but when you do it slowly, you can be sure it will come out well, although you do lose energy and the weeks start to rack up. We shot for four weeks in the flat and the flashbacks on free days, in total 30 working days of filming, but with less than eight hours on average. And with a reduced team: me on the camera, a production assistant and the sound technician. I was responsible for the script, editing and photography, but that's the way it goes with this kind of free and autonomous cinema.

Mystery, science fiction and magic hang over your films, from Cabás to Berserker
Science fiction fascinates me: to draw back the curtain of reality and discover that there's another, different layer behind. It's something very important in the creative process: I really like it as a viewer and as a director. I'm writing something now that starts off as a murder film and quickly changes into something else, as if there were something mysterious and different beneath.

Do you have distribution for Berserker?
We're waiting to see what will happen after the Seville Film Festival: whether it's well received, if there are offers or what. If it doesn't turn out like that, we'll keep ourselves busy, although we want to show it at festivals. Cabás wasn't shown in cinemas; it could only be seen at the Casa Encendida, in Madrid. But anyway, we'll always have filmin...

(Translated from Spanish)

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