"Raising money from abroad is difficult"
by Toma Peiu
- After executive producing Radu Muntean’s debut feature The Fury, Dragos Vîlcu turned to producing on Muntean’s The Paper Will Be Blue and Boogie
In his mid-30s, Dragos Vîlcu can be called a producer on the move: after executive producing Radu Muntean’s debut feature The Fury and Tudor Giurgiu’s Love Sick, he turned to producing on Muntean’s The Paper Will Be Blue andBoogie [+see also:
interview: Dragos Vîlcu
interview: Radu Muntean
Cineuropa: What was Boogie’s total budget and who contributed to it?
Dragos Vîlcu: The budget was around €750,000. We got almost half from the Romanian National Film Centre and the rest from co-producers Antena 1 TV and a few advertising companies we usually work with.
How long after the script was done were you ready to start shooting?
Initially, we wanted to shoot in May 2007, but there was too little time left to close the financing, so we started shooting in September. I guess that gave us seven to eight months of pre-production.
What were the main problems you encountered during the production of Boogie?
It wouldn’t be fair to call Boogie a tough production. With six actors, ten comfortable locations and a small crew, it was a walk in the park compared to shooting the 1989 Revolution in The Paper Will Be Blue. The toughest job was putting the money together before beginning the shoot. We couldn’t count on all of our partners right from the start, so I had to personally support the film for a good while.
Why do you think that there are still only a few co-productions done every year in Romania, despite the interest that foreign producers show in Romanian cinema?
I can only speak for myself. Raising money from abroad is difficult and time-consuming. I’m not saying that I am completely against it from the start – we went to Rotterdam’s Cinemart with Boogie and we’ll try that with our next feature too – but we’d rather try and complete the financing with domestic funds and shoot the film keeping total financial and artistic control, then to look for international sales agents and distributors.
What do you expect will the main audience for Boogie?
Naturally, we’d like to have a big audience in Romania and abroad. Since the film is done primarily for Romanian speakers, there are many manners of speech that will inevitably be lost in the translation. On the other hand, the subject is universal and we hope that foreign viewers will react to that too.
What did you think of the story when you first heard it?
I’ve known the story for over three years now, ever since Radu briefed me on two ideas he had, which have since become the two movies we’ve made together so far. To be honest, I empathized more with Boogie: I am the same age as the characters and the theme seemed very personal for me too. Even commercially speaking, I thought the subject to be more promising than The Paper Will Be Blue but Radu insisted that we make that one first because it was easier to write it and the Romanian National Film Centre script contest was nearing.
How do you see director Radu Munteanu, now that you produced or executive produced all three of the features he directed?
I have been doing both film and advertising with Radu for the past ten years. We get along quite well and trust each other. He became more and more confident doing advertising, he is experienced and knows exactly what he wants, and this is extremely comforting for a producer.