Producing in a small film industry
by Vladan Petkovic
- Interview with the head of Interfilm, one of the most active companies in Croatia, where film financing remains a difficult art
Ivan Maloca is one of the most productive producers in Croatia. Since 1999, he produced 15 feature films, including some of the internationally most acclaimed ones, such as Vinko Bresan's Witnesses and Marshal, as well as Zrinko Ogresta's Red Dust, Here and the latest Behind the Glass [+see also:
interview: Ivan Maloca
interview: Zrinko Ogresta
Cineuropa: What films were hardest for you to produce?
Ivan Maloca: Behind the Glass was the toughest, because I always want to make the new film better than the previous one. It's hard to pick a single film, but definitely Red Dust and Marshal were great challenges because they were the first feature films I worked on and I expected a lot from them.
How big was the budget for Behind the Glass and how did you put it together?
The budget was around a €1m, which we got from the Croatian Ministry of Culture, Croatian National Television and the City of Zagreb. Unfortunately, it is hard to get any financing in Croatia. I have to admit that it is hard to make a film in such conditions. The director didn't get paid because we agreed to spend all the money on production and to pay his fee from later income.
When did you shoot the film and were there any difficulties?
We filmed for six weeks, from June 18 to July 31, 2007. With most film productions in Croatia there are difficulties. In this case, besides the lack of financial means, we had problems with some of the crew, but I solved it in a correct way.
Zrinko Ogresta (director):
In speaking about production, Zrinko Ogresta says that in small film industries such as Croatia's, a director can hardly hope to make more than eight films in his career. He gave up his director's fee in favour of production values. "My colleague Vinko Bresan told me I should have never done that, because it lowers me to the level of film enthusiast instead of the film professional that I really am, with five feature films under my belt, and he is probably right," says Ogresta.
The only other compromise they made was shooting on HD, which in his opinion does not hurt this film. Ogresta worked with his regular cinematographer Davorin Gecl, probably the top expert on digital photography in Croatia. The director also says that for him, preparation is everything. "Crews and talent like to work with me because there are rarely any surprises on the set. I never improvise while shooting and I do my best to have everything set up according to plan so that other departments don't suffer. In Behind the Glass, everything we shot ended up in the film. Not even one scene was shortened. It is more usual for me to return previously discarded scenes in the editing than to remove them as most of my colleagues do," adds Ogresta.
Behind the Glass will be released in Croatia on October 30, through the country's leading distributor Blitz. Producer Maloca says has that his company Interfilm has received some offers in terms of international sales, which are still being negotiated.