Marilyn In Miami | Feature | Psychological drama | B&W | 2018
After being lied to by Jimmy, her online Miami love interest, about leveraging her to Stardom in Hollywood, Marilyn Moreno does everything possible to reach her dreams, at any price.
Marilyn Moreno was born to become a superstar in mythical Hollywood, California. Too bad she lives south of the border and spends most of her life looking up to that promising future. Until she meets online Miami native Jimmy, who immediately promises to help her fulfill her dreams, and find true love at the same time. So, naturally, she flies to Miami, where the mundane trappings of life, being rejected in every casting call and working as a living statue in Miami Beach, give her a crash course on broken dreams. She soon realizes her career is going nowhere, and Jimmy seems perfectly happy about it. But Marilyn didn't go through all this trouble to die on the shore. She is determined to get what she wants. One way, or another.
The process of putting together an independently produced feature.
After a full year saving money for my own move to Los Angeles, to pursue my film career, I decided that the digital era does not require such jump. So I stayed in Florida and wrote the structure of a short film which would precede my first feature project. The original name was Marilyn Moreno and it would deal with a latin woman who tries to become Marilyn Monroe even if she is physically her complete oposite. The idea was to force the audience to change their views, first laughing at Moreno's ridiculous ordeal, but then siding with her because of her unbreakable determination. The first draft was completed and I started my work as a Hamelin Piper: hypnotizing actores and film crew into joining me in this project.
As I envisioned it first, the actress for Marilyn Moreno should have features that are completely oposite to those of Marilyn, so the transformation with make up, wig and dress would look like misplaced. I interviewed several actresses and, as it happens, some plans fell through because of scheduling impossibilities.
I then had a vision: Rosalinda Rodriguez! Mexican-American actress, whom I had already thought of for my future project. So I asked her and sent her the script. It took her more than three weeks to respond, because she was out of town. She was delighted and asked me what character was I thinking for her. I couldn't believe she didn't know I wanted her to play our Marilyn. She, on the other hand, couldn't believe I was offering such an incredibly rich character. So, we had our Marilyn on board. Soon after we started bringing a DP, Sound mixer, an Art Director and a Make up artist. The crew team was very small and the production had to be kept at a minimum, or I wouldn't be able to make it with the little money I had.
In September 2015 we were already shooting our scenes in diverse locations: Lincoln Road, Homestead, Coral Gables, Sunny Isles. We rented a blue and white 57' Bel Air from an independent company in Fort Lauderdale and I drove the car to the locations, twice.
I was honored of the cast I was able to bring to the project: Neher Jacqueline Briceño, Principal acting coach at Adriana Barraza's Black Box theater was playing Marilyn's mother, Ika Santamaría, an all-terrain filmmaker I admire, had a small part as a theater director, Mitch Lemos, with whom I had already work on a previous project also participated. And with them, Sandra Lucia Portal Andreu, Amy Schultz, Karen Chimato, Melanie Crim, Annie Jones, and more, joined right after.
In December of that year, the production came to a halt. Several interruptions were adding more time than planned into the project, (which by that time had changed from short film into a full feature). So this lead to the departure of some of our cast and crew members. I decided to stop production to reorganize. Little did I know this process would take me more than 2 years.
With the project in hibernation, Aurelina Romero, Co-owner of the first French independent TV Station in Miami, and an experienced Venezuelan producer was brought in. With her, Luba Parada joined as our Production/Direction assistant, and Lester Llanes and Yessana Viva agreed to work together taking turns as DP and Camera Operator. Then Roberto Figueroa was brought in to manage locations and props, Jeanny Arreaza and Angela Carbonaro renewed their participation as Make Up Artist and Wardrobe designer.
We only needed our leading actor. Once again I had a hunch, so I called Scott King, whom I knew from a previous project, that we were pushing to finish for years. Scott agreed to be our Jimmy, so the new MARILYN IN MIAMI had risen from its own ashes.
Pre-production resumed mid 2017 and shooting scheduled for the month of November, leaving early 2018 for post production.
The human soul is at center stage, unveiling a strange and unsettling universe of feelings and actions.
agatino zurría | Founder
Clovis | Short film | Psychological drama | color
In a little house in the middle of nowhere, an aging man walks outside with a can of beer, followed by a younger woman, on a rocker tank top, who carries an ax and soon kills him in the act. What follows is the whys and the so.
Clovis is a minimalistic short that focuses on the mystery of people we don't know but think we know. We spend our life guessing what the others do or think. Why someone should go to jail and why someone is completely innocent. We feel empathic with certain people and repulsed by others. Yet, we don't have the full story to sustain our opinions or feelings.
To me, looking at a girl in the cash register of a supermarket is a pandora's box, filled with stories that I don't know and will never know.
Also, our short is concerned about the heritage we leave our children. I remember Costa-Gavras film Music Box, in which a lawyer defends her father from unjust war crimes, until she realizes he did commit them. Her concern is the learnings of her son, exposed to such a monster. Clovis is a kid, trapped in this little house, absorbing the nonsense of his surroundings. The story can never end there, but many years later, when Clovis psyche comes to the surface.
Every story is born from many sources at the same time: fantasy, hearsay, dreams, real occurrences, wishes & fear.
AUREA | Short film | Steampunk Retro Sci-Fi | Color
In the early hours of a rainy and dark day, a group of people leave their houses and run to the train station before anyone can notice. They will escape to a sunnier world, to have a better tomorrow. They're not alone.
With as little information as possible, we try to convey a sense of chaos and hope, and what a new world looks like when reached for the group of steampunk immigrants. Yes, our short film, as every Sci-Fi, mirrors a part of our reality today, so that we can see it with different eyes, in a distance, and reflect.
Aurea is a collaboration between a group of artists who are associated with the worldwide Steampunk movement. Locations were used at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, in Miami, as well as Miami Beach and Wynwood.
Each actor brought their own wardrobe creation, and most of them also brought in their industrial gadgets, to protect them against an unknown force that might be waiting for them while hoping for a better tomorrow.
Interesting trivia: we needed to face Sunny Miami for a Rainy world, and we were talking with experts to do it in post. No need for that. It miraculously rained on cue.
The first cut of the film was presented during the All-day steampunk event RAIL at the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, created by artists Nadia Desjardins and Sheri A Friedman. It was shown to a full house of steampunk enthusiasts and we secured our place in the upcoming Miami Science Fiction Short Film Festival.