2011 balance

I thought it was time to recap on what went on over the year 2011 in terms of films and other -video or otherwise- exciting projects. Yes, there's a few days left to the end of the year, but I intend not to do much until Christmas, to be honest.

In January and February, I pretty much worked on Brothers day, my first feature film as a director, 24 7. Getting the cast, securing the locations, re-working the script, preparing the shots. Constantly buzzing production office. I slept once too. Great times.

In March, while I was still filming Brothers day, I did the first and last videoblog of the project, for the only reason that I was waiting for the actors and had nothing better to do. I did some VFX work for an American promo with a great pitch. And a time traveller.

In May, I went to the Cannes film festival. Walked around a lot, went to a few parties, watched a few films and saw Hugh Jackman in sunglasses. Got a new phone unsuitable for dirty fingers.

In June, I did a few more shots of Brothers day and I saw myself in the trailer for Captain America, featuring my first ever blockbuster extra role.

In July, I finally and officially wrapped Brothers day, to the surprise of everyone, especially me. Captain america was released. Enjoyed it and I THINK I MAY HAVE SEEN myself. My mother claimed to have seen me more times than I was ever there. Google released Google+ and I got absurdly excited about it. I'm feeling better now.

In August, I watched Rise of the planet of the apes. Got excited again. Longest title and best film I have seen this year in the cinema to date.

In September, I loved my new phone. And immediately started to hate it after that. Filmed some incredible bluescreen.

In October, I filmed in a warehouse and nearly got run over by a forklift, which was mildly entertaining. Filmed some stuff in the woods too.

In November, I forgot I had shown my short film Reaction to practically no one and shared it with the world. Calachurras reached its most exciting issue so far and we tried to explain a few things with a cute annex. As a reward, we finally got a fan we don't know personally. Win.

In December, decorated dozens of Christmas trees in a fake NYC and was involved in a attempt to burn down a hotel. Never toast bread if you are not completely awake.

More stuff this year ends with:  

Newfound Planet, our very own production company, is now born and the next feature film project is on the making, a very exciting Sci-fi. Which is like a Science fiction film, but with less letters. Possible the most amazing news this year.

Calachurras has reached the middle of its story, and still most people haven't got a clue what we mean.

After months of on and off work. The Brothers day trailer is nearly ready to go out. This obviously mean it will be the greatest trailer of all times. Either that or simply the most slowly done one.

Look forward to 2012.


After months working on it, I am struggling to stay focus on the script of my next feature film at the moment. Which is why I thought it would be a great moment to share the link to my last science fiction short film, REACTION. That's right. Hope you enjoy it!

For those speaking Spanish, there is also version with Spanish subtitles. For those speaking other languages, well, good for you. And your CV. Probably. If you do understand English but still enjoy subtitles, click on this one.

Actually -if not anything else- the short it is a good, representative example of what I attempt to achieve in terms of genre and style with the next film. So not completely unrelated.

Writing is procrastinating.

Calachurras - The little weird webcomic

CALACHURRAS is the story -a bit satiric and a bit fantastic- of a few peculiar three-arm beings, a beach and the most strange battle. We launched it about a year ago and it already has got 10 issues, published monthly. We publish it in both Spanish and English too, so that we can piss off as many people as possible.

For those of you who are following it, thank you and hope you are enjoying it. It's our special little weird baby for my brother and me (the Eskimo Effect combo), and we are excited to be able to share this very personal and sometime a bit twisted story with you all.

For those who are NOT yet following (oh, no!!), we have put together a quick guide to make it easier to start reading now. You can stare at it in disbelief right HERE!

May the creator be with you.

The latest joys of technology

Last month I scheduled a text that I needed sent earlier than I was gonna wake up. I uploaded a comic book onto "the cloud" so that I could read it on my mobile on the bus. Sent an online album with pictures of the summer to the family (pics that I had been automatically uploaded from my phone minutes after I took them). And I created a series of formulas on a spreadsheet that now allow my brother and me to manage our work on Calachurras more efficiently. Also, as usual, my texts were regularly backed up onto the internet automatically.

Almost as amazingly, I was able to find the below drawing -picturing a donkey showing surprise quite convincingly- in nearly no time.

Oh, and through an interesting phone app, I can now know where the ISS is at any time. Probably not as useful as to know where that damn satellite is going to fall, but still good to me :)

It's exciting to be living this age of technology.

Rise of the planet of the apes

Effects + Heart = Movie goodness. Yes, please.

It's exciting to see the fruits of the latest technology applied to movies. In this case, Avatar's big push in motion capture technology, with which the actors can capture body and face performance, allows the "Planet of the Apes" sequel to exist.

The danger is to learn to use this new technology integrated in the storytelling process. Looking at the trailer, it looked a bit like the tragic "I, robot", with Apes replacing the hordes of robots. Except for a couple of images, which encouraged me to go see it, and eventually enjoy it enormously.

The greatest archievement is to me that you root for the main character, a bloody monkey, to the point that you side with him against humans (the little bastards). Apes are in the movie more human than humans, just as in other good stories has happened with robots (Wall-e, Johnny 5), monsters (Hulk, King kong) or aliens (E.T. or this guy). Easy. By doing this rather than trying to trick the audience, the achieve effects that enhance the story instead of replacing it (films like "Hellboy 2", "Clash of the Titans"* or the "Transformers" eternal sequels spring to mind now), and that's why, I believe, certain sequences, which would have otherwise been just a way how showing off much money the movie had, work so well and so honestly. I personally loved the helicopter moment, you'll now when you see it :)

Click HERE if you want to see a special-effects-featurette.
Don't click on it if you don't, that would be silly.

Sure the writers took to some licenses in the story, but the final result is good enough as to want to ignore those bits. Only the feeling that the story wasn't going as far as it could have stopped me from loudly cheering at the end. It seems it was thought up as a trilogy. Well, ok they earned that. As long as we don't go back to battles of giant robots destroying cities for cosmical reasons.

Bring it on.

Niceties aside, "Clash of the Titans" is still the worst movie in modern times in my book. Its sequel, now on the making, means a step back in human evolution and will probably end up destroying the world at least twice.

Google+: First impressions

So after a few days, here's my perception of Google+.

Great stuff that's already here:

- Circles!: G+'s way of classifying your contacts. Makes a lot of sense, it's a pleasure to use. Means that you only share updates, easily, with the people you want. And it's pretty! :)
- "Hangouts": Basically, a videoconference service for up to 10 people! I like that the image changes automatically to show whoever person is talking at a particular time too. Can't wait to use it for face-to-face, yet remote filmaking meetings, or just family ones.
- Instant upload: The pictures of your phone get uploaded to a private album onto your Google+ that is instantly viewable and shareable. How many of us never download the pics to our computer? Never again!

Other stuff I still want! :)

- Circles within circles: A hierarchical structure would be very good to effectively organise your folks (you can vote for the inclusion of this feature here in Google moderator, I just did myself :)
- Integration with other Google services: Like scheduling an event that will go straight into your Gcalendar or being able to use your Gmail groups of contacts as Circles. Not even need to vote for this, it's obvious that it will be rolled out as soon as it's ready. But it can't happen overnight!
- Permission to be tagged: Always! Either giving permission over pics/albums, or to a list of people/circles. This type of thing is where Google can easily be ahead of Facebook.
Way of limiting the amount of posts per person on a particular feed: Some people share too much, and /or too often, and they tend to take over the feed for the circles they are in (unless they have their own circle, but this defies the concept of circles itself). I rather see older posts of several people than today's 450 posts from the same person! 

And the experience continues :)

Google+: The opportunity

Google+, for those who haven't had the chance to give it a try yet, is Google's alternative to Facebook.

Yes, it does look like Facebook, which on the internet seems to have become ammunition to criticize G+.

Personally, doesn't bother me. People are familiar with that visual way of receiving and creating information. Also, the changes that social media needs are fundamentally conceptual, not visual. And most importantly, it's Google, so as with everything else they create, there will soon be a way of personalize it to your liking.

And that's the key to what Google+ means. Its power is not in what it is now, but in what it can become.

Part of the privacy issue on social networks, only us ourselves can solve it. Whether we like it or not, communications happen increasingly online, and we are still trying to keep up with the system! To build a new platform to do that on, I for one think there's no one better than Google.

Unlike Facebook creators, Google listens to users. They actually have an ongoing list of pending changes on their official feedback platform Google moderator. Where, incidentally, you too can go and draw attention to something that you think is not working particularly well on any Google product. Here is the one for Google+.

Also unlike Facebook, Google cares about privacy. And already has in place some basic tools towards this end that I'm sure won't be the only ones.

So live it, contribute to the moderator. Let's create the social experience as WE want it. As it should have always been, with control over what we do.

Brothers day - Wrap!

So... filming is over for Brothers day!!!

All pick ups have been finished over the last couple of weeks and we even had some pictures taken this week for the promotional campaign. We'll be rolling the promo pics soon, followed by the trailer that is being edited as we write/read this :)

But for now, here are some pictures of these last days in varying quality. Click on them for a slightly-larger-yet-not-too-large version. Hope you enjoy them!

For the die-hard fans that may already be out there, by the way :) here is the Facebook page, that will be issuing the official updates.

Brothers day - Action shots

So as part of what's left to film of Brothers day, I've been out today with a reduced team visiting the locations for a very exciting action sequence. Here's some pics of the day.

On a completely different note, Google started fighting Facebook face-to-face today. It's a difficult battle, this one, but necessary. Go Google!

What's been happening

So I thought I'd take the time to give a bit of an update on what I've been doing in the last few months (that feel like years!!).

End of last year, I was lucky enough to have a job as an extra (background artist :) in the Captain America movie (!!!!!!). If you want to try and see me :P (I'm one of the blurry dockers in the background) I'm in the official trailer, min 1:36 :) Although it may sound very unimpressive to some, for me it was an incredible experience that felt much too-short, and it leaves me out of breath simply to talk about it. Only Google :) can be more exciting than working in a Hollywood movie + seeing one of the characters I've been reading comics about all my life (Captain America in this case) in the flesh + getting paid for it. Incredible.

Then somehow I ended up directing my first feature film, a drama set in Manchester titled BROTHERS DAY. I'd like to blame my insistence in getting in as much trouble as possible for it, but maybe it was just sheer luck. In any case, it was a lot of fun and hard work. Luckily a strong cast and crew came together in the end and we managed to both pull it off and live through the experience! I did have to put other projects on hold, but it was all worth it. I especially enjoyed working on a feature script which wasn't my own, and working with 2 fantastic writers to make the necessary changes to the story to be able to film it with the given constraints. I just finished filming it, still need to edit it all together and such, but the footage is all in the can (well, all but a couple of days). Sadly, there is very little I can show -well, other than pictures of the shoots-, but I'm working on a trailer and I can't wait to show everybody once it's finished! :)

As if it wasn't enough, I got involved in a movie-to-be called TRAVELER ZERO, a time-travel story... based on real events! :) I only got to do some visual effects and grading for it, but it was particularly thrilling to me because the project is America-based. It's currently been pitched in L.A. to producers with important-sounding names :) and hopefully the whole movie will get to be filmed. You can see the full short film promo below.

At the comic-book side of things, my brother and I have recently re-launched the webseries CALACHURRAS. We are excited to get back to work on this after a bit of a break to give the whole thing all the color that rightfully deserved, and can't wait for you people to read the whole story and tell us what you think.

Last but hardly least, I also went to CANNES this year, for the first time. Cannes is not only a film festival, but a way of seeing the film industry from a more practical angle, and an opportunity to meet a lot of like-minded people and move projects forward. It was a fantastic and necessary experience that I recommend to all my filmmaking friends. It is both fun and a lot of work, and absolutely worth it.

And this is all for now in what's been the most exciting months of my life. A lot of exciting things seems to be happening in the near future too, but I shall talk about them in some other post.

Thanks for reading!