April 12, 2015 0

Some time with… Julia Guillen Creagh: “The film industry is changing as it happens to our society.”

By in Some Time With...


The film industry as we know it is suffering internal changes. The way movies are produced nowadays is very different from the greatest classics we all know. Not only visually, but also internally. A single producer seems not to be enough anymore to make a film happen, therefore we see more and more co-productions between countries to put together a decent movie worth for the audience to visit the theatres. Julia Guillen Creagh knows this reality very well. As a film director, she founded her production company, Atraco Perfecto, producing successful films such as Hotel Amenities, preselected for the prestigious Spanish Goya awards; and Shadows in Wind, award-winning short film.


Q Film industry is getting tougher and tougher everyday. Did you have this clear when you decided start your career as a filmmaker?

A To be honest I have to confess that I had an image a bit naive about the situation. I was so determinate to get a foot into the film industry that now, looking at it from a different perspective, I think I was more in love with the idea of filmmaking. I knew it would be difficult, but not this hard. I could not imagine, not until I saw the way things are from the inside, that it was going to get so complicated to make your way through a filmmaking career.

Q On your own experience, what would you say are the problems of the film industry and what would you propose to help eliminate them?

juliaA I think each country has its own difficulties. The film industry is changing in parallel to nowadays society. We live in a more globalised world now. The Internet and the new technologies make the world more immediate, a world where everything can be consumed from your own home. For this reasons, the film industry has to adapt to these new times to come. People don’t need to go to the movie theatre to enjoy a good film anymore, they can watch it anywhere. So maybe the challenge now is not to get people to go to the theatres, but actually get in their homes and their technology. I am a romantic, and I love the big screen experience, but I guess that both options have to be there for the film industry to survive. We are in the middle of a revolution, like the industrial revolution back in its time, and cinema is now involved in it.

Apart of all these obvious facts, funding is also the other great challenge for filmmakers. Each country has its own complexities, but I know what is happening where I live. In Spain there isn’t a defined Filming Law, and the situation changes with each new government. The law or the government does not protect filmmakers, and taxes are absolutely outrageous. This is killing the industry in our country, as investors are not willing to take those kinds of risks.

Q Co-production is getting very popular between European countries. Do you think the crisis is the reason for this? Or do you reckon is due to an internationalization of the industry?

A I suppose both are good reasons. Nowadays there’s no much money to invest in cinema arts, so you have to look for funds where you can to put together a project produced in Europe. Sometimes co-production between countries is the only way. In the other hand, coming back to the globalisation topic, a good way to “sell” your movie is to make it in English, to kind of assure distribution.

Another reason why productions between countries work for Spain is the fact that people won’t film in Spanish territory as it can be more expensive that other places because of the high taxes imposed by the government that filmmakers can’t assume. Only the director and other roles will be taken somewhere else to work on a project, using local technicians, camera crew and so on. This is why there is no work in Spain for this sort of roles, and people is being pushed to migrate to different countries.

Q Is it any easier to be a filmmaker depending on where you live? Which European country offers betters opportunities?

A I think you would get better opportunities depending on where you live. For sure USA offers more alternatives to filmmakers than other countries. Within Europe, I think France is a good place to be if you want to make movies, they protect their filmmakers and support their culture a lot. Denmark is great at the moment to make series, and I hear Germany produce very good tv-movies which exports everywhere. The UK also has a lot to offer for what I understand. Once again, I reckon that Spain can provide the least alternatives, but I talk from a very pessimist point of view as I don’t like what I see that’s happening here at the moment, which it is a shame because Spain has lots more to offer, not only amazing locations, but also very competent professionals.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply