Fermin de la Serna: “A teenager’s discovery about death”
Fermín de la Serna is an eclectic director, photographer, and entrepreneur. He is the founder of the production company “Climax” and of the magazine “La Brújula”. He is also the Co-Founder and Creative Director of “Presence”, a Virtual Reality production company. He studied Image and Sound Design at the University of Buenos Aires and participated in several film productions over the past few years. He worked as a creative director and assistant director on series and projects for Netflix, Turner, and Fox. In 2017 he directed La Entrevista which has been awarded six times as the best international short film and was presented at over twenty film festivals.
What are the most challenging aspects of being a filmmaker?
Achieving the patience to understand that each project is a long process that takes years to complete is a challenge. The subtlety and fragility of each film have to be properly respected and that is not an easy task in a world where speed and productivity are prized.
What is your source of inspiration for this short film?
After filming my first black comedy short film, I needed to generate a more introspective project and produced “El Placer”. The inspiration came from a story that my grandfather told me and personal feelings related to the construction of my masculinity.
What is the theme of this film?
A premature teenager after the death of his best friend discovers death. The young man begins an inner search in a context where the yield of masculinity is on the surface. Only the flow of the dance can free him from so much anguish.
How do you decide on possible ways to promote your film when you are on a tight budget?
Dedicate a lot of time to understanding the distribution in different film festivals and focus the budget on those possibilities. If the project is good, the film is easily promoted.
How important do you think distribution is in today's marketplace?
Distribution in today’s market is essential to reach the audience. You spend years on a project and you want as many people as possible to see your film.
For those considering self-distribution, what is your advice?
That they read a lot about distribution, that they use the platforms already created for that, and that they be commanded and intuitive when it comes to wanting to present their films at different festivals.
How significant do you think short films are for someone venturing into directing films?
The short film is very important not only to learn and play with audiovisual language but also because it is a great challenge to tell a story in such a short time and to be able to make the viewer laugh or cry.
What was the worst challenge of your career so far? How did you take it over?
Filming a movie on the Amazon and another with my father. Two great challenges that I still don’t know how I took on but that culminated in a very good way.
What are the factors to making a good film?
I don’t think cinema works like a formula.
Is there anything you would change if you could go back to the beginning?
Enjoy each project and not be thinking about the next one.