Lollies – Vanessa del Campo

[Entrevista original en español]

Translation by Luz Suárez Gálvez – Correction by David Menéndez Auckland


First of all, thank you for accepting this written interview (in fact, I would have loved to do it in person). To begin with, can you make me a brief introduction of yourself, Vanessa?

Yes, I’m a curious person, I like observing everything and observing myself. I let the images, the gestures, the sounds and the smells that we can find day to day flow into myself, so when I start to write scripts, all these details come out by themselves, positioned inside the histories and characters that match them.


I must admit what I liked most of the film LOLLIES was that it is about swing. What made you want to make this story? Is the dance very important for you in this film?

Of course, it’s very important. I have been dancing balboa for many years (as well as other dances like lindy or blues) and I wanted to create a story happening in this world. So, first came the will to make a shortfilm set in this world and afterwards came the story.


Can you tell me any curiosity in the preproduction or the filming?

What I liked most in this project is that the characters are professional dancers and not professional actors (though they could be!). I knew Julia, Lourdes, Fran, Javiera… from dancing.  I proposed them the project and they liked the idea very much. Fran came from Edinburgh and Lourdes from Madrid. We started to work and practise, adapting the characters to their interpretation and including or modifying the story as all of us felt it. We enjoyed very much the preparation and became good friends.

Also, big musicians of the scene in Barcelona collaborated, such as Juli Aymi with his Three Cool Cats band, Irene Ruíz, Los Boozan Dukes and Bernat Font. It was incredible!

They even composed and adapted their own music for the short film. If you look closely, the first song is about Loli, about Sandy… It was an adaptation by the Boozan Dukes of their own work!

There are many curiosities… For example, at the beginning, the lead actor was going to be Cris Adán, another big dancer, but that was not possible because of schedules incompatibility (we were given filming dates by the cinema school right when she had a “gig” in Galicia). Another curiosity (one that gave me plenty of headaches!) is that in the original script, Xavi and Loli had a little three-year old girl. But the first filming day, the child (Martina) didn’t want to act and we didn’t have time… I had to improvise and change the whole script in the three following days off filming!


Now you are living in Brussels, are you seeing any difference in the way of producing a short film?

Well, allocations to produce short films here are bigger if you have an state aid.

This makes it possible to pay the salaries to make a short film, which should be normal.

Sometimes, the short film is considered a minor genre, but I don’t think it really is. The same way that we buy a book of stories or we go to see micro theatre shows (these are sessions where we attend to 4 or 5 play with durations of 15 to 20 minutes), or we go to concerts where several songs can be heard, not only one, why can’t we watch sessions of shortfilms (be it in a theatre or on TV)?

Slowly, this tendency is changing: for example, payment platforms such as Filmin begin to offer a shortfilm selection too, every time there are more wonderful festivals (like yours!) and  even some theatres dare to propose retrospectives on certain directors’ shortfilms.

In Brussels there is a lot of movement concerning dance and dance film. Have you been interested for this genre? Do you think in a future you might write some other short films about dance?

I would love to write another film related to dance. I’m very interested in exploring the limits of cinema, theatre and dance.


What do you believe the dance film is, or how do you interpret it?

I like to think that, in dance film, the screenplay is written using dance elements as part of the storyline, the character, the space.

But that does not make that common elements in cinema language such as light, camera movements, sound, atrezzo, location, etc, are given up.


Thank you for answering me and I hope someday we could have a coffee or even collaborate in some project!




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