I always get surprised by the evolution of a film and as writer and director of Act Zero I was able to be the first witness of that evolution. Looking back now, I can see how the plot has definitely evolved in the preproduction process, production and postproduction process. But while the plot has changed, I also feel like the story itself, its themes and its message have definitely remained the same.
One of the big evolutions throughout the creation process was definitely the dialogue changes. I usually do a lot of improvisation exercises with my actors and rewrite my dialogue based on those exercises. The goal for me is to reach out to a certain kind of realism, while working with a script so that when I go on set, everything is precisely organized but feels like it is improvised.
I was lucky enough to have wonderful actors, who worked very hard early on and were able to prepare intensely for the roles. I had also an incredible crew and was able to really focus on my directing duties during those three days we shot the film thanks to them. I especially have to thank my Producer and my camera crew, who managed to work with my high expectations in terms of blocking.
While everything went very well, I would say that the hardest thing I had to face was the first day of shoot. We lost our location a few days before and while we had this basketball pickup that you see in the first scene as a plan B, we never expected the location to be so loud, to the point where my sound mixer was really worried. Thankfully everything turned out fine and I'm very happy to see it now going to festivals.
Written by Thomas Rivera Montes, Director of Act Zero.
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