San Sebastian, September 23 (EFE).- The “Blackout” series (Movistar Plus+) brings together some of Spain’s most prestigious directors and screenwriters in its five episodes, an “experience” from a table of talents convened by Fran Araújo who dismantles the old belief that filmmakers’ ego keeps them from working together and well.
“I’ve always been a big believer in collaborative work between people, I know there’s a bias that people who dedicate themselves to it on some level have a lot of ego. My experience has been the opposite : the better they are, the easier it is, ”said the ‘showrunner’ in an interview with Efe.
The directors and screenwriters Alberto Rodríguez, Rodrigo Sorogoyen, Isaki Lacuesta and Isa Campo, who is making his debut as a solo director (he co-directed “La propera pell” with Lacuesta in 2016) and is also writing a few screenplays, and the screenwriters Isabel Peña and Alberto Marini, joined Araújo today to defend the series at the San Sebastian Festival, where it is presented in the Official Selection out of competition.
“I called the five dreamers”, says Araújo: Isa Campo, Rafael Cobos, Isabel Peña, Alberto Marini and Isaki Lacuesta and, based on José A. Pérez Ledo’s podcast “El gran apagón”, “we put set up a script table in which we developed fourteen or fifteen ideas that we distilled until we got to the five episodes that remained”.
Then, the arguments were presented to the directors, who “curiously -the creator laughs-, all chose to work with the usual scriptwriter”.
Campo explained to Efe that estuvieron meses “fantaseando sobre cómo sería esa situación distópica, que luego vimos que de verdad podía pasar, y empezamos a pensar el mundo que se creaba en cada scenario: que habría pasado en las ciudades, en una urbanización, en a village…”.
In this sense, Lacuesta adds that Araújo wanted there to be chapters with collective messages, which “claim that by working together everything is better, and the approach of bringing together screenwriters and filmmakers who, apparently , come from different genres, is consistent with this”.
Campo and Lacuesta can’t remember any other time it was done like this. “The talent table was amazing, but the logistics and production were very complex. You couldn’t take advantage of the sets, you didn’t rehearse the actors, each chapter is a film and, what’s more, the chapters were made simultaneously”, a very strange thing, says the Catalan director, “today where we think only of the economy”.
The first chapter, “Negative”, directed by Sorogoyen, with a screenplay by Peña, is the one that poses the problem facing humanity: a solar storm of such caliber is approaching that, if it reaches the planet, it will cause a total loss of energy.
“The great attraction of the chapter is that it is a situation of great tension in which a group of people must make a very important decision, even without having one hundred percent scientific certainty that it will happen; the conflict -says Sorogoyen to Efe- is already served”.
Peña confessed to Efe that the most enticing part of the project was for her to adapt a story often told in other films and “make it our own, putting the country we are in little winks that , in fact, color everything”.
“Emergencies”, directed by Raúl Arévalo who signs the screenplay with Marini and Araujo, takes place a few weeks after the electricity blackout in a hospital where the medical teams are overwhelmed; priorities begin to change and not everyone agrees with the effort required of them.
The third, “Confrontación” -with a screenplay by Isa Campo, who also directs it-, talks about the relationship between a group of “wild” children, alone in the midst of the disaster, and a teenager from urbanization, overprotected by her frightened parents.
The fourth, “Survival”, by Rodríguez with a screenplay by Cobos, is the story of man as a wolf for man.
“The idea was to figure out what would be the last place the blackout would reach, which human being would affect it the least, and we decided it would be a transhumant shepherd,” says Araújo.
“If a blackout like this came, the cities would lose all autonomy, without supplies, and they would sink into misery because, deep down, they are against nature. Over time, the townspeople starve, but they don’t have the resources or skills to learn the basics. And suddenly they find a shepherd.
For Araújo, it was important that the last chapter “be proactive and a claim of the collective, and that it transmits hope towards the human being”, details Lacuesta, director of the fifth, “Equilibrio”.
The ‘showrunner’ explains that the series is designed with closed endings, but open at the same time. It’s not an oxymoron. This will be perfectly understood from next September 29, its premiere date on Movistar Plus +.