New Talent: Ginesta Guindal
As a child, Ginesta Guindal was obsessed with Dragon Ball Z – years later the director is working on her first animated TV series with comic book illustrator Juanjo Saez. For the Barcelona-based filmmaker, who is represented by Blur Films,it’s a chance to revisit her childhood love of cartoons. Across Europe, Ginesta is better known for her fresh, smart live action commercials; she’s always trying to to combine clever technical ideas with a human heart to create films that are as relatable as they are beautiful. LBB’s Addison Capper caught up with the director to find out more.
LBB> Where did you grow up and what kind of kid were you?
GG> I grew up in a small town. It was a little wild in nature, my upbringing. On the one hand I wanted to be Son Goku from Dragon Ball Z and on the other I loved to lose myself in books. So, I suppose you would say I spent my childhood between attempts of Kamehameha (think Ryu from Street Fighter’s Hadoken, x1000), treehouses and lots of different books. I managed to be sociable but I suffered a bit.
LBB> When did you realise you wanted to be a filmmaker?
GG> In my teenage years. I loved to read, endless stories. I also loved to act and do anything that meant I could express myself freely. I was also fixated with human psychology – why do we behave the way we behave? At the same time I developed an interest in photography. So, I suppose cinema was a natural step. It has a bit of everything.
LBB> How would you characterise your style of directing?
GG> If I’m talking about advertising I would say one thing, but cinematically I would say another. In advertising terms, I would say that my style has two clear threads, though they’re not mutually exclusive. One thing is freshness and cleverness; in every image I look for a fun element or something clever, whether that’s the way it’s shot or in the action. The other element has more to do with the human; I try to capture something natural, something real, with a pulse, and something that isn’t too perfect. The nuances, the real details.
LBB> One thing that really struck me when watching your films is the rich colour in all of them. Why is colour so important to you?
GG> I adapt my look to the needs of each film, I also shoot without so much colour. But if you asked me to choose, I love colours. They exude happiness. They are bold. When I’m old I want to be an old lady with blue hair, who dresses as she pleases, for fun. Not just to fit in. And for me, fun is represented by colour.
LBB> I love your Wallapop campaign - some brilliant ‘60s vibes going on. In fact, I think there’s a bit of a retro look to a lot of your stuff. Would you agree with that?
GG> Thank you. And yes. I suppose I do like using objects and materials from the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. I see furniture catalogues of today and I genuinely prefer how they designed chairs in the ‘70s! I suppose I also like things with stories, and a history.
LBB> You’re currently working on your first animated TV series, ‘Heavys Tendres’ (Tender Heavies) about suburban metal fans in the ‘80s. How do you find the process of working with animation?
GG> It is very different. Much slower! You quickly realise that if you’re directing an animation and you ask to change the framing, or tweak the character acting, or change the light, it is the same as in conventional filming – you can still ask, it’s just a lot slower to solve. There’s not the time for the same trial and error. Planning is key.
LBB> As well as advertising, you’ve also worked on shooting short films, music videos and now there’s this TV show. How do these longer form projects differ to advertising in the process?
GG> I feel like long form is the opposite of advertising. It is a long distance race not a sprint. You need to stay in love with your idea and not get tired of shaping it and fighting for it, against all the odds. I'm learning from advertising, but I do feel that the world of advertising is so immediate and fast, with the ease of resources, and the assurance that what you start you must finish, has "spoiled" me a bit. It’s hard to find the time and the "unquestioning loyal and long-lasting" love that a film requires. At some point I’ll have an advertising detox.
LBB> You post photos to Tumblr quite a lot - they seem quite personal but with little context. Does your feed have a theme would you say?
GG> I take photos of my surroundings and my friends for pleasure. Without thinking about a theme or a motivation. They are uncontaminated and not work related. Not thought out.
LBB> Your ‘about me’ says you love dancing. Why?
GG> Because I am happy when I’m dancing. It makes me feel good. Samuel Beckett said, dance first, think later. And he was right. It’s my antedote to over thinking.
LBB> What else do you like to get up to when you’re not making films?
GG> A lot of very important things!!
Genre: People , Strategy/Insight