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If I Were an Actor

A good screenplay is a necessary condition for making a good film. It is not, however, a sufficient condition. Other elements need to be added , in the long a difficult process that is required to produce a small miracle: the transformation of not a small quantity of pages into a piece of work filled with life and emotion. Actors are vital elements and Daniel Sánchez Arévalo enjoys working with them.

José Antonio Félez
01.12.2014
If I Were an Actor
Daniel Sánchez Arévalo at Gordos shotting, 2009

It is my belief that every film must begin with a good storyline and a few well-constructed characters. Daniel Sánchez Arévalo is a fantastic screenwriter, and he has proven it in the four feature films he has made in addition to all his shorts.

A good screenplay is a necessary condition for making a good film. It is not, however, a sufficient condition. Other elements need to be added, like pieces of a giant puzzle, in the long a difficult process that is required to produce a small miracle: the transformation of not a small quantity of pages into a piece of work filled with life and emotion.

Actors are vital elements. It has always surprised me that there exist directors, some sacred, who give little importance to the work of their actors. Daniel Sánchez Arévalo is an example of the complete opposite. His process of selection, the casting, is meticulous and painstaking. He usually demands exhausting rehearsals, always trying to bring out the best in each actress of actor.

I think that actors, when they face a particular role, are taking a plunge almost as great as that of Felix Baumgartner. It gives you vertigo. Daniel knows how to accompany them and convince them that he is going to be there when needed, that nobody will hit the floor hard. The empathy that he fosters with the actors makes them take risks that with other directors would be unthinkable. Daniel is always on hand.

Daniel does this part of his work with conviction and enthusiasm. It catches your eyes how he enjoys working with actors. He insists on rehearsing as much as is needed in order to gain the most from every character in every situation. He encourages them to participate actively. Advice is always well received and he incorporates that which improves the characters or dialogue.

It is not rare for Daniel to establish stable links with actors who he works with. Antonio de la Torre, Raúl Arévalo, and Quim Gutiérrez are good example of this. Some of them made their debut on film under his direction and a good part of the highlights of their careers are alongside Daniel. With this in mind, we can explain why the actors have set out on risky and long adventures such as that of Gordos, doing it convinced that it is going to be worth it, not only for the end result, but also for the journey.

If I Were an Actor
Daniel Sánchez Arévalo with the actors Patrick Criado and Arancha Martí at the shooting of La gran familia española, 2012

We have just finished filming La gran familia española. There are a lot of characters, all different and all attractive in their own way. All chosen after a long and careful selection process. Daniel worked tirelessly with those who were chosen. There were some who had extensive experience: Antonio, Quim, Verónica Echegui, Héctor Colomé … Others, good actors but with less film experience: Roberto Álamo and Mikel Fernández… And lastly, there were some freshmen. Patrick Criado, Arancha Martí, Sandra Martín and Sandy Gilberte. I think that he has been able to get the most out of all of them. He has made them all feel secure, he has guided them and made them feel the importance of their parts in the film. I am convinced that all of the actors in La gran familia española, like those in his previous films, will hang onto memories of the film and all, without any exceptions, will be happy to work with Daniel again.

It must have something to do with the fact that his mother, Carmen Arevalo, is an actress. I think that part of his love and sensibility when the time comes to work with actors and actresses comes from this relationship, this deep respect for the profession.

Since AzulOscuroCasiNegro I have thought that if I were an actor I would like to make my debut with Daniel Sánchez Arévalo. Without the slightest exaggeration, he is truly an authentic director of actors.

 

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