Kettling won Best Performance (Male) Award in the 9th Season of MP Film Award Alan Del Castillo Director, Writer & Producer of the Film Kettling agree to interview with us.
Alan Del Castillo began studying acting at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the UK. In his native Mexico, he also studied Acting at Asociación Mexicana de Cineastas Independientes (AMCI), Method Acting with René Pereyra, and took directing workshops with Luis Mandoki.
As a film actor, Alan has been directed by Gabriel Retes (La Revolución y los Artistas), Armando Casas (Malacopa), Peter Greenaway (Eisenstein in Guanajuato), Paul Weitz (Bel Canto), Sam Mendes (Spectre), Leonardo Arturo (Cometa), among others.
On TV, he has appeared in series such as El Señor de los Cielos, Falsa Identidad, Aquí en la Tierra, Run Coyote Run, Sr. Ávila, Monarca, El Dragón, and Cuna de Lobos.
His first project as director, KETTLING, has achieved Official Selection and won Awards in multiple film festivals and was longlisted for a 2021 Ariel Award nomination. (Mexican Film Academy).
About the Film Synopsis: Kettling Film Synopsis:
When COVID-19 arrives in 2020, Carlo finds himself alone and confined to his home, where he has to deal with the mental and physical health struggles faced by many during the pandemic.
Trailer of "Kettling"
What was your drive behind making this film?
Alan Del Castillo: When COVID-19 reached Mexico in March 2020, I, like most actors, found myself out of work. To make my time in lockdown useful, and to depict the mental and physical health struggles faced by many, I wrote and shot KETTLING in isolation.
How did you feel when you are awarded the MP FILM AWARD Award?
Alan Del Castillo: I have to admit I never thought this film would become so successful at film festivals. Being selected and winning awards in prestigious film festivals like MP FILM AWARDS is such a great honour. I am truly grateful!
Can you tell us about the greatest moment during shooting this film?
Alan Del Castillo: The greatest moment was when I realized I was doing what I love (acting)in spite of the situation. I am glad I decided to do something instead of just sitting around getting depressed during the lockdown.
How rigorously did you stick to the script while shooting?
Alan Del Castillo: The advantage of being both the writer and the director is that I felt no pressure to stick strictly to the script. However, I only changed a couple of things as I went,in order to improve the story.
Where there any onset problems during the filming of the film & how did you deal with them?
Alan Del Castillo: Well, since this was a solo project, dealing with everything on my own was not easy. I only had basic equipment, and filming depended entirely on natural light. And even though we were supposed to be in lockdown, there was a lot of background noise from airplanes, street vendors, dogs, neighbours, etc.
I dealt with these difficulties by only filming static takes, shooting during the day, and shooting different takes then choosing the ones with the least background noise. In the end, some of the background noises were not a big problem since they gave some scenes a natural feel.
Do you have any advice for young filmmakers out there? Or like yourself?
Alan Del Castillo: Remember the important thing is to TELL YOUR STORY. It does not matter how small or big your budget is: TELL IT! And when you’re starting, don’t wait for others to give you a job to gain experience. Give yourself the job. Experiment, produce your own shorts and learn from and with other filmmakers.
Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
Alan Del Castillo: I think learning how to do things is a must. If you have the chance to go to a film institute, that’s great. However,a film institute is not the only place where you can learn. As I mentioned before, the best way to get more experience and learn more is by DOING IT! We live in an era of amazing technology where you can find classes, resources, and lots of professional filmmakers sharing their knowledge online. I learned a lot by using these resources, reading books about filmmaking and watching a lot of films.
Which film has inspired you the most?
Alan Del Castillo: Rather than a film, the TVseries BREAKING BAD. It’s enjoyable for filmmakers and general audiences, and for actors, it teaches us how a character can be well-built throughout a story. People say the main character goes from good to evil through the series, but rather than a linear transition, he actually jumps back and forth as the episodes progress. We can see real human reactions and hard decisions that make him struggle. We see him losing his temper, regretting his actions, losing his mind, loving and hating his family and friends. He is not breaking bad, he is living according to the circumstances of his life. I consider it an inspiring acting class.
Which particular film maker has influenced you the most?
Alan Del Castillo: Vince Gilligan and Christopher Nolan.
Which book would you love to make a film out of one day?
Alan Del Castillo: The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills. It’s a black comedy that is written in a way that’s very visual, and perfectly paced for cinema.
If you got the opportunity to go back in time & change something in any particular movie of yours, then which movie & what changes would you opt for?
Alan Del Castillo: Actually, I already have. Not going back in time, of course, but I shot my film KETTLING twice.
If you were to shoot the film again, what would you do differently?
Alan Del Castillo: As I mentioned earlier, I shot my film KETTLING twice. I did it all by myself, and I had no idea film festivals would embrace it the way they have, so the first version included brands everywhere on my clothes, tennis shoes, laptop, mobile phone, apps, etc. It even included a real clip from the TV news. Reshooting the whole film was much easier and faster than trying to fix all that in post-production, especially with my very basic equipment.
What is your greatest achievement till date?
Alan Del Castillo: I was absolutely thrilled that KETTLING made the 2021 longlist for an Ariel Award nomination, which is a very prestigious award given by the Mexican Film Academy.
How do you pick yourself up after a failed film?
Alan Del Castillo: I always try to learn from my mistakes. I evaluate what went wrong, think of a solution and implement it in the next project.
Where can our viewers catch you (share your social media)?
Alan Del Castillo: Official Website
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