This is how two Audiovisual Communication students experienced the production of a thriller called ‘Cuerdas’

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Cristina Fontgivell and Mar Molina describe their experience in social network management and film production in an interview

This is how two Audiovisual Communication students experienced the production of a thriller called ‘Cuerdas’

Cristina Fontgivell and Mar Molina are two Audiovisual Communication students who have participated in making a feature film for the first time called Cuerdas. Cristina was in charge of social networks during the film shoot, while Mar’s main job was as a production assistant.   

They both love films, music and concerts.  In short, they are passionate about the audiovisual world which they study in the UIC Barcelona classrooms which they have now also had the opportunity to experience from the inside, and from behind the cameras, with a production company called Bastian films, directed by UIC Barcelona lecturer Arturo Méndiz. 

To put this into context, how would you describe Cuerdas?
Cristina Fontgivell: Cuerdas is a thriller which places Elena, the protagonist, in very extreme situations.  I think it is a very careful film at all levels, starting with the script.  Although it might at first look like a scary film just like any other scary film, it has a very profound side that makes it special.  
Mar Molina: For me Cuerdas is a story of overcoming difficulties, and we can see our own selves reflected here.  The fight to keep on living despite all the difficulties we face. 

How did the opportunity to work on the Cuerdas project arise? 
CF: In the first semester of third year there is a subject called Cinematographic Production for students on the fiction track.  Méndiz, the executive producer of Cuerdas, was the one who suggested doing some work experience on the film. 
MM: In November 2018, Arturo Méndiz mentioned to me that they needed someone in production for the shoot and suggested it to me.  I immediately accepted because it was and is a great opportunity.  

What was the role each of you took on in this project?  
CF: My role was to manage the Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube accounts. I received an email with information about the shoot every day and selected anything I thought would be interesting to share, without revealing the plot.  
MM: In my case, I took on various roles throughout the project.  Although my main job was to be a production assistant, I also participated in two casting sessions by replying to applicants and later I helped with the script in Valencian and helped prepare the main actress.  I was also a stand-in for her.  

In your case, Cristina, what was daily life like at the helm of the social media accounts?  
CF: I tried to stay on top of seeing what worked best or what type of content generated the most interest so I could continue along the same lines.  I also saved material to publish at the weekend, when we were not shooting. 

And what type of material did you share? 
CF: Most days it was photos from the shoot, the team working on set, the scenery...On other days I shared videos the Making Of team would send me introducing some of the team members, and the locations, etc. 

When managing the social networks for a production like this, what was your priority in terms of describing the teamwork? 
CF: My priority was to talk about something important from each day: if it was filmed at night, if we were filming on the stairs, if there were special effects, if it was shot outside...On other days we introduced members of the team or departments in the team and described the jobs they were doing.  All of this while trying to be very friendly to both fans and followers. 

How about you, Mar, how did you experience production days for this film?  
MM: Shoot days (apart from the ones at night) started at 7 a.m. but it was 6.25 a.m. when I would collect Paula, the main actress, and then go to the location.  We would shoot all day until 6 p.m. 

Intense days, right? 
MM: Yes, the days were very intense, and as the weeks passed, we were more tired but the team was incredible and it was more doable all together.  

What was your experience behind the cameras like? 
MM: I learned millions of things I didn’t know that they don’t teach you when you’re doing your degree, both at a professional and a personal level.  

What surprised you the most about working on this film production? 
MM: Above all, what you need to plan for before you start shooting.  Things which you maybe wouldn’t think about beforehand, but without which it would be impossible to do the film shoot.  Also the amount of time you have to use to properly prepare for a shot both in terms of the camera and the lighting. 

In the future, who would you like to work with? 
MM: I’d like to work with Pedro Almodóvar. 
CF: There is no one specific I’d like to work with.  What I would like is to get involved in projects I believe in and am passionate about. 

Finally, what would you say a project like Cuerdas contributes to society? 
CF: As I mentioned before, Cuerdas has a very strong back story.  Elena has to deal with a lot of obstacles throughout the film.  I think we can really empathise with her because the more the film moves forward, the more she discovers about herself.  In some ways this is what happens to all of us throughout life.  
MM: It is a type of life lesson, a lesson about survival.  It’s a thriller, with a character who has extreme problems, but who any spectator can identify with to a lesser or a greater extent.  It’s a film which talks about overcoming problems and fighting to the end for what you want, and I think that stories like this one contribute a lot to society.