LATEST | FEATURES | INTERVIEWS | NEWS | FRIGHTFEST | REVIEWS Brand New Exclusive Interview With Cristian Solimeno Director Of The Glass Man
By James Whittington, Monday 3rd October 2011 One of the most original movies at this year's FrightFest event was Cristian Solimeno's The Glass Man. Beautiful, emotional and raw film it's a film that left a lasting impression on me, not only because the script and direction by Cristian are so solid but because the cast give superb performances, in particular FrightFest favourite Andy Nyman. I decided to chat with Cristian about this cracking movie and also the plans this multi-talented guy has for the future.
HC: How did you get your big break into the industry?
CS: It's hard to say if I have had a big break yet! It certainly doesn't feel that way. Doing Footballer's Wives was something that gave me some visibility and a bit of cache but not in a way that was I was able to translate to other jobs unless I wanted to do a soap opera. It has felt like starting again from the beginning pretty much every time. It is true though that doing a certain level of job. Or more importantly maybe, being seen to do a certain level of job can set peoples minds at ease about employing you. Maybe The Glass Man will be my big break.
HC: You appeared in Wycliffe and as you mentioned Footballer's Wives shows which made you a household name. How did you cope with the fame that show brought?
CS: It was pretty weird being recognisable all of a sudden. There was definitely a period of adjustment, then just when you're getting used to it, it's gone! Which is no bad thing really.
HC: Where did the idea for The Glass Man come from?
CS: I am constantly storing away idea's for scripts, and they come from loads of different places. In this case it was a combination of really wanting to make a film that was an allegory for the financial meltdown, and wanting to make my own take on the horror genre.
HC: Did the script take long to write?
CS: For me, every script feels like it takes tooooo long. Don't forget that there's all the research you have to do as well, so by the time you get to the end you feel clearly older than you did at the beginning. But probably once I actually started the writing of it, it wasn't that bad. It's hard to say with projects you write for yourself because you don't have the meter running in the way you might if it was a commission.
HC: How did you go about casting?
CS: I was lucky enough to get all the actors that I wrote the parts for so there were only a couple of characters that required holding auditions.
HC: Andy Nyman in particular is outstanding, did he remain in character on set?
CS: It's a strange thing that people always seem to think of actors staying in character and all that but I've never worked with one single actor that has that approach. Every player has their own unique way of getting there and your job as the director is to respect that and help them along if you can. You'd have to ask Andy about his techniques. I wouldn't want to pull the curtain back.
HC: The Glass Man is your first feature as a director, were you nervous the first time you stepped onto set?
CS: It's actually my second, though the first one has yet to be released. For me, shooting is always nerve-wracking. If you've been around for a while then you realise all the very many things that can go wrong. I can never forget that people have invested in me and my vision and I don't want to let them down. Not just the financiers, everyone there is doing it because they believe in what the project might be.
HC: Is it hard to direct yourself as you play a pivotal role in the movie?
CS: It takes a day or two to get in the swing of it when you're directing yourself but once you're in the groove then it's really fine. That was a pretty tough scene though for lots of reasons.
HC: Was it a difficult shoot?
CS: It was. They just always are for me. But absolutely great.
HC: Were you nervous before The Glass Man played at FrightFest?
CS: I was very nervous before the FrightFest screening. But excited too. It's a fine line that.
HC: It's a beautiful film, filled with emotion and pure horror, are you pleased with the way its turned out?
CS: Thanks, yeah, I'm extremely pleased with the film. There's further I would like to go, even with what we have. If I can convince the investors then I might be able to squeeze a bit more out of it.
HC: Where do you stand on censorship?
CS: For me, it's not a for OR against thing. It is possible to imagine situations where it would be reasonable. But it must be balanced against the truth that it is an extremely big deal to curtail an individual's right to expression and an audience's right to choose what they read watch or listen to. One thing must be weighed against the other. It's extremely hard to imagine something in a film that could warrant official censorship but it might be possible.
HC: You're multi talented and have enjoyed a very varied career, do you have a favourite vocation within the industry?
CS: I don't have a favourite. In fact I aim to be adding more strings to my bow soon. Keep going forward. That's my motto.
HC: So what projects are you working on at the moment?
CS: We've got a few plates in the air but I've got no idea which one is going to smash first. I'll let you know as soon as I know.
HC: Cristian Solimeno, thank you very much.
CS: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.
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