When not filling their respective roles behind the camera, directors Pepe Ábalos and Jonathan Cremades can be found performing onstage under their gadget loving, electronic rock musical guise of Siesta!. We invited the musical/filmmaking duo to take us through the creation of Tus Ojos Son Puñales (Your Eyes Are Daggers), a music video created for stage mates Terrier, which saw their creative worlds come together for a darkly foreboding road trip which unfolds during the bitter days at the end of love.
My name is Pepe Ábalos and I’m one of the directors of this video clip: Tus Ojos Son Puñales, a song by a Spanish band from Madrid called Terrier. The other director with whom I work is Jonathan Cremades. We both work in advertising and mass media and we’re both also members of a duo band called Siesta! A few years ago I directed the first Siesta! music video for a song called After. Terrier is a band who have shared the stage with us many times around the country, hence we became good friends. They also work in video and the lead singer, David Iñurrieta, usually directs his projects with the help of other members of the band. One day David came up with the idea of making a swap: they would make a video for us and Jonathan and I would make one for their band in exchange. The rules were quite simple: the band wouldn’t know a thing about the script, the song, the style and not even the budget… it would be a total surprise.
The first idea that came to us was that we had to focus on a couple in keeping with the lyrics of the song and the use of male and female voices. The second thing we decided was to shoot almost everything in natural environments, which allowed us to minimize props, as well as to give credibility to the action and the story, and above all to decontextualize it. All this gave us the opportunity to capture good photography with the resources that nature provided us with. We also thought that all this would reduce costs and facilitate filming, although outdoor shooting demands a careful production, since it requires help to move generators, relocate equipment, manage communications, etc.
The rules were quite simple: the band wouldn’t know a thing about the script, the song, the style and not even the budget… it would be a total surprise.
Another thing we intended was that the thread of the story was an emotion, and we focused on anguish. The anguish of a relationship that is almost over and the pain that often generates trying to rescue the broken pieces of that relationship. The hole of confusion in which we fall in those difficult moments. Apart from that, we also included the religious sense that seems to exist in all those experiences of love and rupture: purging, resurrection, revenge, hatred, contemplation, ecstasy, and so on.
Shoot & Visual Concept
Everything was recorded with a Sony FS 700, an Odissey recorder and Zeiss lens in my home town, Ludiente, a little village in the district of Castellón. Over the course of three intense days we filmed all the locations, while we used part of the nights to record in one single set: a family’s old house. It was a small production – only 16 people formed the cast and crew – but it was carried out with much affection and with great performance, thanks to the knowledge and the great work of each of the professionals who joined the project, from the art department to the production team. We wanted to create a dense and oppressive atmosphere, so we put the emphasis on the color, changing the tones into cold colors even for the sunniest shoots. We made an extreme color grading and used postproduction and visual effects to enhance the narrative, therefore it’s difficult to distinguish the scenes with or without VFX.
Siesta! is a music band. We are two people, Jonathan Cremades and Pepe Ábalos. We are both filmmakers, but we don’t work always together.
For me Pepe: at the moment I have several projects in progress. Almost all are in the process of pre-production. My last audiovisual experience was with videomaping and theatre in a play called Dystopia, by the Valencian Director Juan Pablo Mendiola. There I combined audiovisual elements, VFX and motion graphics to generate surreal atmospheres. You can see part of the creative process here. I carried out that work with my girlfriend, Laura Cuello, who also works in the audiovisual sector. With her I’m preparing a stop motion video for Saï Saï, a Valencian reggae band that has just released its first album. I usually work with darker melodies, which is where I feel comfortable, but I wanted to work on a stop motion and videocollage and this opportunity arose.
This month, in addition, I’m going to record a teaser for Alberto Montero, an awesome musician from Valencia who composes really beautiful music. Soon he goes on tour and for the first time he will be carrying a string section in his concerts. I have been asked for a simple and intimate piece that basically consists of recording a theme but from a personal perspective. Despite the simple idea I am very excited to do this work because his music is pure charm. We will record on February 18th so I hope to share it at the beginning of March on my website and on my Vimeo channel.
And finally I am writing ideas for a personal project that I want to make using my family’s photographic and video material. A poetic tale of my grandfather and the absence of his voice in most of my memories. This story will be told mainly through the movies that my mother recorded with a Super 8 before my birth and until I was about 5 years old.
For me Jonathan: just a few days ago I finished another music video for a band from Zaragoza, Spain, called My Expansive Awareness, it’s called The Wheel. My future plans are still working on new music videos, now for a band from Valencia called Lanuca. I’m working on some kind of video-collage stuff, rotoscopy and animation with stop-motion. Also I’m working on visuals for a theatre project called Kikamori, it’s about a girl locked at home, she only communicates with the world through webcams and screens.