A welcome returning DN alum, Madrid based Director and Cinematographer Rafa G. Arroyo (last seen on DN here) ventures into an unknown foggy landscape prowled by death in search of a soul to claim as its own. Very much taken with this eerie experimental short, we asked Rafa to tell us how his love of Russian film master Tarkovsky inspired this metaphysical walk through limbo.
The Offering is something that even I can not explain, being honest. It is the exploration of death and original sin. The Offering is us giving ourselves to “something” on our deathbed, although we have never believed in everything we ignored. The Offering is the path of death that is going to snatch a soul.
My main idea at all times was to shoot the short film within foggy landscapes. It is hard to find within a week of winter where the fog banks would settle for a long time, but I had to strengthen the figure of death, and so I needed a very atmospheric environment, that even scared.
We shot everything in a day around Ciudad Real, Spain where fog banks are very gathered. This was a problem because sometimes the fog was so dense that it was easy to get disoriented and it was not simple to find the scouting points to shoot.
One of my main references when developing this short film was The Sacrifice and Stalker by Andrei Tarkovsky since I’m attracted by characters that wander through decadent landscapes and without apparent routes. I have quite a weakness for the Russian filmmaker. I grew up and loved the cinema of his films, and The Sacrifice captivated me deeply. For these reasons, I chose Erland Josephson’s monologue in The Sacrifice when he gave himself to God.
The Offering is something that even I can not explain, being honest.
The music was a factor that I wanted to take care of a lot in this short film. I remember spending many hours listening to a lot of composers until I met Jesse Woolston. I got in touch with him and he has helped me a lot. Jesse is a composer with stunning talent and his music increased the deteriorated, even melancholy atmosphere of the short film.
All the team Patricia Llorens (Actress) and Alejamdra Martí (Costume Designer) did a great job. The Offering was a piece that I wanted to take extra care of visually and I’m really happy with the result. The good reception that the short film is having gave me all the confidence to move forward in my own way of telling stories. It’s an extra motivation.
I’m still working as a cinematographer since it’s really what I’m passionate about, looking for new challenges and motivations to keep growing. I will launch several short films as a cinematographer that I will be able to share very soon.
The Offering is one of the many great projects shared with the Directors Notes Programmers through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them submit your film.