F.A. You created a powerful film within only two and a half minutes. How did you come up with the idea for the movie?
J.M. After the global financial crisis, everyone was talking about how the economic meltdown affected their lives and what they could do to save money. My interest in horror and suspense movies inspired me to convey a message about the crisis in a unique way. I thought it would be interesting and funny to create a character who lives with the "horror of debts" or the ghosts of overspending.
F.A. How big was your crew and budget?
J.M. The crew consisted of me as the actor, director, writer, producer, editor, and special effects creator. My father, Juan José Vargas, was the cameraman and my assistant. The budget was approximately 10 dollars, including gas and some food. Everything else like editing, effects, etc. were things I had access to through previous projects I worked on.
F.A. How much did you rely on sound and lighting effects while making this movie? What did they add to the story?
J.M. The atmosphere and the setting of the film was crucial to expressing the mood of the characters and the plot of the story. The film opens with the main character going over his debts and looking at a pile of bills. He has no power in his house, which at first may appear as a tool for creating suspense, but actually indicates that he did not pay his bills and now needs to live in candlelight. In addition, the sound of the storm we hear through out the movie is indicative of the storm outside as well as the way this character feels.
F.A. What did you do in order to promote this film on the internet and gather a following around your movie?
J.M. I recently discovered Film Annex and noticed that the film received a positive response. So I told my friends to watch the film and recommend it to their friends. The audience helped me tremendously in terms of promotion and spreading the word. I think people tend to like metaphorical stories and ghost stories.
F.A. How was the reaction to the movie from the festival and the internet crowd?
J.M. I received very positive comments from people about the sound and lighting effects as well as the story itself. Most comments were about the fact that some people actually live with these so-called "ghosts" or fears about their bad habits. I hope this movie makes them think about what they can do to give up those habits they're not happy with.
To learn more about the filmmaker, visit http://www.filmannex.com/maumau