July 1, 2010

Brain Picking: Six Questions with Paco Plaza (REC 2)

6 Questions with PACO PLAZA
(director / writer: REC 2)

I was recently afforded the opportunity to pick the brains of REC and REC 2 writers/directors Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró. I sent them both the same six questions about REC 2, which opens in theatres on July 9th but is already available on VOD, XBOX Marketplace, Playstation Network, VUDU and Amazon. While I've yet to receive responses from Mr. Balagueró, I thought I'd go head and post what Paco Plaza had to say about REC 2

ZED WORD: Although the cause of the apartment dwellers' madness in REC was ambiguous, REC 2 firmly establishes the cause of the infection. As a result, many horror fans are going to debate whether to label REC as a zombie series. Do you consider the violent people to be zombies?

PACO PLAZA: Not at all; zombies would be living dead, literally coming back from death; our creatures [are] infected by a demonic virus. But visually, they look really similar!

ZW: Perhaps the most interesting innovation in REC 2 is that the narrative is told from multiple cameras instead of one. How challenging was it to script and shoot a film that would contain picture-in-picture story-telling?

PP: It comes from the hours spent playing videogames; we thought it was a great way to introduce other POVs and at the same time add something dynamic to the storytelling.

ZW: It has been reported online that Filmax will produce two new REC films in the near future: is it your plan to continue with the first-person / found footage aesthetic of REC or experiment with third-person perspectives?

PP: Excuse me if I don’t say very much on this. All I can say is that we’re working really hard in making the funniest and scariest of the three.

ZW: In North America, horror based on spirituality and religion (i.e. Catholicism) has not been a substantial fixture of the media landscape for some time. Do you think that REC 2's elements of spirituality and horror will bring back something lacking in North American horror films?

PP: I don’t know. I only hope you enjoy and have a great time watching the film, and though all the Catholic references are very natural for us I don’t think they will be any problem for an American audience.
ZW: There is a belief that subtitled films won't succeed in North America (which I don't believe). Do you feel that people who normally don't see subtitled foreign films will still have a horrifying / fun time watching REC 2?

PP: The situation is complex because, and I’m saying this not having too much information about it, maybe subtitled films often are art house movies, and ours is a mainstream horror flick; I think anyone can enjoy it, there is a lot of action, some great scares, and a lot of fun.

ZW: If for your next project you were offered the chance to make any horror film you wanted -- no restrictions on budget and script -- what type of movie would choose to make?

PP: I’d love to do a SciFi film about men going to Mars and fighting a war with the local inhabitants.


So there we have it. At least from Mr. Plaza's point of view, the REC series is not a zombie series. What do you think?

My review of REC 2