One of the most anticipated films as part of this years amazing FrightFest line-up in London was the brutal Spanish film 'Piggy' starring Laura Galán and Carmen Machi. It blew audiences away when it had its World Premiere back in January at the famed Sundance Film Festival in the US and ahead of its October wide release our writer Adam Neeson was able to catch up with Director Carlota Pereda to talk about the film.
AN: Hi Carlota, hope you’re having a great day! I really loved ‘Piggy’ by the way, I thought it was fantastic.
CP: I’m good, I’m good and thank you very much!
AN: Did you feel pressure translating ‘Piggy’ from a short to feature length?
CP: Well, I did feel pressure, because anytime you make a movie you feel pressure because people sometimes want...they don’t want anything new...they basically want to make it into something they’ve already seen, they feel more comfortable with. Luckily, I was really supported by my producers and they just wanted me to find the movie I wanted to make. I don’t think there was a pressure, so much as, I wanted to find my voice, y’know? It's more after completing the screenplay and you want to get it made, and there's always people that want the story (film) to go a certain way.
For me, I just forgot about the short and just remembered the conflict of the character and I try to go from there. And the short was almost abstract, in a sense, less was more y’know? There wasn’t much you could tell about anything (character background wise) or what was going on because there was too much noise going on. So, I just forgot about the short, and for me, the pressure came from the fact that you’re making a movie that has to be sold and has to be financed (laughs).
AN: What other films did you have in mind as influences for the visual storytelling in ‘Piggy’?
CP: When I write, I try to find inspiration in places and people that I know. When you try to sell the movie to financiers, they want to find things that they’ve seen too that they can kind of get what you’re trying to make, so I guess the references always come after you’ve written the thing, because you want people to see what you’re seeing. So, the movie ‘Trouble Every Day’ by Claire Denis, ‘The Texas Chain Saw Massacre’, ‘Who Can Kill a Child?’ Those would be my main references.
AN: I mentioned in my review that I thought I felt a ‘Last House on the Left’ vibe?
CP: Maybe, I don’t know. It wasn’t a conscience reference but you see all these movies and basically your brain is like a combination of everything you’ve ever seen (laughs)
AN: If a film like this was made in mainstream America today, it would probably be more revenge based. Do you think having a European point of view makes this type of story feel more human?
CP: For me, I'm Spanish and that’s the way I made my movie but they tried to make it more Americanised. They said it would make it more commercial, and it would be more genre specific. But for me, it would never have made sense, that’s not the story I wanted to tell, I was trying to tell the story of Sara (the main character), not a genre specific type film, I was just trying to be as honest as possible to the story that I started.
AN: What was it like working with Carmen Machi? She brought a reality to the mother character that I loved.
CP: When I was writing the movie, I was thinking of her for the part. Not only is she a great drama actress, but she’s also the best comedian in Spain. She is so generous, she read the screenplay and she loved it. When we rehearsed, she’s just amazing and she’s such a clever woman, you never get a bad take from her.
AN: Would you have any advice to young filmmakers that want to make the leap from shorts to feature length?
CP: Make the movie you want to watch and don’t think of what is going to be sold (laughs) because, y’know, we want to see (and hear) new voices. New filmmakers with something to say, not just the same old thing over and over again.
AN: What’s next? Another team up with Laura?
CP: I’m currently in production for my next feature and Laura has a small role in it, but I'm also working on something else that Laura has a major role in.
AN: I’ll look forward to seeing them! Thank you very much and have a great day!
CP: Thank you!
- Adam Neeson
'Piggy' will be released in the UK from Vertigo Releasing on October 21st