“Give me a good script and I’ll be a director ten times better”

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After his time in the cinema, Jorge Dorado (Madrid, 43 years old) began directing series in 2015, with the first season of ‘The Ministry of Time’ (The 1). Five years later, she did not want to completely disassociate herself, and was able to direct the final chapter of the fourth season, after finishing filming. ‘The Head’, the series by The Mediapro Studio, in association with Hulu Japan and HBO Asia, which can be seen on Orange TV in Spain, and which will debut a new chapter tomorrow. Dorado has taken the lead in an international cast to tell how a small group of scientists from various countries is responsible for maintaining the Polaris VI international station, in Antarctica. Although they were actually recording in the Canary Islands.

-How did you get to the project?

-They had been developing the scripts with the Pastor brothers for some time, and they had reached a point of maturity that they were looking for a director. They had the first two chapters written, and they asked me to join as executive producer to finish development, and also to lead the way for the entire series. I was hooked from the first moment, because the scripts were of incredible quality and the story was fascinating.

-Why did you fall in love with the script?

-It is difficult to find scripts of this quality. They are very precise, they have some very rich characters and they are full of details, which is something that I love and that makes my job much easier, because I am very detailed and very visual. I always try to have a lot of symbolism, and the scripts already debug that. And besides, they had a structure and a way to hook you from the literary side that seemed to me to be great material to introduce the image. I always say: Give me a good script and I will be a director ten times better. In the end, it is the first tool you have. And the second is the ‘casting’.

THE PHRASES:

The filming.

«We have simulated Antarctica in the Canary Islands rolling with 30 degrees»

Inspiration.

“My reference was ‘The Shining’ and how Kubrick represents the hotel in the middle of the snow”

– A casting that has been very international.

-It was little by little, the truth. When we started we had nothing. Just ideas from people we would like to see involved: John Lynch, Richard Sammel, Álvaro Morte, ‘Tomo’ (Tomohisa Yamashita)… And then a very complex ‘casting’ process until we found others, like Katharine O’Donnelly, who We found it by chance. She had only made a couple of short films and a chapter in an English series, but she did an incredible test and we gave her a leading role. It has been a mixture of all that to create a homogeneous group, even if they are from so many different countries. That has been my job. Try to understand that as a group.

-How is it to shoot in the Canary Islands in summer simulating that it is Antarctica?

-The actors are the ones who have suffered the most, because they wore special coats for Antarctic expeditions. I am very heavy with credibility (laughs). It was clothing prepared for 30 or 40 degrees below zero, and there, in the Canary Islands, it was more than 30 degrees normally. For this reason, the wardrobe department created ice vests that were later covered with the coats. Technically you have to be very careful, and next to each sequence I had the temperature noted, and just before shooting I screamed: ’30 degrees! ‘ (laughs) In the end, everything is a lie and you have to find a way to make it credible.

-I would say it was a difficult shoot?

-The most complicated thing has been creating the puzzle, making the viewer feel like a whole that in the end was a 2,000-square-meter set, another set with a chrome and the station’s facade, an oil platform where we filmed hallways, dining room … And also outdoors in Finland. There were characters that started in a place narratively, and went through all the sets. And the objective was to ensure that this was not perceived as different pieces, but that the viewer generated the final image in her head. We didn’t want him to feel that the only important thing was to find the killer, but that these people were really there.

Parallelisms

– In which genre would you frame it?

-For me it is a psychological ‘thriller’. It has part of survival and adventure, but where I have wanted to put the most emphasis has been on the characters, their relationships and their masks: what they show and what they hide. As the plot progresses we discover layers of each of them. I think survival psychological ‘thriller’ would be a good definition.

-What was your inspiration?

-The only reference I looked at was ‘The Shining’, for the representation of the space, for how Stanley Kubrick represents the hotel in the middle of the snow, with very few characters in a space that is prepared to accommodate many people, which is the same thing that happened to us. This base accommodates 200 or 300 people, but in winter they stay 10. That way of representing the space almost as one more character interested me a lot. So I insisted that the set be very large and that it give a feeling of loneliness.

-Is the viewer going to find parallels with the current situation?

-Inevitably. Limiting your rights and having to be at home in a forced and responsible way makes you experience things that you only saw before from the sidelines. I think the viewer can empathize more with certain emotions that arise in the series.

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