"Proxima" Carlos Atanes

Now Carlos Atanes tells us about his movie "Proxima":

I made it because when I was child I was a great fan of Sci-Fi films and I wanted to recover that “sense of wonder” which I felt in my childhood watching movies as Silent Running, 2001 or Planet of the Apes. Proxima is a homage to those movies and to the people who —like me— dream of conquering the universe.

Carlos Atanes

Proxima’s was a wild and crazy filmmaking, full of anecdotes. There is a documentary about it, “Made in PROXIMA”, which you can watch at Proxima’s website. When we were shooting the alien landscapes at the depth of Corta Atalaya (the biggest open-pit mine in Europe) our lives were in danger: while the sulphuric acid red lake in the bottom of the mine was emanating poisonous emissions, an extreme storm was causing landslides on the walls with real risk of flood and collapse. This would be meaning that we were dead buried under hundreds of tons of rocks. Another funny moment was when we shot Oriol Aubets (the leading actor) with real ammunition.

Sci FiThe shooting of Proxima lasted 30 or 40 days, I don’t know exactly.

In this movie I put technical matter on the Director of Photography’s hands. He was Joan Babiloni, a very good professional. He chose the camera, a JVC HDV. I don’t remember more details about the camera. The look of the movie was determined by the budget, Babiloni’s taste and our prior conversation about light, style, lenses and colors. I shown him a lot of 1970’s and 1980’s comics. For example we talked about how artist Enki Bilal obtains cool environments just using warm tonalities. We also saw pictures from 1970’s Sci-Fi illustrators as Chris Foss and Tim White. From those examples and conversations Babiloni made a colour palette for the crew. Props, wardrobe and settings were based on that palette. Babiloni’s light corrections in post-production were minimum.

Future is for very high and very low budget films. Very high ones have multiple ways of financing and amortization. Very low ones can be also profitable because they do not need too much revenue to cover the expenses and –with good luck- to get certain degree of earnings. But medium-size ones are in the middle and, except a handful of very successful movies- condemned. In Europe they can just exist thanks to subsidies, that says it all. Future is the dead of medium-sized budget movies.

Proxima's budget was between $65000 and $70000. Resources were contribution from friends and mainly a bank loan. We are still returning the credit. This is the part less pleasant of making ultraindependent films.

Watch Made in PROXIMA: Underground science fiction:

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