Orlando Giraldo is the director and writer of the award winning short film, Clash: A Thriller. The movie is a love letter to action films from the sixties to the eighties. It is the story of a young police investigator who seeks to avenge the death of his sister who was murdered by a crime lord. However, three subordinates stand between the detective and his quarry.
Giraldo also produced and acted in The Green Triangle, a film which was screened at the Sochi International Film Festival in 2020 It was directed by Russian film director D.A Dolgov. Currently, Giraldo is working and developing a number of projects in Canada, most notably the documentary Sueña (“to dream” in Spanish) and the workplace comedy Pay Your Bill all under the umbrella of Magafin Productions.
BCIFF : Who are/were your favourite filmmakers? Could you name a few of your favourite movies?
To name a few, Kurosawa (Red Beard), Hitchcock (Vertigo), Kubrick (Lolita), Fellini (Nights of Cabiria), Godard (Pierrot le Fou) Tarkovsky (Solaris), Buñuel (Age of Gold), Wells (Touch of Evil) , and others like Bresson, Antonioni, Rosellini, Lang, Teshigahara and Leone. For the modern filmmakers, these include Tarantino, Nolan and definitely Scorsese. In terms of favourite movies for me, the standouts are – The Matrix, Out from the Past (noir), Asphalt Jungle, Rocky, Cyborg (1989), Jackie Brown, Scott Pilgrim Against the World, Frances Ha and Memento.
BCIFF : In a world crowded with Action films why did you decide to make another one ?
It was more coincidence than anything else. I just wanted to start directing my own films. One day, I was sitting in my apartment watching a clip on Instagram. The spot was of an actress practicing her stunt choreography routine. She looked great doing it. But there were two missing parts: the sense of reality and the formulaic routine. Another thing that I find cliché in most films is the use of guns and repetitive plots. Since I knew a couple of stunt performers David Mortimore and Andrew C. Weston (whom I worked with in The Green Triangle), the penny dropped. I thought why don’t we make a classic action film in which the Master is confronted by a student? There is unresolved business between them. I then decided to include the following elements: a script with strong dramatic riffs, four stunt fighters who spar in different styles, good acting and cinematography.
And voila! Clash was born!
This film was made for people to enjoy first and foremost. But if someone is a cinephile, there are tons of film references to great directors and wonderful movies. We put action, drama and cinematography altogether for the viewer to enjoy.
BCIFF : Can you tell us a little about the Production process and the challenges you faced?
Clash was made from my heart! It is a self-financed low budget movie. The casting was one of the more challenging parts. For example, we struggled to find one of the principal characters, Scott Durden. This role required important skills, both stunt performance and good acting. During the casting process, we would find one talent or the other, but not both. Finally, we were lucky: the amazing Frank Di Francesco auditioned for us. Other challenges that we faced were the lack of time for the rehearsals of the stunt choreography.
When I edited the film, I felt there was something missing. So I decided to write another piece that turned out to be a flashback. With that sequence, we balanced the film by bringing in actresses, new action, drone sequences, and a little surrealism. One of the most difficult things we experienced in the process of postproduction was that our budget was running low. Happily, our friends from Hamilton-Mehta production helped us out by giving us a space to edit the film. This bonus came at the time the pandemic was starting in 2020. I had to learn everything from scratch from editing to colour grading, you name it. I was also very lucky that I found the best collaborators for this project. They really stepped up to the plate for me. Thank you so much Andrés Galindo Arteaga, Terry Mills, Make Mazzei and Wenny Yu. What a team!
BCIFF : Tell us a little bit about the Actors and the Characters of Clash?
In this film, Celeste Courtemanche plays the role of Anne Turner. She is the older sister of Jonas Turner, (played by David Mortimore). She dies in a heist with her boyfriend, Scott Durden played by Frank Di Francesco. Later on, Jonas decides to avenge his sister’s death. He believes that it was Scott Durden’s fault.
In rehearsal, I had all the lead actors bring forth concepts about their own characters. Next, I gave them specific cues and ideas according to their respective acting techniques. in the case of Celeste, she is more a method actor; she embodied the “I have to use an emotions-base” approach. In contrast, Frank de Francesco is a technical actor. So, I used more technical cues with him. Finally, with David Mortimore, who has also done stunt coordinating, I thought he should have an internal motivation more than anything else. I felt that his character had to be quiet and to reflect on whatever he had to express physically.
BCIFF : After directing this film what lessons that you can share about the craft?
Making a film is a very emotional process. As with Clash, this was the case. For me, directing has been both an organic and a learning process. It was organic because I learned as I went along, adjusting to the needs of the film’s overarching cinematic concerns and techno requirements.
I would say If you want to make a film, ask yourself ONLY one question: How badly do you want to do it? If you stay certain and positive about the answer, then everything will be much easier. Keep your eye on the goal.
For me, what has worked is to watch films, collaborate with others, write then shoot as much as I can. For aspiring filmmakers, find a story. Go to meetings where you can get in touch and speak with other filmmakers.
BCIFF : How have the audience received Clash so far?
The film has been well received in general, especially in the Indie festival circuit. Viewers have told us that the combination of the haunting music, the suspense, and the fight scenes have been quite refreshing. In addition, Clash has won several awards. In January 2021, Beyond the Curve International Film Festival gave the movie the first prize in the Category of Best Thriller. In California, the film was also given a nod at the Indie Short Festival of the Los Angeles International Film Festival.
BCIFF : Tell us, what other projects are you working on right now?
I am still promoting Clash on the festival circuit. Right now, I am working on the documentary Sueña, which is a series of interviews from around the world. In development are different concepts, particularly the Work One camera comedy Pay your Bill with Annie Bio.
BCIFF : Any message to new or aspiring filmmakers?
My message would be It you love the craft of filmmaking, go for it. Create your own opportunities. Write and develop your own material (don’t wait for other to do it for you), study films, practice read, collaborate with other like-minded individuals. Keep FILM and Press ON.