Interview With David Sarrio
(July 2001)

The director of the 'underground' Daredevil fan-teaser movie talks about the production in Paris on a $5000 budget.

The trailer is available for download here.

Special thanks to Guillaume Lubrano.

Kuljit Mithra: Can you give a brief bio and what got you interested in movies?

David Sarrio: I'm a young director, and I decided to direct movies at the age of 15. As my family was not [involved with] any form of arts (music, cinema...), I didn't know how to get work in the industry. In the end, I decided to earn money (with the help of my father, a taxi cab driver, who lent me money) to make a short movie to be new and show my capability.

Until my debut, I made 2 TV martial arts shows (like Ultimate Fighting Championship) available on video tape, 1 commercial film (for a small company), and 1 video clip. I'm preparing my second short movie (a crazy funny movie...I hope).

To answer very quickly, I can say that I got interested in directing movies because I want to tell stories and make the audience 'travel'; in fact I want to make films that I could go and see at the cinema, to again find the emotion that I felt when I was a teenager.

Some movies and TV shows that influenced Sarrio:

blade runner, brazil, time bandits, superman 1, blue velvet, rambo : first blood, john hughes movies, john landis movies, John Carpenter's movies, purple rose of cairo, name of the rose, sorcerer, king of comedy, manhunter, back to the future, alien, phantasm, poltergeist, legends, dark crystal, dead zone, jaws, dune, the terminator, robocop, rocky's saga, raider of the lost ark, james bond movies, monty python, a fish called wanda, the keep, 1984, live and die in L A, osterman's week end, 2001 a space odyssey, the warriors, universal's movies and RKO's movies from the 30's, SF and monsters movies from the 50/60's, planet of the apes, rollerball, dirty harry, disney's movies, full metal jacket, platoon, toxic avenger, akira, conan the barbarian, star trek 1&2, excalibur, fist of legend (bruce lee), greystoke, the right stuff, gremlins, explorers, flesh and blood, near dark (kathryn bigelow), chinese ghost story, die hard, predator, highlander, seven samurais, the magnificent seven, close encounters of the third kind, hitcher, the untouchables (de palma), lethal weapon, mad max, the outsiders, jacob's ladder, robin hoods with sean connery, Chaplin's movies, the man who shoot liberty valance, outland, the great escape, nigtmares on elm street, brainstorm, the fly, tv shows (the avengers, outer limits, twilight zone, thunderbirds)

Mithra: Why the interest in doing a Daredevil short film? Were you always a big DD fan, or comics fan?

Sarrio: Making a short movie based on DD is like a love letter to the comic at large, because when I was a kid I was always focused on TV to see films based on comic characters (Batman, Superman, Hulk, Spider-Man, Captain America...). I was crazy about super heroes, and seeing them live was... I wish I could feel that emotion again.

Mithra: Any particular DD issues or DD creators influence your story and look for the film? Why Daredevil versus the Kingpin?

Sarrio: I wasn't inspired by any particular story of DD. This is my vision of how to film DD's universe (with a low budget). For me DD is a shadow in the dark. But, I can say that if the pictures of the movie could be compared to Jack Kirby's powerful graphic style and Joe Quesada's works with shadow and light on his characters, I would be honoured and agree. But I was also inspired by German expressionism and by Caravage, an Italian painter (end of the 16th century).

Mithra: Can you go over how the costumes for DD and the Kingpin were made? Any particular difficulties with preparing the costumes? Materials? Costs? Designs? Actors?

Sarrio: DD's costume was made with cheap materials. The most expensive was the head in latex ($200) and around $100 for tissue. For the design, I chose to show DD and Kingpin "bigger than life" (it would not be the same choice in a 2 hour movie...), and because of the budget I couldn't 100% respect the original's costumes. The entire costume (DD and Kingpin) was ready 1 hour before shooting (people work for free on short movies, during their days off, so it's hard to be ready on time on short movies, especially for an ambitious short movie like this one). It meant that the choices were made on paper, and I was obliged to imagine how it will be on a screen. No prototype, no screen test, just the right decision (in fact, a choice and lot of chance).

Mithra: How about the titles? What was used to create those, and what influenced that look?

Sarrio: The titles were created with After Effects software. For the title credits, I wanted red and black as the principal colours, and a look between 70's style (me and the guy who made the titles are fans of Maurice Binder and Saul Bass and recent title credits like Se7en, Mimic...), comic's style and late graphic style. For me, title credits at the beginning of a movie are very important to capture the audience as soon as possible, to put them into the atmosphere of the movie.

Mithra: Was there a storyboard for the movie, or did you know what you wanted to film from the start?

Sarrio: There was a storyboard because I knew exactly what I wanted (as far as we can do with a low budget). And for a short movie of this kind a storyboard is essential (for producers, crew...) in my opinion. Watch how The MATRIX was made - storyboard = the movie. But, always keep in mind another way to shoot, just in case, especially for a short movie if any problem happens; you don't have the budget to shoot the next day.

Mithra: It was mentioned that the budget was about $5000. Where did the majority of money get spent?

Sarrio: The most important part of the budget was for the laboratory and film insurance. But each part needed a bit of money (despite the good prices that I got).

Mithra: Whereabouts in Paris was this filmed? How long did it take to make, from beginning to end product? Why that location?

Sarrio: Because I live close to Paris and the crew too, it was easier, and therefore less expensive to shoot in this city. It was filmed at "la defense" in a street close to "place de clichy" and close to "porte d'auteuil"

I wrote and imagined the storyboard in 1 day. And it took me around 7 months to find locations, crew, save money, camera, actors, prepare the fight... find all I need to do the movie at the lower price, and doing it by yourself, it really takes time.

Mithra: Any hesitancy to make this project considering Marvel is set to produce their own DD film?

Sarrio: Not really. It's just a short movie. And I wanted to know if this kind of movie could be done (with low budget and just for 4/5 minutes) in Paris, without the Empire State Building...I love NEWww YORRKKK.

Mithra: What do you think are the vital elements that the upcoming DD movie should have in order for it to be successful?

Sarrio: First [New Regency] should take me to direct DD the movie. I would kill to do this movie. They should focus on the ambivalent (ambiguous) psychology of DD/Matt Murdock. In fact, we have (Fred, a scriptwriter, and me) lots of ideas that could be a clever/violent/action movie. A mix between X-Men (for psychology and realism) and Blade (for story, graphic style, and action).

Mithra: And finally, are any other heroes next on your list to film?

Sarrio: For Wolverine, it's too late, for Batman, Spider-Man and Superman it's too late too... actually for a real big budget movie I would be inspired by DD for sure for Iron Fist, Ronin (Miller), and Silver Surfer.

(c) Kuljit Mithra 2001
Daredevil:The Man Without Fear

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