Back in time to 2009 there was a kid in Fuensalida (Spain) named Álvaro. He loved Harry Potter. He had been watching the making offs in the DVD releases since he was 9, had read the books uncountable times and, while aged 13, he had decided it. He was going to make a Harry Potter themed podcast. He did it with the help of some free audio program called Audacity, and 10 episodes in he started broadcasting live in the local radio. The guy kept on for 7 seasons, one for each year Harry and his friends studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Soon after, in November 2010, his friends and him started filming. They wanted to make short-films, which they uploaded to Youtube with terrible critics and people from the village laughing at then every time they appeared at highschool. However, thanks to their Youtube channel they started getting invited to film premieres to interview stars by the Media Manager at Warner Bros Spain (due to a call to the office Alvaro had done trying to get access to the last Harry Potter film premiere). Suddenly they were learning the basics about all different kinds of media, even organising some charity events for “Escuelas para el Mundo” and being interviewed in a few local newspapers and Radio Stations as ABC and Cadena Ser.
Soon after, thanks to a friend working at the local radio station, Alvaro applied as an actor for an independent film. Not only he was lucky but his best friend, Victor, got a job in the movie too. They were gonna play two monks living in the Spanish Civil War. The film got released in around 60 cinemas around the country by the name “Bajo un manto de estrellas” (Óscar Parra de Carrizosa, 2014). It got some prizes in festivals (Poland and Mexico are some of them). They even got some candidatures to the Premios Goya, the “Spanish-Oscars”.
Next year, the same director invited Victor and Alvaro to work on his next project, “La Espina de Dios” (Óscar Parra de Carrizosa, 2015). Mr. Parra even gave Álvaro the chance to learn and help in the Production Department. He played Jadash, a small supporting role on-screen. The film got better critics than the one before, and released in 100 cinemas this time! The three of them did one more project together for the silver screen, “Re-Emigrantes” (Óscar Parra de Carrizosa, 2016). This time it was a comedy, and Alvaro got the chance of playing a main character named Pólar Briones, the son of the film legend Fernando Esteso. In that project he was involved from the begining, with Oscar Parra mentoring him in the processes of screen-writing, editing and color correction. Having learn some basics from amazing professionals and friends Álvaro headed for Uni.
After three years studying a Double degree in Journalism and Media, he got the chance by a common friend with film-director Tomás Pérez Torrella of moving to Edinburgh and started working in City Explorers Tours. In the beginning, he worked only doing Harry Potter Walking Tours. Nowadays he does also Ghost Tours, Historical Tours, Pub Crawls and works as Meeting Point Manager.
Now a new adventure starts, my first course at Edinburgh College. Filmmaking for Screen, sounds promising! Hope to learn new things, but also meet and collaborate with incredible people I can’t wait to get to know. I’ve been asked about my favourite film for this blog entry, but… who could choose one with so many masterpieces around? Nowadays, I’d say there’s two I would definitely recommend. Nº 1 is “Groundhog Day” (Harold Ramis, 1993). I discovered it in lockdown and can’t describe how the story changed my point of view about everything! Also there’s Bill Murray in there, who can’t love that man? Nº 2 would be “Minbo: The Gentle Art of Japanese Extortion” (Juzo Itami, 1992). I discovered it recently as a recommendation my flatmate’s mother gave him, and how I enjoyed it! Subtle comedy with incredible performances, and a script that was the opposite to the occidental films most of us are used to. 100% recommended, although it’s difficult to find legally. What do they both have in common? You guessed it, 90’s comedies.
I’ve already kept you in here for too long. Since brevity is the soul of wit, I will be brief in the next entries, that will work as a diary of new knowledges, projects and adventures. Hope to read you soon. In the meantime, let’s keep on enjoying the magic of working for the silver screen.