Interview with Filmmaker Didier MULLERAS (WAITING ROOM)

WAITING ROOM was the winner of BEST DANCE FILM at the May 2021 EXPERIMENTAL Film Festival.

What motivated you to make this film?

I wanted to create a strong, dark, eerie, enigmatic and complex atmosphere, close to the poem of Dylan Thomas “Love in the Asylum”. I also wanted this idea to inspire the creation of the music that I made especially for the film.

From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this short?

It took me about 8 months, because I had to work in several separate sessions. I did not have the 15 dancers all at the same time, even if the magic of the edition allowed me to bring them together. I did two filming sessions, first with 8 dancers then with 7 dancers, but each time in the same stage set in our dance studios L’Espace 13 in Béziers France, where I am settled. Then, working day and night for creating the music, editing the images, until the film was finished.

How would you describe your short film in two words!?

This film is a choreographic exploration of the feelings that you can travel through, while being in a waiting room (hospital, airport, …). Waiting rooms are places far from regular time and space notions, where everyone can get lost in inner thoughts. A place that opens up to inner madness, a dedicated space to explore fake solitudes. A place of silence, stillness, of imposed physical distance.

What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

As I said previously, the hardest thing was to bring together 15 people on screen, who technically have never really met all together, and this, without losing the global spirit of the moments I wanted to propose after.

What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

First, this Festival is almost the only one to take time and film the feedback of the audience, and this is just excellent and so precious for film makers ! Then, the first time I watched the audience feedback video, I was really touched by the excellent and very positive reviews on my work in general and on this film in particular. As the reviews progressed, I realized that all the people speaking in this video really felt, lived and touched closely all the emotions that I wanted to bring with the film. It was a magical moment, kind of like they were reading my own storyboard and writing ideas !

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Since my childhood ,I have always filmed. First for fun, after for my professional career. In the 90’s, when I begun to tour with my professional dance company, I understood that filming for the archives was not enough for me. I really had this desire to write Dance + Image crossed together. In 1997, I was one of the first choreographer to put Dance on the worldwide-web with our project “mini@tures”, a video dance long-term creative path exclusively conceived for the Internet, and at this time, without Adsl or high speed connections, connected people were amazed to see good quality video on their computer and dance films where you could really see each detail correctly. This Internet project had a great success, putting light on my dance company and opening big tours in more than 40 countries, with the double pleasure to dance on little screens and at the same time, on the best stages of capital cities in the world.

Do you have a favorite dancer?

I really do love Akram Khan, the Batsheva Dance Company, and so many others. And everyday, owing to social networks, I am surprised to discover excellent dancers, talented choreographers, showing that dance, beyond being in a truly universal language, is really present in all the countries of our planet. And filming dance allows to show it without borders.

What film have you seen the most in your life?

Oh, probably a lot of Alfred Hitchcock’s, David Lynch, John Cassavetes, …

You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are you feelings of the submission platform from a film maker’s perspective?

This platform is really excellent, technically speaking, but above all to present, promote and broadcast films. It really helped me to reach Festivals that can be interested in my artistic proposals, and the results for me are clear: in the past two years , I had more than 150 official selections in 27 countries, and received 25 prizes including 11 Awards.

What is your favourite meal?

I love Asian food, French cuisine (of course, as a French citizen), and basically I remain very open to all the culinary specialities of each country in which I travel.

What is next for you? A new film?

I’m just finishing editing several short dance films that will be released in the next months (Garden Party, Invaders, Julia, Elements, Happy Birthday, …)

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