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This month Festival Director Denise Gossett spoke with Juan Iglesias, composer of 2012’s Best Horror Short film "Blackout"!

DG: What is your name and company URL?

JI: Juan Iglesias. www.juaniglesias.co.uk/

DG: What is your specialty...filmmaking or screenwriting?

JI: Film scoring. I guess that would come under filmmaking. I compose music for film.

DG: What are you currently working on?

JI: Lots. Technically, at the moment of this interview, I am preparing songs for a musical in New York next spring, called The Sweet Dove Died. That far ahead because theatre music takes a much longer time to develop than film music. In the film world, I just finished scoring a trailer for a horror novel (yes, books have trailers these days) and I'm now gathering music ideas for a horror movie I'm about to start called Cannibals and Carpet Fitters. I have no idea what cannibals or carpet fitters sound like, so it's time to get creative.

Juan Iglesias DG: Wow! You've been busy! Who do you consider your mentor and why?

JI: If somebody I've never spoken to counts as a mentor, I'd consider John Williams to be. I've learned almost everything I know about the art of film scoring from his work alone. I think it's because he made me feel like the music was an integral part of the film experience. And he keeps doing it. A living genius.

DG: Why do you think the horror/sci-fi genres have such a large following?

JI: Two reasons. First, the creative possibilities of horror/sci-fi/fantasy are unmatched. That's why you have a huge variety of ideas in those movies. You get the opportunity to tap into fear or disturb the audience; or you can create other worlds and use them to make social commentary. I think so many filmmakers love to tackle these genres because they can experiment with almost anything their imagination desires. And that goes for the music too. Second, they are sh*tloads of fun.

DG: LOL very true! What do you love most about this business?

JI: Creating. I start with nothing, I do a bit of work; then I have something. That feeling is unbeatable. And creative people. There's something awe-inspiring about the way creatives flock together when they're making a movie. Even when I'm not creating something, just talking about making movies draws me to incredible talent, Shriekfest festival being a case in point. And on social sites too. Some show interest in my work, and I end up communicating with all sorts of people. We just talk about making movies and music. Can't think of many other businesses where that happens...

DG: That is so very true! What do you dislike most about this business?

JI: Money. It gets into everything. Guerilla filmmaking has really dried up now, and you almost can't make anything at all without money. I've even seen money-raising campaigns just to get a script written! The worst part is the creative compromises that occur just to get the money. And then the need for your end product to generate more money, in the hope that you'll have enough to do it your way the next time around. But the next time around, you'll need more money. If I think about it too much, it just drives me crazy. I guess that's why I stopped trying to be a producer, don't have the temperament for it.

DG: I hear ya! It is frustrating...the whole industry has put too much importance on the making of money instead of the making of quality work. What career accomplishment are you most proud of?

JI: Just becoming an established composer. That's it. And it wasn't in a single moment, it was more of a long period of realization. There were a lot of years of endless work in the hope that one day I may fool others into thinking I've become what I want to be. And then strangers started contacting me to work on their project, and then the day came when I saw one of my soundtracks for sale to the public, and that led to more projects and interviews and articles, and it slowly dawned on me: I'm a composer now. When did that happen??

DG: I love that! It truly is a process and it's exciting! Any advice you'd like to give newbies?

JI: Surround yourself with creative people who love what they do. Nothing saps creativity like pessimism. I know because I've been guilty of it! And as obvious as it sounds, keep working. No matter what. Nothing will refine your talents like practice and you will always get that if you keep working. Aside from developing your creativity, solid work will condition you to deadlines, which unfortunately (or fortunately) are a part of this business. And that goes double for you film composers out there! We have deadlines like you wouldn't believe, so remember that some product is better than no product. Keep working at what you love!

DG: Great advice! Anything else you'd like to say?

JI: If I may, I'd like to give a shout of recognition to some of my peers, who inspire me with their amazing work. They are the directors and composers of the future: James Bushe, Louis Siciliano, Matteo Zingales and Scooter Downey. You are all awesomeness.

DG: I agree! Thank you Juan! It was great chatting!


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