The location work was beautiful. Where did you film this?
We shot the film in the Altiplano (High Planes) and valleys of the province of La Paz, Bolivia. The main location was a hacienda previously owned by President Ballivian, situated in a small village called Chivisivi.
It was amazing shooting there, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. We had to bring all of our food and supplies, there was no bread in the village, so I made bread every day for the cast and crew. We all took turns cooking and washing dishes. At the end of the ten days, we were about ready to kill each other.
The music is mesmerizing and really works well with the story. Was this approved by you? I mean, did you hear the music as you were putting the film together?
Yes, the music was create for us by the very talented Brad Cantor (Hologram Sounds). It went through a lot of evolution as we went along with the editing.
How did Jac prepare for his role as one of the most calculating killers I have ever seen?
He became Barbazul; charming, and yet abrupt and sometimes rude. He was hard to handle while we were shooting. It was great for his performance. But he scared a couple of the actresses. Which he apologized for after we were done and he was out of character. He’s a really nice guy in real life.
I noticed that you put yourself in the most painful role again. Is this called suffering for your art?
Barbazul being my second film, I didn’t really want to put someone else through the suffering that role entails. So, I did it myself. It was pretty awful being wrapped in plastic. Now that I’m directing my fourth film, I’m more confident in what I can ask others to go through for a role.
How long did it take you to put the story together and how long was filming?
I wrote the script over about 6 months. Shooting took 17 days. I was frightfully efficient on this one. The pace was so grueling, especially in Chivisivi (6AM-midnight every day), that some of the cast and crew referred to me as a slave-driver. I’m sure they meant that as a compliment.
What are some other projects you have lined up?
I’m directing my fourth feature, Olalla, in which I also star. It’s based on the Robert Louis Stevenson story of the same name, about a family of genetic, decadent vampires. It’s pretty creepy and bloody.
One last question....How did Mila feel about her death scene. I know it made me very uncomfortable.
Mila was so amazing in her death scene in Barbazul. It’s difficult to ask someone to do something like that. And this was her first film. I was amazed by her dedication.
One more last question...was the ending your idea?
Yes. I felt like turning the traditional story of Bluebeard on its head a little. I wanted him to feel as though he had achieved everything, and free of consequences…