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[Interview] Paco Plaza Talks About Surprising The Audience And Subverting Found Footage In ‘[REC] 3: Genesis’

Magnet Releasing just released [REC] 3: Genesis on VOD Today, August 2nd and will release it in select theaters on Friday, September 7. While Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró co-directed the first two installments, they decided to split up parts 3 and 4, with Plaza taking Genesis and Balagueró tackling the upcoming [REC] 4: Apocalypse.

I recently hopped on the phone with Plaza and we talked about his compassionate protagonists, his more conventional shooting style in [REC] 3: Genesis and what might become of [REC] 4: Apocalypse.

Koldo and Clara are about to celebrate the most important day of their lives: their wedding. Everything appears to be running smoothly and the bride, the groom and their families are enjoying a wonderful day in the countryside until some of the guests start showing signs of a strange illness. Before they know what’s happening, the bride and groom find themselves in the middle of a hellish ordeal, as an uncontrollable torrent of violence is unleashed on the wedding. What started off as an idyllic day quickly descends into a nightmare of the worst kind…

Get more on the official Facebook and head inside for the interview!

So this film is quite a bit different than the first two? What was your aim with that?

I think we wanted to get some fresh air. Not only for us as filmmakers, but especially for the audience. We didn’t want to go down the same path again. We didn’t want to make the same film all over again. I think it would be more interesting to stay home and watch the DVD. We wanted to deliver something different, unexpected and surprising. Not what you had in mind. I think it happens too often that people go to the theater just to make sure that the film is exactly what they had in mind from the trailer. There’s so much information you can find out online about practically any film. So to go to a theater and be surprised by a film now is a challenge. To deliver a film that is a member of the [REC] family that is shot differently, has a lot of humor and is romantic was interesting.

You do create these two characters, Koldo and Clara, that you really want to see reunited. Can you talk a little bit about creating their chemistry?

It wasn’t something we had planned from the beginning. But we fell in love with the characters and we wanted to see them succeed and survive. It’s impossible not to want them to survive. For us it was important to create these characters that portrayed goodness and love and you want them to make it together.

25 minutes or so into the movie, there’s a very pronounced moment where you dismantle the POV camera and it’s no longer a found footage film. Was that a conscious statement about the genre?

It’s not that I wanted to make a statement. I think we had some great found footage films in the past few years. Paranormal Activity 3 is an amazing film. It’s not like I’m saying, “found footage is over.” It’s from the spirit of wanting to surprise the audience and deliver something different. We have had two films with characters saying, “we have to keep recording because people deserve to know the truth.” And for us, it was cool to have a character from the film itself to say, “that’s nonsense” and break the camera. It sets the film free. We loved that, but it wasn’t something that comes from the outside. It’s like a rebellion, a mutiny from the character. And I love that. That spirit of breaking the rules, I love it.

[REC] Apocalypse is coming up, which you’re producing and not directing. Can you tell us a little about that?

I can’t go too deep into details. I won’t spoil it. It’s true that it takes place after [REC] 2 and that it’s shot traditionally. It won’t be found footage, it’s a cinematic narrative. It’s a conventional film. But I really don’t want to get in trouble with Jaume [the director] so I can’t say much more.

You have this kick*ss heroine in [REC] 3, and there are some iconic moments, some kick*ss moments with the chainsaw. I almost saw a Kill Bill meets Oldboy bent in there.

It’s really cool what you just said. I will use that in another interview, I’m sure! Kill Bill meets Oldboy, I love it! It’s difficult to think of something more dangerous than a woman whose wedding is spoiled. You can really see a beast unleashed. It was very interesting to take this icon of beauty and purity that is the wife, and then splatter her with blood and give her a chainsaw and say, “okay, let’s kill some zombies.” It was kind of being naughty with the iconography of the wedding. It was irresistible to me.



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