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How I Shot That (LAFF Edition): The Necessity of Bats, Boats and Just Making Films According to Daniel Garcia

How I Shot That (LAFF Edition): The Necessity of Bats, Boats and Just Making Films According to Daniel Garcia

Daniel Garcia, along with his co-director Rania Attieh, have made three feature films. Their first film “Ok, Enough, Goodbye” was an ode to Attieh’s home city of Tripoli, Lebanon (it was shot on location). Their sophomore picture “Recommended by Enrique” was shot in Del Rio, and will debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival in the narrative competition. They are also in the process of finishing another project, entitled “H.,” that was supported and funded by the Venice Biennale Cinema College and will have its premiere at the Venice Film Festival this August.

[Editor’s Note: Indiewire reached out to filmmakers with films
playing at the 20th LA Film Festival (June 11-19) to ask them about how
they shot their indie, and what advice they had for other filmmakers.
We’ll be posting their responses throughout the run of the festival. Go
HERE for the master list.]

What was the most difficult shoot on your movie and how did you pull it off? Ultimately I don’t really remember having a ‘most difficult’ shoot for the production of “Recommended by Enrique”. Knowing our budgetary and [very small] crew limitations, as well as the fact we were working with a cast of almost all non-actors, we made it a point to keep the difficulty level to a minimum and allow ourselves the maximum amount of time to work within the scenes. However, if I had to pick one, it might be the Karaoke scene that took place in an old, run down bar. The bar owner started running us out of the location much earlier than we had anticipated and the electrical outlet offerings that the bar provided were far less than what we needed. This meant that almost half of the now shortened time we had to shoot was spent troubleshooting our electrical needs, while the bulk of the remaining time, was spent pleading with the bar owner (and his wife) to let us slide. In the end, we got the scene, and only overstayed our welcome by about 30 minutes or so, which I’d say is a win.

What’s the one thing you wish someone had told you BEFORE you started your movie?
It would’ve been nice if someone would’ve quoted Sergeant Brody’s line from JAWS when he sees the shark for the first time and, noticing how big it is, remarks to his fellow boat mates, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” I generally like this line and everything that it represents when one finds oneself in over one’s head. Of course, we didn’t have any boats on the shoot, so I guess it wouldn’t have made a whole lot of sense, but still, it would have been nice to hear.

What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got?
Years ago, after telling a somewhat business minded family acquaintance about how we lost out on a very prestigious award, she looked plainly at the both of us and, quite sage-like, spouted off something along the lines of “how many times are you going to just be nominated for an award and not win…?” or something like that… the gist of which, I guess, being “before you get a real job.” She then went on to school us in the practical, level headed ways one should lead life. We both remember holding our tongues, quite sure of how to respond, but not sure if we should do so. Some battles are just not worth fighting.

What’s the best?
“You can’t hit a home run without swinging the bat.”

What advice do you have for aspiring or first-time filmmakers?
Just make films. And then make some more.

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