This is a transcript of SYS Podcast Episode 195: Writer / Director Mateo Gil Talks About His New Sci-Fi Drama, Realive.
Ashley: Welcome to episode #195 of the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I’m
Ashley Scott Meyers Screenwriter and Blogger over at – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com. Today, I’m interviewing, Spanish Screenwriter and Director, Mateo Gil, he wrote the original, “Open Your Eyes” script. Which starred Penelope Cruise. And went on to be made in this country as “Vanilla Sky.” We talk about his latest sci-fi film called, “ReAlive.” So, stay tuned for that interview.
If you find this episode valuable, please help me out by giving me a review in iTunes. Or leaving a comment on YouTube, or retweeting the Podcast on Twitter. Or liking us on Facebook. These social media shares really do help spread word about the Podcast and are very much appreciated.
Any websites or links that I mention in the Podcast can be found on my blog in the show notes. I also publish a transcript with each episode. In case you would rather read the show or look up something else up later-on. You can find all transcripts and show notes on the website, just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/podcast, and look for episode #195.
If you would like my free guide, “How to Sell Your Screenplay in 5 Weeks?” You can pick that up by going to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide. It’s completely free, you just put in your Email address and I’ll send you a new lesson, once a week for 5 weeks. Along with a bunch of free bonus lessons. I teach the whole process of how to sell your screenplay in that guide. How to write a professional log-line and quarry letter. How to find agents, managers and producers who are looking for new material. It really is everything you need to know to sell your screenplay. Again, if you would like to take a look at that, it’s all completely free, just go to – www.sellingyourscreenplay.com/guide.
So, now let’s get into the main segment, Today I’m interviewing, screenwriter and director, Mateo Gil, here is the interview.
Ashley: Welcome Mateo to, the “Selling Your Screenplay Podcast.” I really appreciate you coming on the show with me today.
Mateo: Yeah, thank you very much.
Ashley: So, to start out, maybe you can give us a quick overview of your background. Where did you grow up, and how did you get interested in the entertainment business?
Mateo: I grew-up in Las Palmas De Gran Canaria, with my parents. A few islands that belong to Spain. But, we are in the north of Africa, on the North Coast of Africa. It’s a very nice and quiet place. I don’t know where I started with liking movies it’s very much, when I was an adult.
And then I discovered there was a figure called, a “Director” a video called a “Writer.” And I decided I wanted to do that.
Ashley: Okay good. So, then let’s talk about some of those first steps to actually making this a career. What was sort of that first break. Or those first, not even those first break. Maybe take us back up through that. What were those first things that you did? And did you start to write scripts. Did you start to direct little short films with your video camera. How did you actually transition from, hey I’d love to do this, to actually doing it on a professional level.
Mateo: Yeah. I was very lucky, but because when I was at the university. First year I just met Alexander Denada in my boss. He was a very modern, very talented person. We started making short movies, with a very, very, cheap video camera. And editing, I don’t know how to say, in the clay machine at home.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, the VCR.
Mateo: A yeah, VCR.
Mateo: And that was it.
Ashley: Okay, perfect, perfect. And then, were you submitting those to film festivals? How did that actually took your name from just you and your buddy making shorts. To actually being paid professionally to do this? What were some of those steps. Where you submitting these shorts to agents. Were you submitting these short films to film festivals? Were you showing them to producers? What were you doing with those short films to get you guys some recognition?
Mateo: The way at the time, it was sending the video movies, short movies to festivals, in Spain. And that was all. That was some successful short movies. And then my brother made his first short movies that he was sending out. I started writing for him, and then other people. And then I started writing for myself.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. So, let’s dig into, “ReAlive.” Maybe to start out you can give us a quick pitch or a log line for what that film is all about?
Mateo: If you want a short fine line, I would say, it’s a story of the first mummy to be ever resurrected. And a story for humans.
Ashley: Okay, perfect.
Mateo: That’s why.
Ashley: Yep. I think that sums it up well. So,
Mateo: It’s the year 2085 I think?
Ashley: And maybe you can kinda tell us where this idea came from? Was it something whom you read in a magazine? Where was this sort of the genesis for this specific kernel of an idea?
Mateo: The idea for the, it was a very old idea I had. The idea came to me many years ago, when I was writing with Aljondro Denala “Open Your Eyes.” It was a Spanish movie that they made, the remake called, “Vanilla Sky” many years ago. In that movie Kyan Tason, was an important thing in this story. And I was always asking myself. Why did the future the people have any interest in that sort of, letting people come today. The third one, I didn’t stand-up. Because you had a lot of curiosity about how it could feel etc… But then what? All these people was call living our time. Is it going to be anywhere resurrected there, in the future? That was my question? And also I was asking myself, what for? What am I going to do in this, in the future, if you are resurrected? You can know anyone, we are not useful, anyone, why, what for?
Ashley: Yeah, yeah.
Mateo: And that’s the question that was in the beginning of this story.
Ashley: Perfect, I’d love to talk about your writing process, a little bit. Maybe you can kinda just detail some of the specifics of writing. You know, this script, or just any of the scripts, you’ve written in general. How much time do you spend, doing an outline, versus how much time you spend opening up “Final Draft” and writing script pages.
Mateo: Script writing, I think I am very, pretty much the kind of a project involved. In this case, the writing probably writing of the first draft, was very, very fast, about a month. But, I have been taking notes for a long time, thinking about the story for a long time. And then I did some writing. But, then the movie I just doing now, I’m finishing up. That was only just one month, it was about 2 months and a half, 3 months, and that was all.
Ashley: Okay, okay. And what is your day look like when you’re actually in the flow of writing. Do you spend like 12 hours a day writing? Or do you spend, you know, 2 or 3 hours a day writing. What do those days look like, during those, in this case, it sounds like a month, and on the other scripts, 2 ½ months?
Mateo: Those days are hell, you know, because I felt better writing at home, all night, nothing. That’s why I write quickly. But, you know, I spend the time thinking, taking notes, in a very quiet manner. And then I write very fast, the draft, you know.
Mateo: Then, I re-write, and then slowly again.
Ashley: Yeah. So, maybe you can talk specifically about, “ReAlive” and sort of the development process of that. Was this in a sense, an assignment. Maybe you can just take a step back.
How did you get involved with this specific project, in terms of being with the Sy-Fy Channel©. Did you write the script and then, take it to the Sy-Fy Channel©. Did you pitch it to them at the Sy-Fy Channel©. And then they said, “Okay, yeah we’ll go ahead and make it? Maybe talk about that relationship a little more.
Mateo: You mean the Sy-Fy Channel©?
Ashley: Correct, yeah.
Mateo: Oh, yeah. They bought the movie after making it.
Ashley: Okay, that’s interesting, okay. So, then back us up a little bit. So then this was just a spec. script, you wrote it. And then once you finished, then you decided to talk and take it out to the various producers that you know?
Mateo: Yeah. That I, they were Spanish for the movies. This is a Spanish movie. It was more about 3,4 in Europe, bucket. And we made the movie here. But then we needed to do it in English because that was the way to get money, to make the movie. And also, I needed a better story, happened in the county where Cryo-stasis is an easy thing to do. Because if you
Cryo-stasis yourself in Spain, they want to take the body to another county. If you automatically do, you are in violation with somebody. Take them to store house.
Ashley: A store house in the desert.
Mateo: A warehouse, yes. So, I needed a place, where they were speaking English, people. That I could, should shoot here in Spain. And become actually. So, they only place was, that I could think of was, by there. Because of the landscape. So, the whole movie is shot in Spain. But, you can think it’s happens in Palo.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah. So, let me just talk about your development process a little bit. Okay so, you’ve written a little bit of this script, you’ve gotten the first draft. Maybe talk about how you get notes, and how you react to those notes. Do you have a bunch of other writer friends. That you’ll send your scripts to. And then you’ll get notes. Did you just trust your instincts, do you have an agent, a producer friend? What does that development process. Do you have your rough draft, then what do you do with that first rough draft that you have?
Mateo: I give my scripts to my friends, what friends I have. Yes, when we, first draft is completed, not before that. And then my notes, I do writing all, even when writing. And they when I think of stories. I let a few friends have them. Because you cannot bet on your friends all the time.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, no. So, let’s talk about that, okay so now you’ve got the script done. And then you start to send it out to some of these producers that you know. Maybe talk about that, and those relationships. Who was ultimately the producer that went out and raised the money for this film? And maybe talk about that one relationship. And ultimately how you forged that relationship initially.
Mateo: I have to say that, when I finished this script, I abandoned it, for 2 years, regrets. Because I wasn’t any sure. It wasn’t very first of a kind of a writing. It was a very risky story to tell. And I was very, I wasn’t very sure. But, after 2 years, more or less. I decided to get it to the producers of “Black Film” was my last movie, a western. Thinking, they are going to throw it in my face. But, they liked the story. And they say, they said, “Okay, let’s do it.” And that was all.
Ashley: And so, this company, tell me the name of this company that you sent it to.
Mateo: I kind of emotion pictures. It’s a company somewhere in Barcelona.
Ashley: Okay, then back us up, a little bit. How did you initially, like years ago, with your other movie. How did you initially get in touch with this company? I’m basically trying to get a, you know, because a lot of screenwriters, are going to be wondering. How do you get those relationships, with these production companies that want to read your material. And are willing to fund your movie. Just take us a few steps back, to that initial contact. How do you initially get in touch with this company, and get to know them?
Mateo: This company gets a, got involved in the movie I made previously, “Black Film.” And because they started like a financing company, not a producing company. But, they got involved in my movie, and they, I met them. And then I met them, we got a way to go. So, I sent them the script. But, you know, it was a good thing of working in Spain is, this is very small, we know each other. I feel confident this level. You have to make small roles, you know. But, I think comfortable. This, I don’t know? I wouldn’t know how to move. I don’t know, I have no idea? How to do it.
Ashley: And I’m curious, are there other companies, you sent it to this one company, they liked it. I always just like to get a sense of sort of scope of what writers are doing? Did you send it to a bunch of other Spanish production companies that as well? And maybe they weren’t interested. Or maybe they gave, this company had the most passion for it, or the best vision, or something? But, just a sort of sense of when you were ready to send the next scripts out to more than one production company?
Mateo: No, not at the same time. That’s when they are very, they the same. But, at the very beginning there was a lot of ideas. But he wasn’t very interested in the story. So, I didn’t invest in it. But, the finished script. So, I wasn’t very sure about it. But, then I sent it, to be it, that was all, all in one.
Ashley: And what was it, I mean, at this stage in your career. You Must have relationships with maybe several, but more than that. Production companies, what made you say, I’ll send it to this production company first?
Mateo: It depends on the project. In this case I decided to, because I felt that these producers. Was going to trust the story and it’s value. So, because the story is very, I told you. It’s told in a very personal way. It’s like a, the story is told like a diary, of the main character. It’s like a, I was speaking to the, I was read, like the character. The ways told, is a very strange way. So, I thought at least the audience was going to like this story. And a story that a hard one. And all that makes a story, you know.
Ashley: Perfect, perfect. And was there any thought into just doing something that was sci-fi. Like this is the story you want to tell. Or was there some thought process that sci-fi scripts, are scripts that can get funded, and can find an audience.
Mateo: That could be right, that would be true. But, when I wrote this story. I wasn’t thinking about how to movie. It was going to be produced or not? After they thought, that wasn’t going to be produced ever. So, I was very free, when I wrote this story, I felt very free, and this story itself, the shape of a sci-fi movie. I have to say that I don’t think about this, only as a sci-fi movie. Because, for me, It’s a drama. But, part of this drama is, drawing the picture. So, that makes them, a sci-fi movie, and sci-fi movie. But, that’s the only one, the only thing. It’s that drama that I like to leave and to feel, love and that’s all.
Ashley: Yeah, yeah, so, perfect. Do you know, what the release schedule is going to be like? How can people see “ReAlive?”
Ashley: Do you know what the release schedule is going to be like? How can people see this movie? Do you know when it’s going to be released?
Mateo: It’s going to be released in theaters, I’m sorry I don’t know? I’m not sure? I’m thinking, September 29th.
Mateo: And then, it be there on October 4th. I’m not sure? So,
Ashley: No, no, no. That’s
Mateo: I’m working the movie, I’m not really sure? Not at all.
Ashley: Yep, perfect, perfect. And I just like to wrap the interviews by asking the guest how people can find and follow along with what you do. If you’re on Twitter, Facebook, if you have a blog. Anything you’re comfortable with sharing. You can just tell us that now, and I’ll round all that stuff up and put it in the show notes as well.
Mateo: I have anything, I feel like I’m old right now. Because I have no part. I can give the page, the website of my agents. They the agents of a field of Spanish directors. This is the best way to know about me.
Ashley: Okay, and I will link to the show notes. I will link to your IMDb page. And I’ll link to
Mateo: A, perfect.
Ashley: And I’ll link to the, I’m sure there’s some sort of a website or Facebook page, for the movie. And I’ll link to that as well.
Ashley: Perfect. Mateo I really appreciate you coming on and talking with me today.
Mateo: Okay, thank you, very much.
Ashley: A quick plug for the SYS Screenwriting Analysis Service. It’s a really economical way to get a high quality professional evaluation on your screenplay. When you buy a 3-Pack, you get evaluations for just $67.00 per script for feature films, and just $55.00 for tele-plays.
All the readers have professional experience reading for: Studios, production companies, contests, and agencies. You can read a short bio on each reader on our website. And you can pick the reader you think best fits your script.
Turn-around-time is usually just a few days but rarely more than a week. The readers will evaluate your script on six key factors.
- Over All Craft – Which includes – Formatting, spelling, and Grammar.
Every script will receive a grade of – Pass, Consider, or Recommend, which should help you roughly understand where you script might rank if you were to submit it to a production company or agency. We can provide an analysis on feature films or television scripts. We also do proof reading without any analysis. We will also look at a treatment or outline and give you an analysis, or give you the same analysis that I just talked about on the treatment or synapsis. So, if you are looking to vet some of your projects. This is a great way to do it.
We will also write a log-line and synapsis for you. You can add this service to an analysis or you can simply purchase service as a stand-alone product.
As a bonus, if your script gets a Recommend, from one of our readers? You get a free Email and Fax Blast to my list of industry contacts.
This is the exact same Blast Service I use myself to promote my own scripts. And it is the same service I sell on the website. It’s a great way to get your script into the hands of producers who are looking for new material.
On the next episode of the Podcast, I’m going to be interviewing, Writer/Director/Actor/Producer, and even Editor, Griff Furst. He recently did a film, called, “Cold Moon.” We talk through that process. It was based on a book. Which Griff went out and optioned that he wrote the screenplay, based on that book. Then he raised the money for the film and then produced the film. We talk through everything. The aspect of how this film came together, approaching the author, optioned the book rights, then the script, and then raising the money, and making the film. So, keep an eye out for that episode next week.
Anyway, that’s the show, thank you for listening.