INTERVIEW: “ZU QUIRKE” – NOCTURNE – AMAZON STUDIOS13/10/2020
“Nocturne” came to Amazon Prime Video, directed by zu Quirke and starring Sydney Sweeney and Madison Iseman, TELLING US A DARK DRAMA.
To talk about the film, our correspondent, Luis Mario Muñiz had the opportunity to talk with the director, ZU QUIRKE, below all the information:
LM: Hello, Zu. My name is Luis Mario Muñiz and I’m part of the press team of CineFX Digital from Mexico City.
Zu: Nice to meet you, Luis
LM: Nice to meet you, now, I have to admit I loved your movie. I really got to feel it, like deeply in my gut, and I don´t know if it was the music, the photography, I don´t know but I have to congratulate you so, how are you?
Zu: Thank you, I’m well, I’m in LA at the moment. Obviously, I’m not native to the US but I’m here for the pandemic so that’s the new experience, how about you?
LM: I’m great. I saw this is your directional film debut, so how was it as a new experience?
Zu: Yeah, nothing can really prepare you for making your first feature, but I would say that this pool of Blumhouse and Amazon was instrumental in making this movie the way it was. We made this movie very quickly, we only had 4 weeks of pre production, we only had 20 days in principal photography, no pickups or anything like that, so there was no time to be unsure or to be daunted by anything, it was a real rollercoaster. As a result, the whole process was constant problem-solving cause, as I’m sure you know, the more you do in pre production, the less you have to do in production, and we didn’t have so much pre production so we were going to have more problems but it was incredible, it was so much fun and I’m proud of the result.
LM: Yeah, and you had these actresses, Sydney Sweeney and Madison Iseman, which are only 23 and, in my opinion, they did an amazing job, so how was working with this young cast?
Zu: Really wonderful, Sydney Sweeney is quite popular at the moment, she’s been in a lot of incredible work in the last two years, as has Madison. We were very lucky to get them for this movie. They’re both actresses with tremendous range, tremendous ambition (artistically). They`re interested in filmmaking on a top-down level, not just from the actresses perspective. And that really came through when we were chatting about the themes of the movie and working on it together, which was a pleasure.
LM: Now, going more into the film, how did you create this story, how do you connect to it?
Zu: So I wrote the script and it was based on my time studying as a classical musician as a teenager. I began playing the violin when I was 4 and I played it very competitively until I was about 18 when I decided I wanted to leave music effectively. I can still play it but not as well. And, one of my reasons for that was it’s a cut-throat world, there’s a lot of competition, particularly among violinists but also at any instrument really, and the level of dedication you commit to, to even compete on a higher level, is insane. You have to start when you are 4 and you have to practice non-stop for your entire childhood and your teenage years and then you may make it into a good music college and then, from there, you may get a job in an orchestra. It’s a tremendous sacrifice for these kids. It’s still a thing, we think of classic music as something people used to do a hundred years ago but there are still kids studying this and there’s still kids keeping this alive. That’s were
LM: Yeah, I was just going to ask you what’s your connection to classical music but I think that’s covered. So, now, with this part of your life and your connection to music, how did you relate it to a horror movie.
Zu: That’s a really good question. Well I think it not so much as a horror movie and more as a psychological thriller or as a psychological drama but, I do think that horror and psychological films are great features into discussing universal human feelings. For me, when I was 18, and I know many people experience this, you are kind of reassessing the dreams you had as a child and reworking realities out of fantasies because we can´t hold on to fantasies forever, and I think Julliet, the star of this movie, is still clinging to the fantasy of being a great musician, which really is a fantasy. If you are going to become a great musician you really have to make it by the time you are 13, if you’re going to be a soloist, and Julliet is over the hill already and, rather than coming to terms with this feeling and growing out of this, she clings to this fantasy and to this dream, which ultimately is her own doing, but I think we all go through that as we mature, as we grow older and that’s really what the story is.
LM: Wonderful. Now, Zu, do you want to share with us any funny, curious experience you had on set?
Zu: None come to mind. It was a whirlwind. There was a day that the baton went missing, (it’s a big concept in the movie) and the conductor, the actor who plays the conductor didn’t have his baton and it wasn’t his fault, they hadn’t given it to him. I remember our producer, Matthew Myers, frantically searching through the prop backstage to try to find his baton right until one minute before we were supposed to shoot the shot and then finding it. I can’t recall where he found it. That was a very funny moment, at the time, a very stressful funny moment.
LM: And what do you take from the experience of this movie?
Zu: Oh, so much. I’ve been incredibly lucky that I had the support of Blumhouse and Amazon for the production. I would do it again on a heartbeat. You learn a lot making your first movie and I’m grateful for the experience.
LM: Perfect, finally, any words for the Mexican audience that’s going to be watching your movie this weekend?
Zu: I hope that the Mexican audience enjoys this movie. I hope that it speaks to them, I’m a great fan of Mexican cinema. That’s pretty much it.
LM: I thank you a lot for this interview and for your time and I hope we’ll be seeing much more of you soon.
Zu: I hope so too, thank you, hope to see you again, bye.
Nocturne will premiere on October 13 on Amazon Prime Video worldwide. We invite the public to go see it as it is an enjoyable film, with just the right amount of horror and realism.