Filmmakers in Focus - Open Windows and Housebound

Written by Jim Kolmar | March 10, 2014

In today's Filmmakers in Focus, Nacho Vigalondo delivers the goods on his real time thriller Open Windows, told through the innovative device of a laptop screen.

Meanwhile, Gerard Johnstone brings us Housebound, a creepy film from New Zealand, a country that seems to have no end of talented filmmakers.

Read the full Filmmakers in Focus archive here!

Gerard Johnstone on Housebound

Housebound, courtesy the filmmakers

Tell us a little about your film.

Housebound was funded through a low budget film initiative by the New Zealand film commission. It's a Gothic comedy horror, which I guess is a strategic way of saying there's no Zombies in it. I think it's the type of horror movie you could take your Mother to. It's offbeat, it's unusual, but hopefully fun. Unfortunately everyone speaks with a NZ accent in it.

Why did you start making films?

I originally wanted to be a stuntman, but I'm too tall and I have a bad back. I just love movies and it always seemed like an awesome way to occupy your time. Even though I'm trying to make them, I still haven't lost the ability to get swept up in a them. Seems like the only time I ever cry is when I'm watching a movie. Maybe that's the a good thing, maybe I'm repressed in some way.

Have you been to SXSW before? Any tips?

Yes, 10 years ago we competed in the International 48 Hour Film Project and came 2nd runner up. I think that was a made up prize as they didn't expect us to turn up. But I'm looking forward to hanging out with other filmmakers, seeing the other films and hopefully growing as a person. It would be great to meet some of my film making heroes and not embarrass myself like I did last time. I'm better at being around celebrities now.

Tell us a random fact that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

I used to choreograph a hip-hop group in high school.

Nacho Vigalondo on Open Windows

Open Windows, courtesy the filmmakers

Tell us a little about your film.

It´s a real time thriller told through the screen of a fictional laptop connected to the Internet and with enough battery to last through the whole plot. Elijah Wood has to save Sasha Grey from the evil schemes of Neil Maskell.

Why did you start making films?

I'm attracted to storytelling more than any other human activity, and I love the fact that if you put one image after another, something happens in the middle.

Have you been to SXSW before? What are you most looking forward to?

No, but I´m an Austin lover since I've been attending Fantastic Fest for the last decade as some kind of religious impulse. I can´t wait to watch movies I've never heard of and meet some old, sweet friends.

Tell us a random fact (or two!) that would help our attendees get a better idea of who you are.

I love movies, and all people involved in it, from authors to critics, and I'm available 24 hours for a toast to the craziest and most complex way to involve dozens of adults in telling a tale.

Photo from Housebound, courtesy Semi-Professional Pictures
Open Windows, courtesy Wild Bunch