Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, and Jose Mari Goenaga are the three filmmakers behind the Spanish historical drama “The Endless Trench,” and the film marks the first time all three have a co-directed a film together. So how exactly did all three filmmakers manage the workflow?
“We’ve been working together almost for 20 years now which is quite some time and actually we’ve been directing until now like co-directing with two directors and this is the first time that we are directing, the three of us,” Garaño told TheWrap’s Steve Pond as part of the International Film Screening Series. “This is possible because we share the same vision, and this is important for us to have obviously the same vision, and if we don’t have this vision we construct it.”
“So it is very important for us to to work in preproduction before the shooting, make everything clear that each of us, we know what we have to do, what is important for the movie, and that’s the way we work,” Garaño added. “Then obviously in the shooting we divide the the functions, the roles, and then again back in the post production we are again together discussing and discussing, and this is how we do it.”
Since the three directors previously collaborated and have been working together for years, the directing process wasn’t that different. “It’s longer but at the same time I think the process is quite the same because we have been working like this for a lot of years so at least for me it’s not very different,” Arregi said.
Another of the ways the three Spanish filmmakers pulled it off was by shooting “The Endless Trench” in two parts — while the first part of the production shut down as the lead actor had to go off and pull a Robert DeNiro-style transformation. “In this case, the shooting was divided in two parts because we needed the main actor, Antonio de la Torre, to get fat, so we we had to stop, and then in the first part of the shooting we were, Aitor and me, on set and Jon was with the editing team,” Goenaga said.
“In the second part we were, Jon and me, in the shooting, and I was with the editing team,” Goenaga said. “So we were together in the preproduction, we were together in the postproduction, but in the shooting at the same time, we only were two on the set.”
“The Endless Trench” centers on a man who is so fearful of retribution for opposing Francisco Franco’s coup during the Spanish Civil War that he hides in his home for more than 30 years, with the help of his wife. The fact-based drama premiered at the 2019 San Sebastian Film Festival, where it won the Silver Shell for Best Director and the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay. The film was selected as Spain’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.
Watch Steve Pond’s full interview with Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño, and Jose Mari Goenaga above.