Interview with the directors:
“How did the idea of making Los Reyes originate?”
Bettina: “In 2009, for the day of his birthday, I gave Iván a skateboard to go back to riding. He had not skated for 25 years and dreamed of doing it again. So he started going to the Los Reyes skatepark every week. As he came into confidence with the young skateboarders, he would listen to conversations that he told me later and that were very interesting. At the beginning of 2013 the idea of making a film in Los Reyes, based on the homies, appeared. At first I was not very enthusiastic about working with teenagers, but as the idea developed I became convinced. “
Iván: “The financing of the project was quite fast and by the end of 2015 we were already recording. There also began our problems: the skaters did not let go with the camera, they were inhibited, others overacted, their conversations were empty, it was not working. In addition, Bettina was dissatisfied with the visual style, she thought that the form was conventional, that it was not coherent with our artistic identity, and that we were falling squarely into reality television.”
“When did the dogs appear?”
Bettina: “Football and Chola appear right at the worst of the crisis. One day Iván was skating in Los Reyes and I called him on the phone to tell that the film had failed, that it had to be aborted. He tried to convince me that this alternative did not exist, that we had to continue and among many other things he tells me that right at that moment there were a couple of dogs playing in the bowls with a ball, that I had to see that.“
Iván: “So the next day Bettina went to see the dogs and was captivated. “This movie has to be about these two dogs,” she said. I did not agree. We had to include the dogs but there was no reason to eliminate the skaters! For Bettina the dogs were the object of audiovisual experimentation that we were looking for and that should solve our problems.
Bettina: “In any case, I convinced Iván that from then on we had to concentrate the shooting on the dogs because at any moment something could happen to them, while the skaters were going to be always there. Any producer would have panicked with such a change but Maite Alberdi and Dirk Manthey always supported us. The same for Pablo Valdés, our cinematographer, and the funds that backed the film. We are very thankful.
Iván: “And we spent 10 months recording the dogs. In the end Bettina’s intuition that the film had to be about Football and Chola was imposed on its own. She was absolutely right. To record the dogs for months was to investigate them in detail, discover dimensions and unexpected relationships, surprising images. And the skaters continued in the movie but in an underground way, becoming part of the sound atmosphere of the world of dogs, of what surrounded them.”
“What did the skaters say when they saw that you were recording Football and Chola?
Bettina: “At first they got a little misplaced, they did not understand what was the grace of this dogs. But for us it was very good because from then on they were uninhibited. As knowing that they were no longer the protagonists, they began to relax and to be themselves in front of us and in front of the camera. Because although in the movie we only hear their voices and never see them, the recordings were always with a camera.”
“What was the result of this process?”
Iván: “Finally, what turned out was a film about a microcosm, the Los Reyes skatepark, seen from the day to day of a couple of wonderful dogs that love each other, Football and Chola, and that live surrounded by insects, highways and human adolescents trying to emerge in life in a somewhat clumsy way. What we are proud of is that all these dimensions intertwine and create a powerful cinematic experience, it seems.”