Twenty years have passed since such an ambitious idea was conceived that it remained in a dream waiting to be fulfilled. Today, director Ángel Alonso sees happy how that idea becomes reality. "Elcano and Magallanes: The first round the world" It reaches the big screen and, with it, the story told in a different way. The film immerses us in exotic scenarios with a dazzling soundtrack. La Oreja de Van Gogh has composed and interpreted the main theme of the film "Trust in the wind" and Alonso gives us a few words about this long process that, from today, we can enjoy in theaters.
How did the idea of this project come about?
We were very attracted because it seemed unfair that a Spanish character, who had done something as heroic as going around the world, did not get the recognition he deserves. More than once I have commented that if Elcano were American, we would have t-shirts, cookies and everything with his face; but we always give less merit to what is ours.
What has struck you most about working in this production?
We were shocked that, when we started to move the project, people thought that Magellan was the one who had traveled around the world. In fact, other Portuguese and English producers even told us that Elcano was an invented character.
What was the reason for the movie to start?
Twenty years ago, we were not able to withstand such a strong production. The digital evolution is what has made us face the greatness that this story implies.
What has been the greatest difficulty encountered along the way?
Having to recreate water and large groups of people. We are a small producer and we have a very tight budget. If the idea had come from Hollywood, it would have had a budget of 150 million dollars. On the other hand, we have had a limit of one and a half million euros. Even so, we were clear that the viewer should not appreciate that difference, so we tried to throw the house out the window and put all the meat on the grill for that tight budget went unnoticed.
How has it been to conceive so many characters?
It is one of the things that has made me sweat the most because the documentation in Spain for characters, for example, from Seville, is easy to find. However, we have had to go to the Malucas, Patagonia or Brazil and, in those cases, accessing it has been much more difficult. For that reason, we have tried to bring some fantasy to the design itself. It is not a documentary film, but animation, and, therefore, we have been lucky enough to be able to play with the archetypes typical of cartoons: a very bad bad and a girlfriend for Elcano, to which we reflect in a much younger way what it would have been in reality.
What motivated them to look for a partner?
Simply, it seemed nice that there was a love story behind for the character to evolve in the trip and had its own drawbacks, at sea level and personal.
The animation cinema gives greater freedom in the treatment of all these aspects.
Yes, completely. We can afford certain licenses without anyone being scandalized.
Have you considered what it would be like to move the project to real action?
I am a science fiction illustrator, I have made conceptual designs for videogames and I have played inventing spaceships. The story is, for me, the closest you can get to science fiction. Therefore, I think it has the potential to make this a production like "The Lord of the Rings." Three years of travel, five ships and two hundred and forty characters of which only return eighteen. I think it gives a lot.
Would you like to be part of a production of these characteristics?
Yes, it's a world that I'm passionate about. This type of genre allows you to expand and provide a great dose of fantasy. I have to say that, sometimes, our lack of budget drives us to be imaginative in order to solve problems in a creative way. They are limitations that force you to go beyond your own possibilities and I believe that, in this case, we have achieved it.
Finally, how was working with the Van Gogh Ear?
Very good, the truth. They perfectly understood the idea of the film that, at that time, was not yet finished. They were based on the script and hit the nail on the head. I am very happy, both for them and for the rest of the musicians that have been there. Music not only brings feelings, but also serves as a link between the entire film.