Interview with the Winner: Manuel Portillo - Love is on


Director, filmmaker and winner of Best Editing at BFFF 2015


We would like to know more about 'Love is on', Winner of Best Editing at last year's BfFF. What inspired you for this Revlon advertising?

This project has been very special. We weren’t selling a specific product; just talking about feelings in a big commercial for the USA, and that never happens.I worked a lot with different phases of love.

It was a deep research that left me exhausted, because I'm not the best in relationships, but translating that feelings and memories into universal images was awesome.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned about advertising?

If I reach 60% of what’s in my mind, it’s a success. Maybe it’s not true, but I repeat it to myself so I can sleep.

In 'Love is on' I had two guardian angels, Eduardo de Aysa and Miquel Garcí. They helped me a lot.


In your opinion, what is the perfect client?

The brave ones; everyone wants to make something different, something special, but later when you start developing the project, there are a lot of filters and concerns. The process consists of plenty of parts. There are a lot of departments in production companies, agencies and brands supervising every step and you lose some freedom and control.

Sometimes the feedbacks start to modify; cut some “risks” and fresh ideas, moving it to something more standard, or more near to previous references "just in case". Whenever the idea is pure, I fight as much as I can to arrive to the set with that fresh vision. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

As far as you are concerned, on set, it is Perfect Preparation or the Magic of Improvisation?

You need both. Perfect preparation obviously, you work months on that, and it’s impossible to shoot without it. But this “Magic of Improvisation” is when you bring the paper to life. In my opinion, without that, the story is dead. You write the story three times: In the script with ink, in the shooting with light, and in the edit with the footage.

You need that magic in the three phases, because you have to adapt it to the characters, environment, cinematography… to obtain the feelings you need. But I would not call it improvisation or magic, it’s more like a craftsman work. There is no book or formula. You need a lot of years working and learning to develop your way of looking and it never ends.

What would you say was your most memorable moment at BFFF last year?

To be honest, there have been three unforgettable moments within this project: Firstly seeing my work on those big screens on Time Square has been one of my "things to do before you die” accomplishments. The second moment was to see the commercial in the season finale of Mr. Robot TV series.

I was enjoying the last episode and it was unexpected.

Finally when I received this award at the last BFFF. I love the festival. For me it was awesome, something that you never forget and an amazing way to close the circle.

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