Inspired from a personal experience, “Capace – Caps“ is the debut film of director Sorin Marin. How the story was built, why he choose Vlad Ivanov for the main role, what good and bad memories he has from the set – we’ll find out from the exclusive interview he gave to dinfilme.ro.
Where did the idea for the film came from?
Director Sorin Marin: Life is a succession of games with different stakes and, almost 20 years ago, I understand that we are the ones that give value to the stakes. In childhood we want caps, buttons, napkins and colorful balls…and when we are adults we want mansions, jewelry, limousines, yahts… When I was a teenager, I wanted to become an actor but my parents didn’t agree so I went to Politehnica. “A man must be down on Earth, not up in the clouds“. In 2001, when I retired from business, I wanted to fulfill three dreams: to organise a film festival in a special place, to travel around the globe in 80 days, like Mr. Fogg, Jules Verne’s character (and I visited five continents, from Anchorange to Ushoaia, by plane, ship, sailboat, air ballon and by a dog sled) and to make films, without knowing back then that I would become a director, writer and coproducer. At the begining I was confused, I only knew that I want to talk about the value of things, but I didn’t know how. One day, I remembered a childhood story, about caps of beer and it all started from there.
How was the process of writing the script?
I wrote the first lines in 2001, after I retired from business and I started Anonimul Foundation. For many years I continued to write from time to time because I was busy with the projects of the foundation. I started to write seriously in 2012 and I finished the script in 2014. The story was hard to write down, there were lots of alternatives, but I knew from begining that the story with the beer caps and the world of business, a world in which I have never felt comfortable, must be in the film. In 2005, I met Cristian Mungiu. He gave me to read the script of his film “4, 3, 2“, we talked about the film and he invited me to the shootings. Cristian encouraged me to fulfill my dream and he introduced me to Razvan Radulescu. I asked Razvan to write the script for me, but he refused telling that it is a personal story which I have to write my self. Talking to him generated a beautiful friendship and helped me build the story. Furthermore, Razvan convinced me to give up the paper, pen and correction fluid and took me to a computer shop, where I bought a laptop.
How did you choose the actors and what was your first discussion with them?
I knew from the begining that I need a talented, serious and experienced actor for the main role in order to help me build the character. And I thought about Vlad Ivanov, who I met at the shootings of “4, 3, 2“ and that thought was a good one. I chose the actors following the castings, including the more famouse one and, on the first meeting, I asked them if they like the story. Oana Bucur and Roxana Ioniță from Saga Film really helped me.
When did the shootings begin, how much did they last and how did you work with the team?
We started in May 2015 and we only filmed for 25 days, into many steps. I say “only“ because it was a difficult production which included animals, children and many filming spots such as The Danube Delta and the seaside. We had a lot of beautiful moments, filled with emotion and adrenalin, but there were also difficult moments which I managed to overcome with the help of Alex Teodorescu, the boss of Saga Film. The most difficult moment was at the begining of the shootings, when our scenographer deserted. She just disappeared. And we had to recreate exteriors from the `70. Vali Ighigheanu saved me, but I had to give up two sequences with children and to simplify the other ones. Yes, it was hard work! Much harder than I thought it would be in 2001, but I learned a lot and I hope that all this learning will help me in my next film.
Were there any hard moments on the set? Some memories, good or bad?
Good memories: when we filmed the shadows at the seaside, some cormorants (black birds) were flying in the sky, just as it was written in the script; during the shootings, the weather was just as I wanted it to be, warm in Sfantu` and rainy in Bucharest. Bad memories: I have forgotten them.
How do you see the main character? Who is this businessman?
The main character is an imaginary character and I showed the world of business as I felt it, unfriendly, scheming, unscrupulous, though the viewer might get bored. The story of the childhood game is real. Ceausescu cut off the imports and the german beer was hard to find, only 2-3 downtown restaurants had it, reason why all the guys in my neighbourhood wanted Radeberger beer caps. After finding them, we used to straighten up the margins with a hammer and then put them on the tram rail to turn them into flat discs and all this implied courage, determination and a lot of work. And then the games followed. One day, after I’ve lost the last Radeberger cap, Bebe, the bad guy of the neighbourhood, made fun of me and I started to fight. Bebe beat me up and I wanted to get revenge. Me and my 2 friends started to collect hundreds of Radeberger caps which we turned into discs, and after two weeks, I returned to that street and I threw all the covers on the sidewalk at Bebe’s feet. From that moment, no one in the neighborhood ever played caps again. After many years, I understood the meaning of my gesture. The main character has no name. I wanted a character that is representative for the business world and because I don’t like him, I stayed away from him, and you can feel that in the film.
Which people do you think this movie is for?
All. Because we all want “caps”.
If you were to summarize the story of the movie in two sentences, what would that be?
I will try in one sentence: A wealthy, single man finds out that he may need a transplant and starts to understand that the things he considers important do not matter.
Why do you think people should come see the movie Caps?
We live in a world full of “caps”. Built from “caps”. And we are different and maybe this is the most important gift our species has received. And because life is short, I think it’s important to understand that we give value to the “caps.” It would be great if, upon exiting the cinema, every spectator would ask himself: What do I need to be happy?