The filmmaker Álvaro Fernández Armero, in the Magasand cafeteria in Madrid, Alvaro Garcia
That there is quarantine does not mean that creativity is lacking. And like many amateur and professional filmmakers shooting their next feature films these days, Álvaro Fernández Armero and David Marqués are developing the series Quarantine Diaries for TVE, which will premiere next week. There are eight half-hour episodes, which are being recorded right now in 10 houses, with their characters, obviously, isolated by the confinement forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. In a project sponsored and produced by Álvaro Longoria, from Morena Films, Fernández Armero (director of Todo es mentira and Si yo era rico y cocreador de la serie Vergüenza) and David Marqués (script writer for Campeones and director of Dioses y perros) are Each one of them is in charge of five houses and they cross the scripts so that there is a relationship between the inmates. “Here I am, fuming,” says Fernández Armero. “Longoria came up with the idea of creating a sitcom with actors who would record themselves, under our supervision and with our scripts.” Each interpretive team – there are quite a few couples – was sent an iPhone, a microphone, a tripod and a computer program with which to send the images.
The 10 houses are “representative of the profiles of Spaniards,” says Fernández Armero. “The technical conditioning is very great. We rehearsed and ran on Skype, but we don’t see exactly how each one frames the shot. And we are making use of what the actors have in their homes, including their objects in the plots. ” Plots that, on the other hand, are completely fictitious. “We want him to be all naturalistic, but prioritizing comedy, with great freshness,” says the director. Starting with Fernando Colomo, who plays a boring 70-year-old man, alone, who doesn’t know what to do with his life. “Or two grandparents, to whom Juan Margallo and Petra Martínez give life, who fight for their daily survival. The humor is going to be in the Seinfeld line, with a lot of dialogue about the things that are happening to us and observation about the current situation, ”he says. “We will be recording for another month. We do it at a speed like I have never worked before, although I also recognize that it is a high ”, confesses Fernández Armero. “Our idea is for each chapter to peck from sketch to sketch, and these days we work hard on the bond between characters.”
The director, who gives free rein to his wildest side in the series Shame, and here is looking for another type of comedy, wants the public to be aware of the rush of the filmed. “We hope that viewers will understand. It will not be perfect; however, we do believe that he will be alive, that he reflects situations in which many will feel identified, and that David and I, who constantly talk so as not to repeat ideas or storylines, hope we have absorbed the news. ”
In addition to those mentioned, there are José Luis García-Pérez and Cristina Alarcón, with whom Fernández Armero had recorded yesterday with Colomo through screens, “because Cristina embodies a daughter of Colomo”; Carlos Bardem and Cecilia Gessa; Montse Pla and Víctor Clavijo (who embody a one-night stand that fails but must be locked together by confinement); Adrià Collado; Fele Martínez and Mónica Regueiro; Carmen Arrufat (revelation actress candidate this year with Innocence) as the teenage protagonist; Gorka Otxoa (who plays another son of Colomo), who does not stop communicating by chat with his best friend, whom Carlos Areces brings to life, to invent businesses in this world taken by the coronavirus… it is very appetizing. Some are parents, and we have decided not to remove the children, due to the complexity ”, says the filmmaker, who laughs:“ For my luck, David takes care of these couples, with a much more difficult coordination of schedules ”.
In the end, Quarantine Diaries, which will be broadcast from next week on prime time on TVE, “lives up to the surrealism that we are experiencing these days in some things”.