Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Nathan: I grew up in the south of France in the countryside. I’ve never moved into another house, and have always led a good, quiet life.
Film Courage: What do you like to do for fun/hobbies outside of filmmaking?
Nathan: I love taking photos, playing piano, spending time with my friends, and watching films.
Film Courage: Favorite saying by a filmmaker or author? And who said it?
Nathan: « Le cinéma, c’est un oeil ouvert sur le monde » Joseph Bedier.
“The cinema, it´s an eye open to the world”
Film Courage: What artist, or writer, or luminary would you would love to take to dinner? What 3 questions would you ask them?
Nathan: James Wan, I really love his work. I would ask him probably: “Why horror films? Do you prefer natural or artificial light? Which horror movie inspire you most?”
Film Courage: What intrigues you about current films (any genre)? What disturbs you about current films (any genre)?
Nathan: I think, there’s always more focus on visuals, on the photography in films today, it´s good. There are no things which disturb me :/
Film Courage: Favorite horror-type special effect (from any film)?
Nathan: Any door that opens and closes by itself; it’s very simple but I like that.
Film Courage: Favorite horror character from any film and why? What is it about this character that you love (or love to hate)?
Nathan: Esther, the first horror film I saw, I love this character, she is so nasty and mysterious.
Film Courage: Can you complete this sentence “Curiosity is…..”
Nathan: Curiosity is a very good thing.
Film Courage: When you were younger, what movies or books would you get lost in on rainy or sunny days?
Nathan: Harry potter, and even now… I still want to go to Hogwarts!
Film Courage: How old were you when you made HOSTILE? How many other films had you made previously?
Nathan: I was 14. I made one other experimental movie “The rush in tape’” when I was 13.
Film Courage: How old are you now?
Nathan: Now I’m 16.
Film Courage: What inspired the story for HOSTILE?
Nathan: My two friends, Luna Miti (Anna) and Julie Venturelli (Emilie) inspired me to write Hostile, and Esther too. I don’t now, maybe 2 months to write the script. Sometimes I wrote in the office, or in my bed, or at school, yes often at school. I showed the script to my father, to ask for some advice and external help.
Film Courage: How long have you been planning the film?
Nathan: Three months for the preparation. We didn’t have any money for the film so the preparation was very important.
Film Courage: Where did you find and audition your actors?
Nathan: The two main actresses are friends of mine and they want to become actresses. Shelley Ward (Meredith) was a friend of my father. She is a theatre actress. We found the reporters (Anatolia Allieis and Morgan Hec) after a short audition in a school theatre of our neighborhood. The two psychologists (Magali Gouyon and Julien Croquet) were two comedy teachers of a friend of mine. Vanessa Azzopardi (the driver) was a friend of my mother. Sarah Robert (the baby sitter) was an activity organizer of the youth centre of my town.
“Like everybody I suppose, I like when critics are constructive. People can love or hate a movie, it’s normal for everyone to have a different point of view, but when it’s nasty and there is no constructive advice, I don’t like that (like everybody I suppose). The critics are very important for the audience and viewers. We are often influenced by the opinion of the others.”
Nathan Ambrosioni, Writer/Director of HOSTILE
Film Courage: Where did you shoot the film/secure the locations? How many days was production? Any re-shoots?
Nathan: In a big house at Auribeau (special thanks to Catherine de Framond), in my house, in the woods, in the hospital of Cannes, and in an abandoned and creepy hotel.
It was 23 days of shooting for Hostile, during 6 months. We shot scenes that were not in the original script and didn’t need any re-shoots.
Film Courage: Which scene required the most retakes in HOSTILE?
Nathan: The scene when Chloe announced to Anna that they will go to visit a psychologist. The actress completely blocked in a word. She was unable to say her text. After more than 20 takes, we were obliged to stop shooting and let the actress go out for a while. After half an hour, she came back and we finished the take.
Film Courage: What was the day and night like before you begun principal photography on HOSTILE?
Nathan: I just could not wait to get started, I was having trouble sleeping because of the excitement.
Film Courage: (According to IMDB) Since HOSTILE you made two other shorts, MISS YOU and THE LAKE. Did it feel easier to make these films since completing HOSTILE?
Nathan: It was easier for sure, but I learn on each films. A new set is always new field of investigation, discovery and problems also. But it’s sure that to have some experience offer more possibility and capacity of work.
Film Courage: Did you act in HOSTILE? How was this to have a role in front of and behind the camera?
Nathan: Yes, I played Jake (5minutes of the movie)! :)) It was a found-footage part so it was «easier» to direct the camera, but being an « actor » it’s very difficult, I admire their work, I really enjoyed that.
Film Courage: What song opens the film (a few minutes in)? Why an American song?
Nathan: It’s « Oh no, I tried » by Right Away Great Captain, I loved this song and most of time I prefer American artists.
Film Courage: Can you explain the captivating use of auditory contrast in HOSTILE?
Nathan: Ewan Coic, the composer worked very well for this contrast. I would have done more quiet scenes.
Film Courage: Can you explain your usage of various subtle sounds made for an intriguing, intimate experience taking the viewer into the world of each scene?
Nathan: Todd Warren (the sound mixer) helped us a lot for all the subtle sounds, most of them were recorded on set but he added a lot of sounds.
Film Courage: What cameras/lenses did you shoot HOSTILE with? What did you use for sound/lighting?
Film Courage: Where did you learn cinematography?
Nathan: I learned on he job and also by watching a lot of “making of’ features on DVDs.
Film Courage: Some adult directors say jokingly that they’re ‘scared of actors.’ What range of feelings did you experience giving your actors notes on set?
Nathan: I love talking with actors, when they give their vision of the scene. I’m a little scared when the actors are adults, because I’m young and sometimes it’s difficult to direct adults.
Film Courage: What was post-production like?
Nathan: It was very, very long and difficult, but very cool, all facets of cinema are very cool!
“I’m still scared of what people and critics think of Hostile, because it’s a first movie, made without money, and also a first experience of shooting for me and also for all the people on the stage. But I love festivals because the audience is very special. People are more open to new experience and happy to discover new and independent productions. It’s the most beautiful public I’ve ever seen!”
Nathan Ambrosioni, Writer/Director of HOSTILE
Film Courage: What where the biggest challenges you had making HOSTILE?
Nathan: To make a movie without money.
Film Courage: How long was the original first cut of the film?
Nathan: The original cut was 1 hour and 35 minutes with the end credits. I had to cut 10 minutes, sometimes because it didn’t work with the rest of the film and sometimes because we didn’t like the scene on reflection. Chloe’s nightmare was longer before the final cut, but we had to make a choice because the lighting wasn’t right.
Film Courage: When you released HOSTILE to festivals what did you think would happen? What was the reaction?
Nathan: I was very scared. By the way, I’m still scared of what people and critics think of Hostile, because it’s a first movie, made without money, and also a first experience of shooting for me and also for all the people on the stage. But I love festivals because the audience is very special. People are more open to new experience and happy to discover new and independent productions. It’s the most beautiful public I’ve ever seen!
Film Courage: Where is HOSTILE currently available to watch?
Film Courage: What is your impression of movies critics and film reviews? Do you feel they are important for potential viewers? Differences in French critics versus UK, Canadian, American, etc.?
Nathan: Like everybody I suppose, I like when critics are constructive. People can love or hate a movie, it’s normal for everyone to have a different point of view, but when it’s nasty and there is no constructive advice, I don’t like that (like everybody I suppose). The critics are very important for the audience and viewers. We are often influenced by the opinion of the others.
For Hostile, most of the critics came from foreign countries because the movie played at a lot of festivals around the world, outside of France. Globally, critics are quite good and positive. Of course, Hostile had some negative criticism, but it’s good to read that critics appreciate the work of the team and the rhythm of the film.
Film Courage: What you will you continue with for the next feature film?
Nathan: We are currently in post production of a new feature length film titled “Leave Them Alone.” We finished the shooting last November. You will see some of the same actors from of Hostile, but also new ones like Nathalie Couturier, Remy Jobert and Cedrick Spinassou. It’s a horror/thriller film about a police investigation following the disappearances of a group of young people. We will post the trailer on the Internet soon.
Film Courage: What are your future plans for finishing school?
Nathan: I want to graduate, and go in America or Canada to study cinema after high school.
Film Courage: What’s next for you creatively?
Nathan: We have just finished the shooting of the short film “Ce qui nous reste” (First Breath), with Zoe Adjani, Luna Miti and Laetitia Rosier. It’s a drama telling the story of a young circus artist awakening after one year in a coma. I’ve also written a screenplay for another full-length film about a family trapped in a Machiavellian treasure hunt. We are currently looking for a producer for this one.
In HOSTILE, this fan of James Wan shows that he knows how to successfully combine an incredibly low budget with ingenuity and scare the stuff out of cinema goers. That then 14-year-old Nathan Ambrosioni has an eye for composing an image cannot be denied – each of his scenes is remarkably eye catching. He has certainly not contented himself with taking the easy path: his original screenplay constantly dares to change direction. He also brings a breathe of fresh air to the very style of found footage and approaches it with skill and gusto. HOSTILE is the first achievement of a creator with a very promising career ahead of him. His youth is certainly no disadvantage in genre cinema.
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