Film Courage: There are critics who argue that popular culture is “dumbing down.” Would you say this is true, reflected in the film and television of today?
Karl Iglesias: I think I’m on the fence about that. It really depends on what movies and TV are very popular. I mean when I see movies like TRANSFORMERS, like the glut of superhero movies, I go Hmmm? It’s kind of sad that audiences are responding to that and making the movie successful, which just brings about more movies. Studios are all about making movies that make money, so I understand why they keep making them. But for me I’m kind of getting a little tired of that.
That being said, it doesn’t mean that there is not good storytelling out there. I think it’s great that there are more avenues for stories, Netflix, Amazon, online and all this stuff is opening up….The Golden Age of Television…I think there is much great TV being written now than there was before so all that gives me confidence about the state of storytelling today. I’m kind of happy about that.
I think if you look at the history of entertainment there has always been both sides, so I’m kind of in the middle. I wouldn’t say “Yes, we’re dumbing down” or “We’re getting better.” It’s both, as it’s has always been.
“You know this joke about the executive saying “Yeah, just give me the same thing only different.” Right? You’ve probably heard this before. That is what it means. We want to see stories that are different but familiar, the same thing but in a different way, a different angle.”
Film Courage: Do you think we are making more complex characters these days?
Karl Iglesias: I think so. One of the things about storytelling is that we’re conditioned to respond to new things, to pay attention to new things. That is why we like high-concept, part of it is what I call the uniquely familiar. You have to come up with something unique that we’ve never seen before that is also familiar.
You know this joke about the executive saying “Yeah, just give me the same thing only different.” Right? You’ve probably heard this before. That is what it means. We want to see stories that are different but familiar, the same thing but in a different way, a different angle.
The thing with characters is that we see more and more characters in more and more stories, we have to come up with something that is new. We have to come up with new characters or new traits or new goals. It’s getting harder and harder and harder so because of that I think they’re becoming more complex. Because of all the entertainment that has been done, good storytellers are aware of that.
To answer your previous question about beginning writers, the reason we see a lot of material we’ve seen before, kind of like cliché stuff is because they are not aware of what has been done before. So part of your education as a writer is really to know what has been done before. You really have to be very knowledgable about this. You have to be a geek about this, knowing all the movies that have been done before, knowing all the TV that has been done before, all the comic books that have been done before so you know that when you create something you try to avoid that and come up with something unique.
There is nothing new under the sun. Everything has been done before but I am always amazed and excited when there is a new concept. I’m like “Oh, my God! That’s is brilliant.” Because it is familiar but it’s unique.
It is all about creativity and originality and that is really a big part of being an artist. You have to be original. That is why we respond to it.
Film Courage: [Imitating an executive at a pitch meeting] “Love it! But it’s too close to King Lear. Sorry…”
Karl Iglesias: [Laughs] Right….but look what they’ve done with King Lear! You can modernize it and have a unique angle on it.
Question: Are you watching more television shows than movies?
Watch more videos in this series with Karl here on Youtube
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ORIGIN: Three science students are on the verge of making a breakthrough in their research into biohacking and cell aging. When one of them is diagnosed with a terminal illness, they break moral boundaries and use their untested research on him, in an attempt to save his life.
COLD NIGHTS HOT SALSA takes you inside the international dance world of Victor and Katia, aspiring young salsa dancers from Montreal, who seek to win a World Salsa Championship.
During their three-year quest Victor and Katia draw upon the talents of Eddie Torres, Tito & Tamara, Billy Fajardo, and Katie Marlow. Central figures in the salsa dance world, these mentors put their passion and professional dance skills before you and reveal what it takes to perform and compete at the highest level.
Victor and Katia’s story is a love story. It’s the story of their love to dance and of how being a couple enhances and also complicates their life together and dance ambitions. After winning the Canadian Salsa Championship, we watch as they first compete in the 3rd World Salsa Championship. They return home to Montreal to work on taking their dance skills to a higher level. After months of preparation, including working with a number of key mentors, they put their dreams on the line and travel to Florida to compete in the 4th World Salsa Championship.
Along with Victor and Katia’s story, the film explores some of the social and historical roots of salsa, as told through Eddie Torres, Billy Fajardo, Tito Ortos, and Edson Vallon.
Experience the beauty and excitement of competitive dance, the compelling force of world leaders in salsa, and the romantic charm of two young dancers who want to make their mark on the Latin dance world.