actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

Director / CrewJ.A. Bayona here, director of A Monster Calls. AMA!

Jan 6th 2017 by filmbayona • 21 Questions • 2755 Points

Hi reddit!

I’m J.A. Bayona, director of the new film A Monster Calls, which opens in theaters everywhere today! I’ve also directed The Impossible and The Orphanage and am now working on the upcoming Jurassic World.

Ask me anything!

Watch the trailer for A Monster Calls: https://youtu.be/8q-7trUd8Vw

Proof: https://twitter.com/FilmBayona/status/817109597202817027 https://twitter.com/FilmBayona/status/817397192365395968

EDIT: Thank you so much for all your questions, I really enjoyed this! I invite you all to discover A Monster Calls. It's a very emotional journey, life-affirming experience, and I hope something that will stay with you for a long time. So, thank you much!

Q:

How do we know this is really you and not your twin?

A:

Haha! I should've taken the picture with him. We are together right now as it's a big holiday in Spain.


Q:

Happy new year Mr. Bayona! How was working with Liam Nesson? He was sometimes on set or he just did voice recording sessions? And about Jurassic, please tell me we will see at least one animatronic raptor, I love those robot creatures. Saludos amigo.

A:

Gracias! Happy New Year to you too! It was amazing. He was always on set. We did the whole motion capture with him so it was never just having the voice but the performance as well. Even when we were just shooting the voice, we had three cameras on him to capture everything.


Q:

I think you're amazing. What is your favourite color?

A:

Green! I never thought about the question before.


Q:

What made you want to take on Jurassic World 2? How much freedom do you get directing a large franchise film like that?

A:

I've always been in interested in doing a big film in Hollywood. I've been a big fan of Steven Spielberg. I grew up up watching the Jurrasic films and so the stars aligned.


Q:

As a 36 year-old man who has lost several close family members to cancer and was bullied as a child, during what percentage of this movie will I just be low key sobbing? Because it looks like a solid 65%+ from here.

A:

I think crying is a healing experience. I love to cry in the movies. This film gives you the chance to release all that. I've been talking to a lot of people in similar situations and for them, the film has been really helpful and I've been proud of that. In making The Impossible, I spoke a lot to victims of tsunamis, it was very helpful for them. I think if this movie helps you at all, it'll be the most rewarding thing for me.


Q:

Hi, I´m eighten year old and i´m from Spain. I´m currently studying something that is not related with making movies but i would like to work on making movies as a director, what are your advises for me?

A:

I think you really need to want to do it. It's such hard work to make a film, so you really need to want to do it. If you have doubts, try it. It's a very tough job. But if you want to do it, try it non stop. Because even though it's very hard, it's also very rewarding.


Q:

What did you learn from the shooting of A Monster Calls? And do you have any advice for young filmmakers?

A:

The stories from a book isn't easy to turn into a movie. It was a learning experience from me. I wanted to be faithful to the story but also making it work as a movie.


Q:

A bit of a weird one, but I saw A Monster Calls and noticed that the Huddersfield Giants rugby team got a special thanks in the end credits and I was curious as to why?? Did they contribute to the film somehow, or just to do with the area the film was shot in??

Really enjoyed the film too. The watercolour animations were done fantastically.

A:

Conor had some slacks with the Giants rugby logo, so we had to ask for permission - and that's why it's in the credits!


Q:

Hi, I'm a massive fan of all your previous work! In The Orphanage, The Impossible and A Monster Calls, family has always been a central theme. Will this be the case in the Jurassic World sequel?

A:

I think there's a lot of heart in the Jurassic movies. I think that's one of the reasons I love these movies, they're full of adventure, but you have great characters. I think that we are really pushing for that in this new film. It's going to be a great adventure, very exciting, much bigger than the first one, but we really want to bring back a lot of heart to the story.


Q:

I've seen the trailer to A Monster Calls many times which I normally never does. But it's quite beautiful.

How do you feel as a director when you watch the trailer of one your movies? Do you sometimes feel like they are over/under-selling it? Not sure how much you are involved with making, or signing off on the trailer.

A:

That's a very interesting question. I see the trailer as a promotional tool to sell the film.


Q:

I just bought the DVD of "The Orphanage" though I've seen it before. Such a fantastic film! Realizing that you've directed both makes me even more eager for A Monster Calls.

Are you at all interested in making more Spanish-Language films in the future?

A:

Yes! I'm planning a Spanish-language movie right after Jurassic, and I'm very excited. I'm dying to start work with Spanish actors.


Q:

What's on your perfect sandwich?

A:

There is a very simple ham and cheese sandwich that in Spain we call "The Bikini". That's my favorite.


Q:

What's your favorite movie? Big fan.

A:

Superman. It's the first one I saw in my life and defines my whole career.


Q:

What filmmakers inspire you?

A:

Lots of them. I was lucky enough to grow up watching lots of movies on television - I watched a lot of American, European, Spanish movies. My favorites are probably Roman Polanski and Steven Spielberg.


Q:

Who are some of your favourite artists?

A:

I listen to a lot of scores from movies since I was a kid. The first one I ever bought was the score from ET when I was a kid. However, I love all sorts of music. I have various stuff on my ipod.


Q:

Saw it last night! Went it not sure what to expect, came out with a broken heart! Bravo sir! How do you get over that initial hill of starting a new project?

A:

For me there's always a spark. It could be that you respond emotionally with the story. For Jurassic, I always loved the films but typically there's always a spark that leads to starting the films.


Q:

I really liked the music in AMC -- what was it like working with Fernando Velazquez on the score?

A:

Fernando is a great guy, a great composer. I really admire his ability to create beautiful melodies. I always start to work from the melodies. When you find the melody, you have something to tell the story without using the words. That's always more transcendent than anything else.


Q:

You may have been asked this already but what gift you into film and what do you try to get out of every movie you make?

A:

I think of myself as a member of the audience. I never do something without putting myself as a viewing member so I have to respond emotionally to it. So every movie I make, I try to be an emotional experience so it's worth the two hours of your life.


Q:

Did you try to make the character design similar to Groot on purpose or? Serious question, from an outsider who had no clue about the movie, I thought it was Groot.

A:

If you go on the internet, you will see so many character that look like our monster, or look like Groot. Because the tree is such an important symbol in so many cultures, all cultures have characters that have a man that looks like a tree, or a tree that looks like a monster. If you read A Monster Calls, you will see that there are beautiful drawings, and the character is already defined in those drawings. That was made before Guardians of the Galaxy. We did 200 concept designs, and at the end, we decided to go back to the book and keep the face as human as possible. That allowed us to get the maximum performance from Liam.


Q:

Do you prefer work in Spain or usa?

A:

I've never really worked in the US before because my first three movies are financially independent. Jurassic World will be my big Hollywood film in the US.


Q:

Have you read any books that you have thought of adapting?

A:

Yes but I'm not going to tell you haha. I don't want anyone to steal my ideas, ;)