Lolo Lopez Elgea is one among many young, but highly-trained film professionals. They work behind the scenes, and are not aware of the glamour of the big screen. Their hard work and perseverance have earned them many nominations and awards for their outstanding performances in the seven art's great events. Cazorla's native and In Extremis' company have just won their fourth Gaudi Prize from the Catalan Cinema Academy. This time, it was for 'Best Special Effects. In 2016, he won the Goya Award for "Anacleto Agent Secreto" and had received other nominations. We conducted this interview while he was still absorbed in the celebrations and the subsequent advertising that these awards bring.
You have just won the Gaudi Award for special effects in the film "Incerta Gloria". How do you rate it?
It is my first and most important prize, as it is the one I coordinate the effects. My colleague Lluis Rios coordinated the technical team for the other prizes. I also participated as a technician. It was a very interesting project and I wanted to work alongside Agusti Villaronga. He is a director that I admire and respect. I have shot with him and can confirm his excellence in every aspect.
-You left Cazorla young to make a living. What has been your development since then?
-I moved to Cazorla to start a new life. I've traveled a lot but was clear on what I wanted. Since I was a child, my dream was to work in television and cinema. I studied in Granada in 1999. I began my career as a television camera operator halfway between Madrid, Granada, and Cazorla. I moved to Barcelona in 2003 to be a film props artist. I participated in many national and international projects, including 'Fragiles, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Rec 3' and 'Vicky Cristina Barcelona'. In Extremis, my company, was founded in 2012. I began special effects work. Josep Claret, Lluis Rivera and I were there at that time. We had more passion than we had means. Six years later, there are more than 20 members of the team: technicians, fx coordinators and people working in the workshop. Port Aventura also has a specialist academy, and a show.
- What are the special effects?
Fire is one of my passions. When I was a child, I would tear myself apart with a bottle alcohol and a lighter. My mother now tells me that they are rewarding you for the "fights" we used to throw at you in the hallway. As a technician and coordinator, my job is to manage the fictional section of special effects, which is the most artistic.
How much do you work individually and how much does your team?
It is almost 100% teamwork, but like in all sectors, there must be someone to coordinate. It is a blessing to have a strong team that works together so everything runs smoothly and external factors are not a concern. Filming is the same. All departments must work together perfectly. If one fails, then all of us fail. Cinema is teamwork without any doubt.
What were your reasons for choosing Barcelona as your place of work and residence?
Spain has only two film industries: Madrid and Barcelona. After having worked in Madrid, it was time to move to Barcelona. I feel very at home here. They have made me feel welcome and I have many great friends. This job is easy in Catalonia. You can find suppliers for almost anything and travels are much shorter than in Madrid. We move all over. We did "Incerta Gloria" in Aragon, and it lasted three months. We also have shot overseas. We have shot three films in the Dominican Republic, Vin Diesel was the director on the last.
-You are a young, vital individual who will be involved in multiple projects. If you have any information, please let us know.
Extremis is a place where we never stop. We are currently working with Movistar TV's series 'El confidente' as well as several 'publis'. A couple of films are also in pre-production. One of these is directed by Oriol Paolo -El cuerpo or Julia's eyes' - the other is Galicia Films -The child, 'The stranger, or Kidnapped. We have not started the year poorly and I hope it continues.
-Lastly, how are you relating to Cazorla, your many friends here, and how do your views of your community from up there?
-Cazorla! I love you as always. There are many things that need to be polished. But they should also be done well. This is true in every municipality. My relationship with my friends and my people is the same as it was if I hadn't left. I am very fortunate. It's the only time I am aware of my existence that I am there. It's very difficult. We drive several kilometers without speaking, leaving behind a lump in our throat, bright eyes, and some tears. Every day, I think about and talk about my hometown. Cazorla is my best friend.