The following interview between director Ian Cottage and actors ALex Elliott and Lauren Hurwood was recorded in October 2019 for the Aesthetica Film Festival.
Ian: Bosc is the about a young woman who tries to find out who is the murderer of her activist Father. She travels to a remote part of Spain where she meets a man called Miguel, and she doesn’t know whether he is or isn’t the murderer of her father, and I guess the film is a mystery about how she uncovers the truth.
Ian: We decided to make a film together, and then we discussed a location that we found interesting to talk about. We looked at the stories from that place and then we did a series of workshops in which we built up characters, stories, ideas. And then I wrote a script, and then we talked about that – what was right about it, what was wrong about it and then we kind of developed it from there. The whole process took about four, four to five months in terms of, from the initial idea to going to Spain and making the film. We shot it in 14 days. So it was a very intense and unusual kind of process and we wanted to do something that was unusual. We found a sort of a support network, one or two local people helping us. Wild boar hunters mostly, but essentially it was just us making a feature film on our own, in a very remote, strange, beautiful location.
Alex: I was very interested in getting more involved in the film making process. I’ve been working in film for quite a while now, but I always felt quite frustrated because there was this disconnect sometimes with the creation of the script, or the production itself, or how the script was realised or filmed. I got involved with this project because I knew that we were coming in and we were not going to be separated from that process, we were going to be included in that process. So although when it came to actually filming Bosc it was very much, you Ian, behind the camera and selecting the shots and so on, we felt very much part of that collaborative process.
Ian: The filming was very, very intense, unusual, a lot of fun, you know some problems. Some of the places we filmed were incredible, totally unusual to see. We shot at a Correfoc, a fire festival where people dance with the Devil as they're sprayed with sparks and the Gigantes, a parade of giant puppets. The most intense place was the forest where the hunters were after wild boar. That was almost surreal, because the day before, we'd just got off the plane and we woke up the next morning at 5 and headed up into the foothills to be with the hunt. They were standing around, drinking homemade wine and eating. We asked the hunters if we could film them and they agreed, and so we shot a whole sequence where they wait and hunt for wild boar.
Alex: It was collaborative, we looked at the footage at the end of the evening and we discussed whether the scene was working or whether we needed to re-shoot, whether it was affecting the overall story. So it felt like a very hands-on process.
Lauren: Yes, it felt really magical to me, and every day it kind of gifted us something and I remember you (Ian) saying, on the plane over, about being open to that, and yeah we know what we want to do and what we want to achieve each day but it is about letting other things affect us. And I think the location became one of the central characters, central characters in a way, in Bosc.
Ian: Almost everywhere we shot was incredibly visual, so it was easy to capture some great images. The light was just beautiful and inside the house we mostly used natural light. And as Lauren say's the place gifted us things everyday, like a fox running down the steps of a church or peering in through a window. The water in the house we were staying at, ran out because the water came from a well, and so we had to abandon filming there, because of obvious reasons. So our last day was in Barcelona, shooting until we had to get back on the plane. When we got on the aeroplane we smelt of wood smoke, and we were dirty, grimy but we were pretty happy as well. We slept the whole way home.
Alex: Although we knew it was going to be a heavy intense time for us, I think you get that in the film as well, it’s very much of that place, and of that time, and it leads us, I think, in to the mystery and into the tension inside the film.