We all are running behind better opportunities, we need the best job for the betterment of our living standards, for fulfilling our dreams, and for having our dream house, car, and so on. Throughout this rat race, we try to outdo each other. Because of our human psychology, we believe that only we deserve the best, whether it is in our school, college, or in office. Maria Yolanda Brown Melian and Kevin Ramos Fernandez’s “Los Aspirants – The Applicants” is portraying the competition goes in the corporate sector, where one person tries to sit on another person’s chair. Maria Yolanda Brown Melián and Kevin Ramos Fernandez showcased this concept with a humorous twist.
Yolanda Brown was born in Tenerife, she studied English Literature and a master in Classical Theatre. She moved to Madrid where she started acting in films. In her free time she writes and decided to make a new project. She wrote a comedy, a pilot Tv/Series and produced it and also directed it together with Kevin Ramos.
Kevin Ramos was born in Alicante, Spain. He studied film production and Direction in Ciudad de La Luz in Alicante. We won a few festivals and the most important one was a film about drug addiction. He moved to Madrid after his brother moved, too. His brother is an actor. He stills produces films and he has been the film director in a few projects. He was interested in helping Yolanda Brown in Los Aspirantes and he worked as the film director. He’s not only directing and producing films, he has also participated in a few films as an actor.
Which genre do you usually like and who inspired you professionally?
Y-I love to see films made by Steven Spielberg, M. Night Shyamalan, Quentin Tarantino, Tim Burton, James Cameron. I observe their work a lot.
When did you discover this was your career path?
Y- After reading a lot , writing and acting while I'm finishing my Phd in Posmodernism.
Yolanda Brown and Kevin Ramos, how did you meet up and how did your start this collaboration?
Y- We met in a film he was the producer and director in Murcia. A friend who is an actor called for role in a pilot for a Tv series called Desposyni. Kevin was the film producer and director of this pilot. After that we were in touch for a long time. His brother who is an actor, Ethan, moved to Madrid and Kevin moved too after. When I finished writing Los Aspirantes - The Applicants- I called Kevin and his brother Ethan to work in my pilot. They both said yes. So that’s how he fended working with me in my project. In very glad he accepted.
Los Aplicantes is a a recruitment agency called Holliwood where all turns into a disaster. Every single person is temted into getting a job, even the employees and they compete with the applicants for that purpose. Most of the situations are surrealistic and funny so you never know what is going to happen. The more jobs offered, the more situations to laugh at. Who needs the job? Dear Kevin and Yolanda, what was the most difficult part about producing this web series?
Y- Money, how to produce it and when to do it. We were caught in the middle of the covid lockdown, so we had to stop and finish it later.
The web series is already based on a serious subject, you ignited it with a humorous angle. Between you two, who has come with the idea to give a humorous touch to the storyline?
Y- We see how people is struggling everyday when seeking a job, not being able to go to work because you have a child and being single or because of many other difficulties. So we thought to portray all these difficulties with a humorous touch. Basically we both decided to take the comedy line up.
How long did it take to complete the series?
Y - More than two years. We started before the pandemic situation, we had to continue after the curfew and we finished editing. We started in February 2020 and we finished in January/April 2022.
The series series' cast is huge. And every character has its story. So as a director, how
tough it was for you to manage all the characters, as the movie lasts less than fifteen minutes?
Y- As it is my first time as a filmmaker and a film director I got the aid of a very good film director who is Kevin Ramos and the production company named Stop and Play helped a lot.
Most of the corporate sectors have created an unhealthy culture of competition among
the employees, that certainly changed the mind set of many people. You portrayed this topic inyour movie. What’s your take on this scenario?
Y-The world we are living in now is very competitive and people sometimes have no compunction about others. We can be less competitive to have healthy relation in every segment of our life.
As this is a web series, how many episodes shall we expect and where can we watch them?
Y- I have written six epidodes and each episode has 12 chapters. That means six seasons and 12 episodes each season.
Yolanda, you also play a character in the series, was it difficult for you to manage your acting scenes with your directing vision?
Y- It was very difficult as you have to be everywhere at the same time. It reminds me of the film that won an Oscar this year “Everything , everywhere at once”. After checking the actores, the scenes and all the set, I had to concentrate in my role. When you are filming you have to forget about the world. Yes, it’s a hard task to do when you are worried about your own film.
Was there any scene that was difficult to shot? And if so, which one and why?
Y- As we used improv technique, one of the actresses got stuck, she couldn't deliver a line, but she could managed to do the acting.
After trying for 4 or 5 times she relaxed and could finish the scene. We were all worried because we were running out of time. We only had one weekend to film all. wWhen we filmed the scene were Kinu faints. We did it with a mobile phone on top of his face.
This web series is done in a very professional way, it has a sit-com vibe to it, what's your aim with this project?
Y- My aim is to produce it with another person or company as it is a big deal to finish all the episodes. We would like to finish the whole seasons.
When it comes to the casting process, what was your aim? How was the experience?
Y- I got all the actors in mind and they had to be good at improv. It was a bit difficult as we needed specific actors. Another requirement was to follow my direction of acting as stereotypes of modern famous people.
A fun fact about Los Aspirantes?
Y- We filmed a previous project called El Aspirante where I was acting, too. It didn't convinced me. Years later i made a new project, more modern. The first project was too classic, a bit old so I wanted something new and different using the impro technique which gives a more "natural" touch, It gives a cool and colourful touch.
A fun, fun fact: I really hit one of the actors with a pen when we were filming. That scene was real.
Oh no! Ouch! Well you guys played it off very well. We loved your web series how is it going with festivals so far?
Y- We have won a lot of awards, we didn't expect it. It is a great surprise. But we still need that a big company or a partner turns up to finsh the project. We are indie filmmakers.
What would you say to someone that wants to start this path as you did?
Y- Never give up. Follow your dreams because you only live once.
What do you regret and what would you have wanted to know earlier?
Y- I wish I had started earlier to the Covid pandemic.
What's your dream project?
Y- This project, definitely, Los Aspirantes - The Applicants- is my dream project. To finisn all the episodes, to sell them to a company and that they will be on air soon.
You come from Spain, I'm so glad to interview you because I'm Italian and I'm basically your neighbor, and Spanish shows are great. It's doing pretty well with La Casa De Papel and other projects such as Vis a Vis and Cable Girls. How would you describe the film industry in your country? Would you change anything?
Y- I think they are improving a lot. They have that touch of modernism now so fashionable. We cannot compete with the US industry in some aspects as they spend huge amounts of money in producing films.
Who would you suggest this project to, and why?
Y- We intended to produce a comedy for all the target audiencies, but I think the ones who are going to enjoy most are the teens.
What do you want the audience to feel after watching “Los Aspirants – The Applicants”
Y- I want them to laugh and to see that sometimes the strangest situations can happen. Some of them can be a reflection of others.
Thank you for your time, we wish you the best for your career and your future projects!
Y- Thank you for this opportunity.
If you want to contact Yolanda, email her at:
FOLLOW YOLANDA'S JOURNEY:
WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA
If you also want to do an interview with us, send us your works on Film Freeway.