Interview with 'D-Love' director Elena Beuca

Source: Interview via Email 

Elena Beuca 
Elena Beuca is the director and lead actress of "D-Love." I had the pleasure to ask her a few questions about the film and about the cast. Last week The Abstract wrote an article about her film. You can read the article here. 

So here's the interview: 

1. First "D-Love" is based on your personal experiences, so was there any challenges filming (or acting) any of the scenes? 
"D-love" is based on our true encounter with a stranger at the airport. My husband and I met Ditlev at LAX airport, a couple years ago and we both had one of those days when everything that could go wrong, went wrong and even more! We were in the middle of the LAX chaos, dealing with a stolen car, a stolen wallet, lost luggage and a plane delayed for more than 10 hours. Ditlev ( who looked homeless to me)  stops and asks me if I can give him a ride at the freeway because he wanted to hitchhike from the 10 freeway to Utah. My husband thought that it’s a very dangerous thing to do in America and he wasn’t comfortable letting him hitchhike ( it’s not as dangerous for us in Europe because we are used to it - I actually grew up hitchhiking and that’s how I went to high school every week because we didn’t have a car or there are very few buses). Balancing the directing and acting can be a little bit of a challenge because you don’t have the luxury to breathe. But they say that directing is 90% casting, so in my case, I had to make sure that I was surrounded by the right people, and I chose the right cast who could help me achieve and bring these characters to life and make them as believable as possible. I like to work with people that I know so I know what they were capable of and each one of my actors I trusted and knew that I can play with them and they felt safe with me. Therefore I feel safe with them and we can all have fun.
Directing...this is where again trust comes into place because we were working on such short notice and we didn’t really have the luxury to do a lot of takes. I knew in the back of my head what worked and what didn’t work. There were very few scenes that we had to do more than two times, but for the most part, we had to do one or two takes and move onto the next thing. But again, a team is crucial in order to make this happen and I had a great team on board who kept an eye on me.

2. As the film's director, what do you want people to get out of watching "D-Love."
As the film's director, I hope that the audiences will take from "D-Love" that life is too short and it is not worth settling for less when you can actually live the life where you were meant to be you. I always thought that a BIG opportunity would mean maybe winning the lottery or getting a dream job or a winning a big award that will change our lives. Yet I never thought that a big opportunity could be as simple as someone asking you a question or a favor, and it is up to us the way we respond. We have a choice every day whether to say YES or NO, and our answer in one way or another will affect our lives. We all live such busy lives, we are all going from one place to another, trying to achieve the next thing or trying to impress the next person. Yet we rarely take the time to let opportunities or people affect us. I hope that the audience will learn to let go and enjoy each second of their lives and I hope that they will be touched. I hope this movie will raise some questions or open their hearts.  I don’t expect that this movie will change people, but if it can touch a person and it can it can make them look at life in a different way with a different lens,  then I would be very satisfied and I think I would’ve achieved my purpose is a director, what do you want people to get out of watching "D-Love." 

3. I  just want to say congratulations on all of your festival wins. I have to ask, what was it like when "D-Love" first won?
  When we won the first award at Hoboken International  Film Festival, it felt almost unreal and we couldn’t believe it. I think I cried quite a bit out of happiness that night. Creating a film that connects with an audience,  creating something that people can relate to, that they can enjoy and be able to touch peoples heart with a piece of art that you created...I guess that is why I was crying and now they were honoring us with an award…To see that we actually won a couple of them a few months later on,  it's absolutely AMAZING and all I can say is Thank you to all of those festivals that chose us and chose our little film and to the audiences who care to see it and for their love. 

4. I also think it's so cool that you got Billy Howerdel to not only do the music but also costar in "D-Love," so how did that all come together? 
 Billy Howerdel grew up with my husband, Dave and they have been best friends since childhood. Dave wrote the character Shawn with Billy in mind,  and we always wanted him to play that character. When we asked him, he was very excited about it and accepted and he was perfect as Shawn. Billy is an excellent musician, but he had never scored a  film before this, it was his first time. I don’t really know anything about music, but I was able to communicate with Billy through emotions that I was trying to convey in the scene and he was able to write the score. We spent a couple of months in the studio and once we got the tone of the film he was on a roll, he had no problem composing and coming up with lots of different elements.  One of the reasons that I knew Billy would be a good choice to compose the score for "D-love" is because of his sensitivity and gentleness and I think he did an amazing, amazing job with it.

5. Is there anything else that would like to share? Do you have any new projects in mind? 
 If there is a piece of advice that would give to a filmmaker who is about to make their first feature film, I would say make sure that you have an awesome team on your side. Also be ready to work harder than everyone else in your team because you are the driving force that has to move this giant machine. And lastly, breathe and enjoy the process because it goes by so fast that you almost blink and it’s gone.

So I would like to thank Elena Beuca again for taking her time for answering my questions. I would also like to note that "D-Love" will be screening tomorrow (Dec. 8) at the Laemmle 7 North Hollywood in Los Angeles for its week-long cinematic run.