Case Study: SAVE A simple, but genius idea.
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Case Study: SAVE

A simple, but genius idea.

Iván Sáinz-Pardo only wanted to make a very short, but shocking, film. The result: more than 250 festival selections and almost 50 awards.

“Be honest with yourself and your audience and just try it.”

04 mei 2017


The best ideas are often the most simple ones. When looking for a new project, director and writer Iván Sáinz-Pardo told himself he wanted to make a very short film, with a shocking impact. From this point, he started brainstorming. “My starting point was to make a very short, shocking film. When I found the idea we used in the film, things went very quickly.”

5 hours

“The script was written in only two hours. It is a very short story. Only a shocking idea with an original staging. The whole production took me about two weeks. I was training the camera movements alone for two days, like a dance. I wanted do make a short film with only one sequence shot. The actual shoot took about five hours in total.”

90 euros

“I used my apartment in Munich as location. The most difficult part was the choreography with the actors and to find a baby. We had no budget, but I wanted to pay something to the two actors and the music composer. I paid them 30 euros per person … The total budget of SAVE was only 90 euros!”

Because of the choice for a very short story, only one location and a one sequence shot, editing the film was not that difficult. “Well, to be honest. There are two takes. There is a hidden cut somewhere in the film. It could be an interesting game to find where this cut is made exactly …”



“For the music I worked again with my usual film composer Philipp Fabian Kölmel. We work together for more than fifteen years. For this movie, I wanted more atmosphere sound than a real music score. I love the result.” Besides being script writer, director, producer and DOP, Iván Sáinz-Pardo also did a lot of post-production work himself. Not only the edit, but also the color-correction. “I worked with Davinci Resolve for the colour correction. I shoot the short myself with a Blackmagic Pocket camera. I tried to create a realistic look, but with soft colors and a neutral atmosphere. I didn’t want to give to much information with the look about what’s going to happen.”

The simple but genius idea and the hard work of the director paid off: SAVE received more than 250 festival selections and almost 50 awards. With such a great success, what advice can Iván give to other filmmakers? “Very simple as well: be honest with yourself and your audience and just try it.”

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