This project was born with a series of unusual characteristics. It was a direct proposal from clothing brand Nice Things, with no intermediaries; they knew they wanted a short film, and they gave me three conditions: it should be no more than 15 minute long, had to portray four women and a little girl, and should be a family story in the style of The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson).
Apart from the reference they gave me, which made the election of the frames, camera movements and even aesthetics and character construction quite easy, while I was writing the script I watched Dogtooth (Yorgos Lanthimos) several times, and although probably nobody would link Sonata to that film, it helped me describe that world of weird family relations.
From Buffalo 66 (Vincent Gallo) I got ideas for the dinner sequence and also for the lighting at the final dance sequence.
The table sequence was a nightmare for me because I’m not used to using the camera to fake so much. We had an almost 3 metre long table and twice as tall, with a hole in the middle and fake walls.
The decision of using 16mm film was mad in terms of budget: very long takes with dogs, kids, all sorts of insects, relatively complicated texts and acting and only two takes per scene. It was pure whim. Apart from the fact that the first scene in the movie is overexposed, that we had to use the remains of a very strange film that turned everything greenish and what we suffered a lot with sequences that had only one take, I think that not shooting digital was key.