This year's crops of Fantastic Fest shorts was particularly strong, and one of my particular favorites (which played as part of Fantastic Fest's Short Fuse program) was Jeremias Segovia and Gonzalo Torrens' The Tooth Fairy.
Originally written and conceived for a shorts contest built around the release of Fede Alvarez' Don't Breathe, Segovia and Torrens' The Tooth Fairy manages to be a little bit Mama, a little bit Lights Out and a little bit Guillermo Del Toro, all while being its own thing. Somewhere in the midst of Fantastic Fest's ongoing circus, I had the chance to sit down with The Tooth Fairy's directors and ask them how the project came together.
Here's what happened...
BMD: When exactly did you guys shoot this?
Jeremias Segovias: It was...
Gonzalo Torrens: ...about a year ago.
JS: Yeah, almost exactly a year ago. September, 2016.
And it won a competition, right? Something to do with Fede Alvarez' Don't Breathe?
GT: Yeah, it was a competition he made...
JS: ...for the premiere of Don't Breathe.
GT: Big competition. And it worked! We wrote, like, five scripts. We spent all weekend writing, but The Tooth Fairy was a script that Jeremias (had written), almost by himself. I had this other script that I had written almost by myself -
JS: He didn't like mine and I didn't like his (everyone laughs).
Well, you prefer your own. I get it.
JS: So, I said, "OK, I'm going to allow you to present that script to the competition, and I will present The Tooth Fairy. That's a deal." And it actually worked!
GT: I'm glad he did!
JS: It's funny, though, because after we won this competition, there were things that Fede wanted us to (add to the script). So, he went and added this (prologue), which is like a fairy tale, or a story in a book.
And what happened after that? The short won the competition and then you began entering it into film festivals?
GT: The moment we won, we (had a) crew.
JS: It was also the first time we were shooting with money, at production standards. We had a whole crew this time, we paid all of our actors this time--
This stuff you're supposed to do, in other words.
GT: Haha, well, yeah.
JS: So we made this thing, and it was an amazing, the first serious production we were in. So that was amazing for us. When you are doing this with no money or no phones whatever, you are always worried about how you're gonna do it. You can be (living your life), but really you're just thinking about production, like, "Oh, my god, I can't pay this person, or we have no time, or, my god, there's no food left."
You'd had previous short films that you'd worked on, correct? What'd you do, just shoot with no budget?
GT: Yeah! For example, one of my short films that we co-wrote and I directed, it won a government...
Like a grant?
GT: Right. So that short film was made with, like, not a lot of money. It was like a middle ground between (something amateurish) and (The Tooth Fairy).
JS: We got to do the whole thing in a big studio. The sound design was done in a big studio, we were recording the foleys, I did the voice of the Witch...
GT: So, that was fun. We were actually doing something that was more professional, for us.
What're you doing next?
GT: Yeah, we have a few projects on the line. We would love to do a feature film. We are managing some ideas for that, and we're working.
JS: Right, we are going to Sitges, and we are trying to take something there to show - a treatment, or something like that, for a feature. We'd like to make (The Tooth Fairy) as a feature, but we have other ideas, too, like...
Well, you probably don't wanna give away your ideas.
Don't want that in print.
JS: Right, right. Well, we have a few ideas, and we're very excited about them.
Awesome! I look forward to seeing what you guys do next.
The Tooth Fairy is not currently available online for embedding purposes, but if you're attending a film festival in the near future, be sure to scan over the guide beforehand to see if Segovia and Torrens' film is part of that fest's shorts programming. It's an effective little piece of work!