Crank: How did you get your start as a filmmaker?
Tiago Teixeira: I made my first film in 2007 at film school. It was shot on a mini-dv and I’m not sure what happened to it (and I hope nobody finds it out).
How would you describe your filmmaking style?
Filmmaking is a team effort. Your most important responsibility as a director is to put your crew together and let them contribute to your idea – and maybe create something new with it.
What is your opinion of the film industry right now?
It’s kind of a cliché to say this, but it’s getting easier and easier to make films nowadays. If you have an idea, shoot it any way you can. It’s a great way to learn and way better than not doing anything.
How did the idea for WRONG NUMBER come to you?
Something similar actually happened to me years ago. I woke up in the middle of the night certain that I would get a phone call with some bad news. Then the phone actually rang. There was no one on the line. So much for going back to sleep! I could never forget this, and the idea slowly evolved from there.
How did you assemble your crew for this film?
Some of the crew had worked with me on my previous short, ‘A Quiet Room in Walthamstow’, some were introduced by friends and colleagues, and some I met online. The internet is a great tool for meeting like-minded people, especially if you’re a foreigner with no contact in the industry like I was at that time.
How long — from start to finish — did it take to make this film?
About 6 months, but the idea was evolving for a while.
Where does your project usually begin and how does it evolve?
It always starts with the script. I like to storyboard the whole film and edit it myself. I also like to do sizzle reels with scenes from other films to get a kind of video mood board.
When speaking to first-time filmmakers, what advice would you give?
Leave your ego behind, get used to rejection, remember the film is a team effort. And try to have fun when you’re not having a nervous breakdown!
What are you working on next?
I am developing two feature ideas, both low-budget horror films. Pitching around and looking for financing.
About the Filmmaker
Tiago Teixeira is an award-winning director and screenwriter based in London. His films have screened in festivals like the London Short Film Festival, Go Short, Aesthetica Film Festival, Telluride Horror Film Festival and Frightfest (2018 & 2019). He is also a screenwriter on two seasons of HBO’s “El Hipnotizador”. You can learn more about Tiago at tiagot.com and social media @obliquebleak.
Notable Awards for WRONG NUMBER include Rio Fantastik Festival – Best Short Film, Rio Fantastik Festival – Best Short Film Director, Rio Fantastik Festival – Rio de Janeiro Film Critics Association Award – Best Director, Rio Fantastik Festival – Rio de Janeiro Film Critics Association Award – Best Actress