Hey Jucemar, it’s pleasure to have an interview with you. It really is.
Please, can you introduce us your team and the Mongoose Incident movie?
- MGS: The Mongoose Incident is a fictional story divided in 6 episodes (kinda like OVAs, 30 mins aprox. each) based in the Metal Gear Saga. It tells the story of an alternative Metal Gear incident in South America, placed after the events of Sons of Liberty and before Guns of the Patriots.
Well, my team started as a small group of friends, but today we have a bigger team, with people who have joined us after watching the Prologue (first episode). The core of the Fallen Tiger Team is formed by me (Julio Marambio) and Carlos Bascuñan, who also plays Mongoose. We have created the story and the characters.
Is it tough to be the main actor and director at the same time?
- It's really, really hard. I liked acting when I was in school, but when you're the director you really need to make sure that your cameraman fully understands what you need for the shot, which sometimes takes a lot of time and energy. You need a team with a professional "attitude", more than professional skills, because sometimes you need to be extremely persistent and fuzzy to get what you really need, and you don't want your friends to get mad at you every time you have to make infinite takes for a certain scene...
I feel way more comfortable behind the camera, but playing Snake requires a comprehensive knowledge of Snake's attitude and movements, and at the moment, it seems I'm the biggest Metal Gear geek around :P
How many movies you’ve already directed and written? Can you tell us about them?
- I have made a few short films while I was studying, including a Star Wars parody and a couple of music videoclips, but they were all just experiments. I’m currently working on two parallel projects besides Mongoose Incident, and they explore two different genres: drama and cyberpunk.
What motivated you to make this movie? Why Metal Gear?
- I fell in love with the Metal Gear Saga since MGS1 for PSX. The narrative and the characters were so strong and movie-like that I became a big fan of it. As for the movie, I blame it on my friends, who constantly told me that I looked like Snake (by the time MGS2 went out) and that we should make a parody of MGS too.
Little by little, shot by shot, it started as a comedy but it became a serious movie, as we realized we could actually do something relatively good.
Which Metal Gear “episode” is your favourite one?
- Shadow Moses, not a doubt.
How many people work on your project? How did you get known each other? Are you good friends already?
- I’d say there are around 25 people involved in this project. Most of them are friends from the University or High School, some others I have met because they aproached us after watching the first episode.
With which movie would you compare Mongoose Incident?
- I’d like to think it could be compared to “Hunted”, starring Benicio del Toro and Tomy-Lee Jones, or The Bourne Identity.
What are your current feelings about the movie?
- I think of the first episode as a test, an experiment. It is not representative of our current production quality, but I have a special feeling for it, as the first attempt. Regarding the overall project, I really love it and I think it will keep getting bigger and better with the time. You will see the evolution in Episode 2.
How much of the movie is CGI?
- There will be some CGI in Episode 2 for big stuff we can’t have access to, such as military airplanes and also for some background elements, but we are still looking for a 3d artist who can pull it out. If you know someone, please let me know J
How big part of the movie is going to be a pure action?
- I’d say a 35% to 40% of episode 2 is mainly action. We are preparing a great boss battle.
Do you plan more language versions than one? If yes, in what languages we’ll be able to see the movie except for English?
- Yes, of course. I have seen there is a huge Metal Gear community in Eastern Europe so I’d be more than pleased to have it translated into different languages. That’s why we will use independent subtitle files from now on.
Can you tell us how much of the movie is already finished?
- Around 45% of it. I expect to have it ready on late June.
It’s early to speak about it, but if the movie is successful, will you do a sequel?
- Of course, since it’s a series not a full length movie. Anyway, when the series is done I’m planning to compile it as a single movie.
Is there a music from MGS series in the movie or have you made your own?
- We are using music from MGS series and other compositors. We used to have a great composer in our team, Reuben Kee, from Singapore, but he passed away last year. We should have at least a couple of original tracks and probably a Theme Song.
Do you use real explosives or everything is CGI?
- We are using some real (small) explosion effects and complementing with CGI.
Will we see some characters from the game except Snake and Otacon?
- Yes, just a few, but it’s a surprise.
I‘ve noticed that Snake isn’t working alone in the field this time. Why? Who are the other ones?
- This is a single man infiltration mission, but Snake shall meet some people in the way. None of this has been revealed, so you’re probably confused.
What about the voice-acting? Will you leave it like it is or do you have some voice actors ready for it?
- All of the characters have a voice actor/actress assigned. It really adds up to make for a more professional look.
When and where are the events of Mongoose set in?
- The story is set after the Big Shell incident and before the events of Guns of the Patriots.
Where were you shooting the movie? I mean the locations.
- Basically in Chile, South America, but we shot some footage of the Andes Mountains in the Chilean side and also the Argentinian side. The locations include deep forests like in Episode 1, snow-covered mountains and city ruins.
Were there any obstacles you had to overcome in the process?
- Yes, A LOT. Locations are really hard to get, especially urban places like old factories, etc. They usually ask a big sum of money only to make you run away and decline.
Also, since most of us are already working, free time and real commitment is always a matter of trust. Some people (outside the time) haven’t showed up to the shootings without any notice and we have lost a lot of time for situations like this.
Financing a fan movie isn’t easy. Is your movie sponsored by donators? If yes, is these money enough?
- Nope, we have no sponsors whatsoever. My paypal account for donations is empty, so everything comes out of my wage and the colaborations from my people at the Fallen Tiger Team.
How long is the film?
- Each episode will be around 30 mins. length.
Aren’t you afraid that the story of Mongoose will „interrupt“ canon MGS storyline? I mean, some of the events in Mongoose can tell something different than MGS4.
- Yes. That’s something I have really cared about. I have always told this is an expanded universe story, a non-canon episode, but I’m trying really hard it to be fully compatible with the canon timeline. That’s why I’m using only a few characters from the original saga and the rest is brand new.
Do you know czech fan movie Metal Gear: Outer Heaven or italian fan movie called MGS: Philanthropy? If yes, what’s your opinion of them?
- Of course I know these projects. I think they are doing a fantastic job. You can see they put their hearts in the projects, just as we do.
As for the techincal aspects, I really admire Giacomo’s work with Philanthropy. I know the guy and his project from the beginning and it’s great to see the awesome evolution it had. MG:OH looks also very beautiful in terms of photography and narration. I really want them to put it online so I can watch it asap!
I think both projects may have some more resources than us, in terms of access to cool locations, better cameras and CGI specialists, but Mongoose Incident is working hard to keep it up and stand out because of its characters and original story.
We MGS fanfilm projects should form a webring or something like that. We should support each other, such as Star Wars fans do.
Thanks for the inteview. Best wishes, pal!
- Thanks a lot to you. Stay tuned to upcoming updates on MGS:MI.