Director Statement (Hugo Teugels about "The Queen")
Shot in Manhattan, New York City during the Summer of 2015.
This short film NOIR: “The Queen” grew out of the final project for the short-term program
in the Directors' class of NYFA (New York Film Academy, Manhattan, NYC), of August 2015.
Three people from the Directors' class (Sara and Daria from Beiroet, Lebanon and myself,
Hugo from Brussels, Belgium) and two actresses from the Actors' class (Jessica from
Switserland and Evi from Greece, living in London) joined efforts, to create this short film,
based on my script about a mysterious encounter in Manhattan.
The Chess part was my final project (out of 5 during the course).
It was then extended to this SHORT FILM concept: editing, sound, music & producing part
the next 6 months (finalizing with the 5 days producers’ workshop during the Cannes film festival 2016).
This is about so much more than a QUEEN and a King in a chess game. But the moment of finishing the editing of the short film an artist I always admired, died. He created that memorable song Heroes with those famous words: “I, I will be King, And You, You will be QUEEN” (David Bowie - R.I.P.). Couldn’t fit better…
Synopsis : What if you would meet that one person who can make you realise something is
not right..? Or very wrong? Would you believe it?
Stefan Zweig wrote in “Chess story” : “In chess, as a purely intellectual game, where randomness
is excluded, - for someone to play against himself is absurd ... It is as paradoxical, as attempting
to jump over his own shadow”.
Woody Allen had his own version of Life/Death : "I'm not afraid of death. I just don't want to be
there when it happens"
We used 2 William Shakespeare quotes in the short film :
“Out, out, brief candle! Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his
hour upon the stage, And then is heard no more”.
“The worst is Death, and Death will have his day” - King Richard II.
This is not about a game of chess. This is about the struggle to survive, the battle between
black and white, life and death!
Favorite David Lynch interview extract (The Talks) :
How does an idea for one of your films come together?
I always say ideas drive the boat. Ideas are a huge, huge blessing. That’s the thing you try to catch – an idea that you fall in love with. Every time that I have made a film that’s not from a book or somebody else’s screenplay, it happens the same way. The whole thing doesn’t come at once, but fragments of things come and these fragments form themselves into a script.
You write the idea down and save it until the next idea comes, and little by little the majority of ideas find themselves in a script – which is organized ideas. Then you go and shoot that script and edit it and you mix sounds and music. It’s a process. An idea can give a story that is more abstract and not so straight-ahead, and sometimes it gives you
a story that is more straight-ahead.
Favorite Stanley Kubrick Quote
A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings.
The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
The feel of the experience is the important thing, not the ability to verbalise or analyse it.