Marcos Cabotá‘s scene is the sea. The Spanish film director states: “I like to sail. I’m from an island. I’ve got a little sailing boat and I love to sail. And I like to tell about myself and I like to write stories when I’m telling because my best stories and my best movies are when I get inspired by the sea.”
Though the focus of his latest production, I Am Your Father, is Darth Vader and Star Wars, the actual movie Star Wars is his second favourite film. Cabotá states: “I was born in the year 1981 and I was very influenced by all the 80s movement. When I was a kid are used to watch and listen to a lot of music. And I used to watch a lot of movies and all the directors from the 80s – Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemerckis, George Lucas. If it was in the 80s, you name it, I was influenced by. The music was also the 80s. Michael Jackson would probably be the number one. I grew up with all these people. I think all my professional career has been influenced by all the movies I have watched in the 80s. That’s for sure. I Am Your Father, obviously, is dedicated to one of the most famous characters of the 80s. But my favourite film is Back To The Future. That was the film that made me become a film director. Star Wars is probably my second favourite film that I’ve watched more.”
Fittingly, Cabotá’s favourite genre is sci-fi and comedy, and his favourite director is Robert Zemerckis. Cabotá explains: “He directed Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Roger Rabbit, I don’t know all the film names in English, I know them in Spanish. I watched his films growing up and I loved the way he told stories. I became a film director because of him. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet him and I told him I was a film director because of him and I gave him a copy of my first film, Friends (Amigos). He said he would watch the film and write to me about it. He sent me an email and said it was great and he said he loved the movie. It was my first movie called Friends and he enjoyed it and he sent me the best parts and the parts he loved and it was a very positive review about the movie. So as you can imagine I was very excited that my hero from when I was a child actually had the chance to watch my movie and do a little review about it.”
I Am Your Father is a different direction from the comedy Friends. The concept of the film was sparked from Cabotá’s love of Star Wars and justice – even for the villains. He states: “I was with a friend and we were talking about Star Wars and we talked about Darth Vader and we were thinking about who was the guy behind the mask and we realised no one had done a documentary about it and we were surprise because he is the best villain in movie history.”
David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader for the first Star Wars Trilogy, never revealed his face during the films. He could have done it only once in Return of the Jedi, but something happened. Another actor did that sequence and that fact marked David Prowse’s life forever. Thirty years later, two young filmmakers discovered why Lucasfilm producers took that decision, and were determined to pay Dave a deserved tribute. The film, I AM YOUR FATHER tells the real story behind the man, the myth and the character – Darth Vader.
Darth Vader is well established as one of the most outstanding villains in film history. His tall physique, long cape, the breathing and helmet are all instantly recognised worldwide. The one missing thing is the man behind the mask, David Prowse. 80 years old now, David lives anonymously in Croydon, a suburb of London. He apparently has a simple life, but unlike his neighbours, David hides one of the most incredible stories that can ever be told. The idea to tell this incredible story started to become reality when Cabotá and fellow filmmaker Toni Bestard, “got in touch with Dave and he agreed.”
The documentary was a long process, at times gruelling and demoralising. Cabotá states: “It took a year to do the research and write the script. We didn’t want to do a common documentary. We got inspired by Searching For Sugarman. And every day David Prowse would tell us something new and we put it in the script. I come from a background of picture movies not documentaries. So I wanted to control the movie how I wanted. And I wanted to tell a story from the beginning and its ups and downs and then the end. And that’s what we tried to do with the script. [pullquote]Even though we didn’t actually invent anything or say something that wasn’t true, we managed to take the people to a time that we wanted and tell the story that we wanted.[/pullquote] And that it was two years of shooting the movie afterwards. Postproduction was about a year because we had a lot of images. We had lawyers with us every time we had a version of the movie, we had them there to tell us if we could use the images. So we couldn’t use a lot of things. It was a pretty rough process. We had to get permission from everyone who appeared in the movie, even if they were in the picture that was shown, including Harrison Ford. We had to get in contact with him, showing him the part he was in, and he had to sign a contract saying it was okay. Imagine doing that with all the people who appear in a picture or in the frame of the movie. It was a pretty tough year doing that. Obviously there were a lot of people who we didn’t get permission from and we had to change the documentary.”
Telling his own story through the documentary proved to have many ups and downs for Cabotá as well. The story begins when he travels to London to propose that David Prowse reshoot a sequence from the legendary trilogy. A sequence he couldn’t shoot thirty years earlier and which deprived him from being as well known as the other leading members of the cast, such as Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher or Mark Hamill. The goal is to repair an injustice for the thousands of fans who believe that David Prowse should have played Darth Vader in that particular scene. In a symbolic way, the director, assisted by a group of enthusiastic fans, gave Prowse back the recognition he never had.
Cabotá states: “When I was shooting that section of the film with Darth Vader, it took me be back to my childhood. And here I was with the real Darth Vader. Obviously, the re-shooting of the scene, that was a perfect ending to my movie. But then we got the ‘no’ from Lucasfilms and they forbid us to use that scene. In the beginning I was quite sad about it because I thought I had no interest for the movie. I thought it was going to be a mess because I couldn’t use that scene. But after that, some people who watched the movie said that was a really great movie and they’d love to see the scene that was shot. Then I thought it was a better ending because it was stuck in mystery. And it makes the people want more. [pullquote]In the end it creates this mystery that there is this lost sequence in the world that no one has seen but it does exist about the real Darth Vader playing with the dying Darth Vader.[/pullquote] I now have to accept the film as it is and I am happy with that mystery that is created with that missing scene.”
Cabotá continues: “I think in a few years Lucasfilms will allow us to show that scene even if it’s only through the Internet or for free because there is a lot of fan pressure and they are sending emails to Lucasfilm to ask to see that last scene. I’d love it to be shown because it was really well-made. I did a good job and I hope we can show the scene now that Dave is alive; he is 82. I’d like him to see the reaction of the fans.The thing is that when we first met Dave he seemed quite sad about what happened with Lucasfilms but now I see him and he seems happy. Every time he sees the movie he ends up crying. It’s very emotional to see an 80 year old person finally get the recognition he should’ve got so many years ago; to see that people still love him; to see kids like me, who have grown up in the 80s, love his work and are big fans and we still love what he does. [pullquote]I hope I’ve given David Prowse the recognition he deserves. [/pullquote] Since the movie has been out in Spain, he’s getting a lot of recognition, emails from Spain, petitions for him to go to the conferences, to give him awards, to give him prizes.”
Furthermore, the truth is established in this documentary. The directors find clues about the difficult relationship between David Prowse and Lucasfilm. Apparently, the reason of for their differences was an article published by a British newspaper during the shooting of “The Return of the Jedi”. However, as revealed in the movie, this was not the case. “The reporter was very happy to be interviewed, and was very sincere and honest, and it was great to find out that David Prowse was not the person who gave away information about the ending of the film as he was accused. So that was a victory for us. Also when Dave made a guess that Darth Vader was the father of Luke Skywalker. That was great to ask the producers about this and both the producers acting like they knew more than they had to say about that.”
I Am Your Father is available now through Shock Entertainment.
Marcos Cabotá on IMDB
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I AM YOUR FATHER
YOU KNOW THE MOVIES. YOU KNOW THE VILLAIN. NOW MEET THE MAN.
David Prowse, the actor who played Darth Vader at the first Star Wars Trilogy, never revealed his face during the films. He could have done it only once at ‘Return of the Jedi’, but something happened. Another actor did that sequence and that fact marked David Prowse life forever. Thirty years later, a young filmmaker discovers why the producers took that decision, and is determined to pay Dave a deserved tribute, almost impossible.
- Stars Kenny Baker (R2D2 – Star Wars), Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett -Empire Strikes Back), Ben Burtt (sound engineer – Star Wars – Episode 1), Lou Ferrigno (TV’s Incredible Hulk) and David Prowse (Darth Vader – Star Wars).
- DAVID PROWSE is an eighty year old actor, who has lived behind Darth Vader’s mask during three decades. A group of Star Wars fans find out why he has been apparently forgotten by LucasfIlm during thirty years, and decide to give him back the glory he never had. This is their last opportunity.
- DARTH VADER is well established as one of the most outstanding villains in film history.
- With the pending launch of The Force Awakens, the timing for this documentary is perfect.
- It’s time to find the truth about the difficult relationship between David Prowse and Lucasfilm, as they try to convince him to play the most well known villain in the history of film one last time.
- Directors Marcos Cabota, Toni Bestard were recently nominated for a Goya Awards for the documentary.