The Argentinean web series Fehler 78 takes up the topic of a pandemic
The series Fehler 78 by Gastón Armagno is a series in a post-apocalyptic style and it was nominated at Seriale 2020 for Best Cinematography. The directors of the series Facundo Nuble and Gastón Armagno were nominated for Best Director. Gastón Armagno also plays a supporting role in this series. He is from Uruguay and is one of the most active creators in the web series world, his works have its own distinctive character. He won the award for Best Supporting Role at the Seriale 2018. Gastón Armagno is an author, screenwriter, actor and the CEO at Arcanoide Films. At the Buenos Aires Web Fest 2016 his mockumentary series Escuela de Canoteja won the prize for the Best Screenplay. His series El Maravilloso Parque Hoolister has been nominated at festivals all over the world. Animated series such as Chack Morris Life are also very successful and can currently be watched on UN3TV, an Argentinian platform for web series. The new web series Hotel Romanov premiered at FLOW and won the award for the Best Screenplay in Spain and Russia and Best Comedy and Best Supporting Actor in Spain, Argentina and Germany. At the Produ 2019 Awards, Gastón Armagno was selected as Best Director and Best Soundtrack at the Buenos Aires Series 2019.
We had an interview with Gastón Armagno and asked him a few questions about the series, that is set during a pandemic. In Fehler 78 the world is in a post-apocalyptic state. A small group of scientists who are traveling in a van discover that they are not the only ones who survived. Equipped with a protective suit and without help from others they are looking for answers. On their trip they find something that gives them hope but it also brings about a lot of problems.
Seriale: Gastón Armagno, what is Fehler 78 about and how would you describe the series?
Gastón Armagno: Fehler 78 is a story about scientists who are living during a pandemic. All the people around the world are suspected to be dead. The group of scientists travel in a van and discover that they are not the only ones who survived. They travel around the country and search for more survivors. They hope that they’re not the only ones who survived and they find something that gives them hope but is also the worst nightmare at the same time. The thing that they find is an evolved step of the virus.
The series is the kind of movie that has a science fiction story paired with a taste of humor. It is a series that combined horror, comedy and a bizarre story. It is important to have scenes that make you laugh or smile like watching an 80s movie.
Seriale: How did the idea for this series come about?
Gastón Armagno: We always watch 80s movies and we wanted an exercise of making a story like in the 80s. This type of series is very popular in Argentina. Most series with that type of genre always have the same story, where you always know what is going to happen. We like this kind of series and want to give it our own touch.
Seriale: We are also currently living in a pandemic. Was the story inspired by current events and how has the corona pandemic affected your work?
Gastón Armagno: No, it was not inspired by current events or by the corona-virus. In the time we produced the series we did not know about the virus. The corona pandemic affected me a lot because I work as a director and actor so I could not work. I have to go out for my work and shoot scenes and with a pandemic that isn’t possible. But in that time where I had to stay at home it was good for me as a writer. I had a lot of time and was able to think of some new ideas.
Still © Fehler 78
Seriale: Were there any difficulties during the shooting?
Gastón Armagno: The difficulty about this is very interesting because we won money from a platform in Argentina and we had to make two web series in only three weeks. It was difficult to think about two series at the same time but we started it in time and ended it in time. We often were tired and had weather problems during the shooting but generally we had an amazing trip.
Seriale: How long did it take to realize the series from the idea to the completion?
Gastón Armagno: From the start of writing or having the idea until the end of the shooting, it took us maybe seven months or something like that. From realizing the idea and writing the final draft it took us about five months. Then we needed two months of pre production and three weeks of shooting.
Seriale: How were the actors in the series found and selected?
Gastón Armagno: I met all of them in another project and worked with them before. The script seemed like it was made for them. So I knew all of them except for Paula who was the infected girl. I saw Paula in a movie called El Poso, a very good movie, which is also very well produced. She was the main actress in this movie and I was really impressed with her acting skills and I definitely wanted her in Fehler 78. We had a great time together and it was really fun to work with her.
Still © Fehler 78
Seriale: Which scenes were the most difficult to realize?
Gastón Armagno: The night scenes were very difficult because it was very freezing and everyone was shaking. We shot in July and it was the middle of winter and it is very cold outside at this time in Montevideo.
Seriale: How were the locations or shooting spots detected?
Gastón Armagno: Well that’s interesting because we shot everything in a park that is near Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay. We decided to talk with the people who manage this park and filmed the series in a place that we already knew, because it’s a place where you often go for a walk with your children.
Seriale: Were spontaneous changes made during the shooting compared to the script?
Gastón Armagno: Yes, in the final episode because one of the actors had another movie shoot and he didn’t tell us that he couldn’t be there with us. The problem was that he told us about it on the last shooting day and he should have played an important part, where he would fight with a monster – and now we had nobody for this scene. We thought about integrating this scene into the second season and although it would have been a great scene for the end of the first season, now it’s even better as a cliffhanger, which makes you want to see the next season.
Still © Fehler 78
Seriale: What response do you expect from the series?
Gastón Armagno: I only want the people to have a good time while watching the series, that is the only thing that we want. The series is like watching “Predator” and having fun. You should watch this on a Sunday afternoon and you should have a great time and laugh.
Seriale: Are you a fan of this genre?
Gastón Armagno: Of course I am a fan of this genre and I love “Alien”, “Predator”, “Jurassic Park” and all these monster movies. I also love movies with a dark comedy and I really like a mix between science fiction and comedy.
Interview: Dogan Eryildiz
Fehler 78 (2020)
Runtime: 10 min.
Directors: Facundo Nuble, Gastón Armagno
Writers: Facundo Nuble, Gastón Armagno
Producers: Valeria Bistagnino, Gonzalo Arias
Cast: Florencia Salvetto, Rafael Beltran, Facundo Santo Remedio, Paula Silva, Gastón Armagno