The Head of Film and Scripted Television at Pulse Films heads to Cannes to present Andrea Arnold's American Honey in Competition and represent the UK at EFP's Producers On The Move.
Prior to working in film, Ochoa worked as a media consultant and current affairs journalist. He has been Head of Film and Scripted Television at Pulse since 2008, and his past credits include No Distance Left To Run, Shut Up And Play The Hits, Who Is Dayani Cristal?, The Possibilities Are Endless, The Witch, and All These Sleepless Nights.
What’s your connection to the British Council?
The British Council have been kind enough to nominate me as the UK’s Producer on the Move at Cannes this year. (See all of EFP's Producers on the Move 2016 here).
What are you working on now?
We have Andrea Arnold's American Honey having its world premiere in Cannes Competition. After that, I am working on lots of films and TV shows. One is an adaptation of a brilliant book called High Dive by Jonathan Lee. Another is a film called POST being directed by Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace who I worked with on No Distance Left To Run with and SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS. It’s a fabulous script written by Dylan and they’re incredibly talented.
What originally turned you onto film?
Jaws. I would watch the final 30 minutes (pretty much from when they get on the boat to hunt the shark) every day after school for a couple of years. It was my mother who turned me onto films. When I was 12, she told me to watch Get Carter when it was on TV one night! After that all I wanted to do was make movies….
What has been your career high so far?
The first time I ever got to sit in a cinema and see a film I’d made on a big screen with an audience.
What was your first job in the film industry?
Working as a runner at an agency.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the film industry?
What has benefitted me the most is reading as widely as possible. Not scripts (although that’s important). Rather journalism, novels, nonfiction. I think that having that big frame of reference is incredibly valuable.
What is your favourite British film?
If (remarkable and unique); 24 Hour Party People (funny, inspiring, wish I’d been there); Performance (Nic Roeg is a hero); Get Carter (made me want to make films); Peeping Tom (never forgotten it and ahead of its time). Don’t Look Now (Nic Roeg again and beautiful and sad). But probably Barry Lyndon (perfect).
If you could have been involved with any film ever made, which one would it be?
Raging Bull, The Shining or Barry Lyndon. They’re all in their way, to my mind, perfect films.
What’s your favourite line or scene from a film? Why?
“This is this. This ain’t anything else” from The Deer Hunter. When I was 15 that line seemed to mean a lot.
Favourite screen kiss?
The “You had me at hello” scene in Jerry Maguire. I’m a Tom Cruise fan.
Who’s your favourite screen hero and/or villain?
Laurence Oliver in Marathon Man. "Is it safe…."
Who would play you in the film about your life?
It would be like I’m Not There -- so, Cate Blanchett.