By Ramón ALÒS


Documentary - Post-Production 2014

In the early days of film industry many men worked hard to invent what today we all know as cinema. Only few will be remembered. Segundo de Chomón is not one of these.
Mockumentary about a spanish cinema pioneer.

    • Year of production
    • 2014
    • Genres
    • Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.6 - 1 M$
    • Duration
    • 85 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Ramón ALÒS
    • Writer(s)
    • Leonardo MARINI, Ramón ALÒS
    • Producer(s)
    • Ramón ALÒS (Bigaro Film), Tommaso ARRIGHI (Mood Film), Gaizka URRESTI (Gaizka Urresti)
    • Synopsis
    • “El hombre que quiso ser Segundo” tells the extraordinary story of the mystery surrounding the personality of one of the most unknown Spanish cinema pioneers: Segundo de Chomón.
      We will follow the steps of Enrico, a cinema student who is researching on Chomón’s life. We will travel through Spain, France and Italy searching for answers about the strange life of the filmmaker of the early years of cinema, who was among of the first ones to make an extensive use of animation in movies.
      Ever since his first work colorating the films of Georges Méliès, in Paris, Segundo de Chomón builds himself a reputation for having great technical skills and a constant urge to experiment. He will soon learn everything he can from Méliès and will begin developing his own ideas working for Pathé.
      Back in Spain, in Barcelona, he tries to introduce the film industry in Spain. He produces musicals that were screened with a rudimentary system of sound synchronized to picture using a phonograph. His efforts, astonishing and new though they were, were not appreciated by the public. He will be forced to travel to Italy, were he will work mostly as a cinematographer, camera man and special effects supervisor. His career will find its peak at the shooting of the biggest super-production of its time: Cabiria. And he will even make a small contribution in Abel Gance’s Napoleon.
      The life of Segundo de Chomón is firmly linked to his twin brother, Primo. Through the letters written from one brother to the other, Enrico will explore the work of the filmmaker in connection to his brother. We will be able to see, for some maybe for the first time, the legacy of Segundo de Chomón. The main material will be the films in which he either directed, or was in charge of the special effects, the photography, the models, the animation, etc.
      We will learn the importance of his work, and will get surprised by the fertility of his imagination.
      During all these years, the shadow of his brother is omnipresent. Their relationship gets worse and worse. To the first misunderstandings follow crude accusations of industrial spionage. It all finds its climax during an obscure and bizarre episode after which Segundo believes to have caused the death of Primo. Primo manages to survive, of course, only to return into his brother’s life, in a last attempt to destroy his career.
      Enrico discovers by mere chance an item of invaluable documentary importance: the only remaining fragment of celluloid in which both the Chomón brothers are seen together. This footage will soon reveal its mysterious nature when the last descendant of Chomón, who still lives in Turin, Italy, claims that Segundo had no brothers at all.
      The film is, in fact, a hoax.
      In the last part of “El hombre que quiso ser Segundo” Enrico will focus on finding out who is responsible for the fraud, the motivations that could be behind it and the means by which he or she managed to make it.
      In the end, he will solve the mystery. Only not completely…
    • Partners & financing
    • Bígaro Films S.L. (co-producer 50% - SPA)
      Gaizka Urresti (co-producer 30% - SPA)
      Mood Film Srl. (co-producer 20% - ITA)
      Lavéga Productions (associated France Producer)Aragon TV (regional TV)
      Karma Films (distributor – Spain)
      Banatu Filmak (international Film Festivals distributor)
      Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino (Italian Film Library)
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Feb 01, 2013