An Unforgettable Anthony Hopkins Classic: How The Silence of the Fools Envisioned

The film industry has undisputed figures, such as the case of Anthony Hopkins. The 84-year-old Welsh actor won his second Oscar thanks to what he did in The Father at the Hand of Florian Zeller, but if we have to talk about unforgettable roles, one of the most important of his career was the one he achieved in 1991, when he co-starred in The Silence of the Innocents with Jodie Foster. In that film, only 16 minutes on screen were enough for him, and it was enough to earn him the recognition of the Academy.

The film released 30 years ago is considered a classic in the horror and suspense genre, and tells the story of a serial killer who takes a piece of skin from each of his victims as a trophy. To solve the case, the official Clarice Starling (Foster) he interviews Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins), a psychopath and murderer whose mind can be extremely helpful in finding the criminal on the loose.

One of the people who worked on this project led by Jonathan Demme it was Kalina Ivanov. Today established as a production designer, with steps for great films such as Little Miss Sunshine, Little Big Friends or the recent HBO series, Lovecraft Country, she took her first step in the industry as a storyboard designer (drawings that serve as guides to steal the scenes) from The Silence of the Innocents. “Storyboarding is a unique profession. You can scribble with sticks or very detailed drawings. At the end of this experience, Jonathan Demme He loved my job, as did the designer, and I was recommended for my first job as a production designer. Literally, that’s how I became a production designer, “he said.

RP.- How did you become part of The Silence of the Innocents?

I was studying when I met Jonathan Demme. He was already working as a storyboard artist while studying, I met him when he came to do a workshop with NYU students, it was a course from that university. We were supposed to be their team and since I had a minor title as a theater designer, I come from the theater, they told me: “You are the only one who knows how to design, you have to design this project.” I said I couldn’t because I was editing my thesis film. They looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No, no, you’re going to do it.” So I asked how much the budget was. They told me it was $ 400 and I said, “How am I going to do something with $ 400? Jonathan DemmeThey asked me how much I needed and asked for $ 800. I doubled the budget, agreed to do it. It was an avant garde version of the Uncle Vanya play, but it was set on a radio station in Minnesota. All my friends from the theater helped me. He loved it and I told him that I was studying as a storyboard maker, that I heard that he had a new project and if he could give me a chance. He replied: “Sure, write me a letter.” I did, I sent him the letter and 45 days later I He replied that they would give me a chance.

RP.- How was that test?

I told them I charge $ 250 an hour. They were scared because they thought I was going to do it for free but I can’t work for free, I’m an immigrant, I can’t afford it. They took a test and the first scene (from The Silence of the Innocents) that I did was the one that Jodie Foster He goes to another town in Virginia, they found a body and he has to photograph it. The local authorities do not let her in, they look down on her as a woman: “You are a young woman, the adults are going to take care of this.” She has to assert herself, go in and take the photos, then she discovers the moth in her throat, and that’s what puts her and her boss in the path of the serial killer. It gives them a clue, it is the first clue as to who this person may be. It’s interesting, because once they gave me the scene, I asked if they knew what the location was and they said no, it was too early. I said, “Ah, ok. Interesting.” I asked if he had any indication if we were going to meet. They said no, but that Jonathan he wanted one thing: “He doesn’t want to be very gore, he doesn’t want blood, he doesn’t want a naked body.” Ok how do I do it? It occurred to me to leave the lower chamber, to bring the lower chamber, so the body is a silhouette. To go over it, you only see it from above with Jodie, when she is going to take the photo and then you go to the throat. But keeping the camera down, with the characters, because it’s about the emotion and a young woman saying, “I’m a professional, let me pass.” Then they gave me a sequence and another and another, and that’s how it happened.

RP.- Is there a sequence that you are most proud of?

In the Criterion version of the film they put a comparison between the scenes and the storyboards. They used my storyboards. The first scene I did from scratch about how it should look and look, because there were no locations, was the one in the warehouse where she walks around and discovers her head in a jar, in the car. If you see that version, you are going to see storyboards that I thought and they filmed, but then removed. I love that scene because I designed it completely. I also like the scenes in the basement, where you discover that a person who looks like a butterfly in his kimono lives. I drew all that revelation. They are the sequences that give me a lot of pride. I also designed this Victorian cage for the moths because I didn’t know where they were going to be and it was the inspiration for the big cage they put it in later in the movie, when they transport Hannibal Lecter. I always talk about how important storyboards can be in inspiring the entire team to contribute. (

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An Unforgettable Anthony Hopkins Classic: How The Silence of the Fools Envisioned