Director Juan Antonio Bayona came out of nowhere — well, Barcelona and the world of music videos, actually — to drop "The Orphanage" on an unsuspecting world in 2007. This chilling and intelligent reinvention of the haunted-house genre went on to become No. 1 at the Spanish box office and also did quite well internationally.

Nothing succeeds like success, and on only his second film, "The Impossible," based on the true story of a family's ordeal during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 38-year-old director found himself handling a much bigger budget and a Hollywood A-list cast.

In an interview with The Japan Times, Bayona can laugh now about the pressure: "We had to deal with all the budget responsibility, an English-speaking cast — it's not my first language — very complicated technical effects, and also we had to deal with a lot of kids. So for me, it was not like shooting my second but also my third and fourth films."