- Was there a particular event or time that you recognized that filmmaking is your way of telling stories?
It started with me wanted to play in the scenarios and ideas I had as an actor, then developed with time by being inspired by other great directors I worked with. Ultimately, I love cinema and I want to explore my ideas and desires through it, it’s just so much fun.
- Do you think it is essential to go to a film institute in order to become a successful filmmaker?
We all have different paths and ways to learn, that’s what’s so great about cinema. Ultimately you just have to let your passion speak and trust the people you surround yourself with. Of course studying the craft is never a bad idea, but many like me, learn while being on set and talking with others. I ask a lot of questions and try to remember as much as I can, it could always be useful.
- Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?
The script in this particular case was for sure what we’ve worked on the most. It was essential for 444 to have a precise message behind it that was clear to us. The film is based on confusing the audience, so it was crucial that we knew where we were going beforehand. We had a lot of people giving us notes, and took over a year to complete it fully.
- What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?
That time flies when you’re on set. Preparation is key, especially in independent shorts like ours. I wanted to do 444 to learn, as it is my first film, and I’m very happy of the outcome and the lessons it taught me on how to manage the schedule. It was always insightful to participate in all aspects of the project, from writing to editing to production and finally distribution. It’s a great journey already and I’m still learning every day. Just being recognized by other peers in the industry internationally is an immense honor.
- What were the production realities from casting through editing that you had to accommodate? How did you navigate those compromises or surprises and still end up with a cohesive film?
With COVID I got lucky in a way. Many artists of great talent that would’ve usually been booked on other stuff were now free to work from home. So we managed to do it remotely and with masks, it ended up being to our advantage. Also, as an actor, I already had a foot in the game so to speak. I knew a lot of incredible people to build the cast and crew, and everybody was so great and helpful. It was emotional to see all these amazing people give so much of their energy to make this film become reality.
- What was the hardest artistic choice you made in the making of a film, at any stage in production?
In editing, for sure. A lot of the movie showed itself in that part, and many things changed from the original script. All for the positive.
- You are a collaborator. How have you discovered members of your team and how do you keep the relationship with them strong?
Through time working as an actor and just by asking. People are so willing to help you, and it’s important to remember to give back, always.
- What do audiences want? And is it the filmmaker’s role to worry about that?
I know what I want, and I focus on that.
- What role have film festivals played in your life so far? Why are they necessary? How do you get the most out of them?
Just the recognition gives you confidence to keep going. All the rejections and handwork take a toll on the spirit sometimes. Also, the fact the people have access to my film around the world is unbelievable. Two years ago this was all just an idea me and my two friends had and now here we are. It pushes us to keep going and striving to better ourselves.
- Do you believe that a filmmaker should be original and fresh or he/she should stick to classic but safe cinema style?
Just have fun man, isn’t that the point ? Tell your stories if your heart tells you to do so, that’s what my parents always told me.