How did you find out about Papaya Films Original Series?
Actually, I only got to know Papaya Films Original Series when I was invited to join the project. It was only then that I watched all the films that had been part of it so far. And I enjoyed it a lot, especially the Chopin piece. The project is truly a wonderful initiative.
Do you find this initiative’s restrictions – such as duration of the film or the main theme – inspiring or difficult to overcome?
Restrictions are always inspiring, because the challenges we face ultimately come from them. We’re always bound to multiple restrictions as filmmakers and it’s part of becoming a better director to surpass them and create an idea out of a problem. I love the story about Spielberg in Jaws, who had to tackle numerous technical obstacles while directing the movie. If he could have shown the shark at every moment he intended, he might not have had created a masterpiece. Another great story is that of the Köln Concert. The wrong piano made Keith Jarrett strive so hard that the outcome of his performance that day turned out to be the all time best-selling piano album in history. For me, Originals Series’ restrictions are part of the reason the project is so compelling.
On the daily basis you work as a commercial film director. Was making your MI:NU:TE,S film very different from directing ads?
Yes. The part where you don’t have to look for anyone’s approval is totally different. To shoot an ad you have to sell something to someone who wants to sell something. There’s always this work that no one sees: the meetings during which you discuss expectations, the brand’s objectives and so forth. To direct something as an “auteur”, on the other hand, is to look for answers inside your guts. You are your own client and you can be a tough crowd. I really enjoyed the experience of making MI:NU:TE,S because of this process.
What did you learn while working on the Original Series?
I guess I realized the full power of the script. As the screenwriter for my film, I had to come up with an idea and write it in just a few weeks. When I shoot an ad, I often just get to make a few adjustments on a 30 second script. It’s not as deep and important as writing an 8-page script out of the blue. Of course I knew the importance of a good script, but I have to admit I suffered from lack of time to think about the end of my story. Because of the deadline, I had to start shooting without an answer that was fully satisfying. And when the time came, the film was done and I wasn’t able to do anything else. But we have to deal with our frustrations and learn from them – I could say this was my main lesson in this project.
Did you make any non-commercial films since participating in Original Series? If so, could you say a few words about them?
Hungry Man – the production company that represents me – made a short film for the Holidays called Santa is Satan. It’s a Brazilian branch initiative that involved all 8 Brazilian directors (myself included), with each one telling a chunk of the same story. It was an amusing experience. I had to shoot the first part of the story and we all had lots of fun doing it. The outcome was hilarious and bizarre. You should watch it!
Who inspires you? Do you have any movie idols?
There are 3 geniuses I read and watch everything about: Christopher Nolan, David Fincher and Emmanuel Lubezki. But of course there are others that deeply inspire me – such as JJ Abrams, Spike Jonze, M. Night Shyamalan, Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen. I love to study classics like Kubrick, Kurosawa and Tarkovski. When it comes to ad industry, I’d say Fredrik Bond, Lance Acord, Tom Kuntz and Jim Jenkins.
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