LET OFF played to rave reviews at the June 2022 Experimental/Dance Festival.
1. What motivated you to make this film?
The choreographer Carlos Laerte called me saying that he was working on a new piece with a dancer called ROMEC, and that he wanted to make a movie where he would come out of a white wall…. With not much information but enough to get me started, we decided to sit down and write this story… We needed to understand what the world was like on the other side of this white wall. We also knew that we didn’t want Hollywood special effects, as from the beginning we wanted to make an art film, so we partnered with a local artist Fabiano Fernandes to team up and start thinking of an installation that would represent this transition between these two worlds. In addition, we needed to find out a reason for the dancer to want to cross, and we casted the classical viola player Willow Kohlrausch, who was also the composer, and from him we needed to create a track that caused discomfort and intrigued this dancer at first, but later on transform his sounds in something to allure the character move, seek, travel till he finds what was missing for him.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?
Approximately 6 months. The writing and creative process in pre-production took the longest. After settling on the story we wanted to tell, we needed to be sure that we had the right team and location to make this happen. The film itself was shot in 2 long days. The post took a bit longer, some of the soundtrack was composed in post as the editing progressed. We had Bernardo Gebara masterize the sound sequence and create some minimal sfx and foleys that we found necessary to create truth and later the color grading also took quite some time to find the right tones.
3. How would you describe your film in two words!?
4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?
It’s an independent production, with no budget. Besides the effort to make a movie from pure love, we were coming out of a pandemic lock down, and we were still around with lots of masks and alcohol gel, but swimming in the pool in a relatively cold day with a camera on hands was probably the most challenging part.
5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?
When we make movies with a very linear narrative, the understanding of your story is never an issue. But Let Off isn’t made to fit any format and even though everyone’s perspective of the film will be related to their personal experiences, we were pleased to hear that everyone mentioned the work freedom. Surprisingly the story is more solid that we could imagine. I also say that we can’t underestimate the audicies intelligence. They can grasp a lot without us having to highlight it all… There is a lot of art in the subjectiveness of scenes.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?
I was a very creative child. I have danced since I was 9 years old, moved to NYC when I was 18 dancing… In nyc I studied not only dance, but joined the full time acting program at HB Studios and I used to sit as a volunteer actor in the directing classes, there I also joined the screenwriting classes with Tracey Jackson. Later I went to NYFA to study filmmaking. I am an artist who transits between the stage and the film and it’s through them that I communicate what’s inside of me and what I see in the others, reproducing life experiences through fiction or documentary works.
7. What film have you seen the most in your life?
I believe the first time you watch a movie is where the magic needs to happen. When it’s really mind blowing, I watch it again. I never watched a film so many times that I could name it here. I remember watching Dog Day’s Afternoon and The Graduate a few times. The structure of these films were so perfect in terms of screenwriting that I kept going back analyzing it… But some random scenes I go back to again and again , and it’s usually not because of special effects or anything, but because of the actor’s choices. Watching movies for me is a process like pre production, production and post… I have an expectation, I live the reality brought in by the director, and I reflect… the “post production” reflecting part… is what messes me up. I sometimes still cry the next day lol.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?
I would love to see the film screened to a live audience in a LA
9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?
FilmFreeway does it’s job just fine, it’s a very helpful platform to access festivals globally.
10. What is your favorite meal?
I am a vegetarian, but definitely my favorite meal is breakfast (even after breakfast hours)
Eggs Benedict with avocado! yumm!
11. What is next for you? A new film?
Carlos Laerte invited me one more time to team up with him to develop a ballet for 30 dancers and full orchestra live at the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, it’s a house with 2,300 seats. The ballet is live but integrated with huge film projections where the two art forms interact with one another. We are adapting a story from a Brazilian classic book written 100 years ago called Macunaima. Opens September 14, 2022.