The Loud Whisper Takeover

4: The Unknown and Unpredictable in Film Production: Authentic Behind The Scenes

May 05, 2024 Host: Cindy Claes Episode 4
4: The Unknown and Unpredictable in Film Production: Authentic Behind The Scenes
The Loud Whisper Takeover
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The Loud Whisper Takeover
4: The Unknown and Unpredictable in Film Production: Authentic Behind The Scenes
May 05, 2024 Episode 4
Host: Cindy Claes

Have you ever peeked behind the scenes of a movie set, or even the first conversations before the script was even written? Arnaldo Stafa  (Aki Studio London) invites us into the thrilling world of filmmaking as he documents the birth of his next short film, sharing the unvarnished truths of production, from conception to completion. Our conversation with Arnaldo, he elucidates how he is using his business / management skills as a filmmaker. His behind the scenes documentary fosters transparency in an industry that thrives on community.

In this episode we uncover the nuances of assembling the ideal team, protecting ideas, finding a film director and the selective process of pairing screenwriters with producers. Arnaldo sheds light on the power of networking, and the strategic moves behind recruiting a solid creative team. His collaboration with Shorts2Features lends a fresh perspective to the creative process, illustrating the importance of what happens when filmmakers join forces.

Arnaldo recounts his first experiences on a film set as a runner, and his pursuit of emotional depth through training martial arts in China. His narrative is a reminder that listening to one's inner voice, the 'loud whisper,' is crucial in both our personal and professional growth. This episode is an invitation to connect with the joy found in the present moment.

Guest Instagram:
@arnaldostafa
@akistudiolondon

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Support the Show.

Let's continue the conversation on Instagram:

Cindy Claes - Host
@cindy_claes

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@loudwhispervzw

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Have you ever peeked behind the scenes of a movie set, or even the first conversations before the script was even written? Arnaldo Stafa  (Aki Studio London) invites us into the thrilling world of filmmaking as he documents the birth of his next short film, sharing the unvarnished truths of production, from conception to completion. Our conversation with Arnaldo, he elucidates how he is using his business / management skills as a filmmaker. His behind the scenes documentary fosters transparency in an industry that thrives on community.

In this episode we uncover the nuances of assembling the ideal team, protecting ideas, finding a film director and the selective process of pairing screenwriters with producers. Arnaldo sheds light on the power of networking, and the strategic moves behind recruiting a solid creative team. His collaboration with Shorts2Features lends a fresh perspective to the creative process, illustrating the importance of what happens when filmmakers join forces.

Arnaldo recounts his first experiences on a film set as a runner, and his pursuit of emotional depth through training martial arts in China. His narrative is a reminder that listening to one's inner voice, the 'loud whisper,' is crucial in both our personal and professional growth. This episode is an invitation to connect with the joy found in the present moment.

Guest Instagram:
@arnaldostafa
@akistudiolondon

Want to send Cindy Claes a DM?

Support the Show.

Let's continue the conversation on Instagram:

Cindy Claes - Host
@cindy_claes

Loud Whisper VZW - Producers
@loudwhispervzw

Join the community:
Buy Me A Coffee VIP Zone

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Loud Whisper Takeover podcast. I am an action actress and I'm also on the journey of making my own work as a filmmaker. My next project will be an action film and in the pursuit of that, I'm also interviewing super interesting people to not only answer your questions as listeners, to know what is happening behind the scenes when people are making films, but also to answer my own questions. So I have an awesome guest tonight, and it's he is actually based in london and he is documenting his process of making his next film. He has a lot of interesting things to say about what he's doing right now. Please welcome arnaldo staffa from ackee studio, london. Hi, arnaldo, how are you doing? Hi?

Speaker 2:

how are you doing?

Speaker 1:

I'm so happy to speak to you today, so I would love to dive straight into the fact that you're documenting live your process of making a film. So it's not a documentary about the making of, it's not like the behind the scenes footage that people show once it's been done. You're literally documenting the process. Please tell us more about why you decided to do that, because I think it's really phenomenal.

Speaker 2:

I'm following this tv on youtube, but I'm learning a lot myself so I started my company just after covid and I was always gonna start my own company and make my own films because I'm from a business background. So I'm an actor producer and only an actor producer. I don't wear any other hats. And this idea of documenting, making a short film, just came out from my own experience because, as everyone does, you log into youtube. You're like how to do this, how to do that, and there wasn't anything that did it in detail. There was only like eight minutes, ten minutes or sometimes 30 minutes clips of just a quick rundown of what to do. So I wanted to do something that took time and was somewhat live. So I don't know what's going to happen either, and that's the crazy thing about it and I don't even know who I'm going to be working with either, because I've teamed up with Shorts to Features and they have given me six producers and those six producers vote on. They will be voting, at least in the beginning, until I have a director and somewhat of a team, so then they won't be able to vote afterwards. So I want to do a massive breakdown of the whole process of filmmaking, but not filmmaking in a way that, hey, I'm going to try and do everything myself, filmmaking in a way. Hey, I'm going to try and find the team to get it done and I'm aiming to do it on a budget.

Speaker 2:

So the first episode is obviously the announcement and looking for a writer.

Speaker 2:

So the first episode is obviously the announcement and looking for a writer. We've had quite a few writers submit their CVs and the producers are voting, and the next episode three will essentially be I will be meeting this writer, but it will be recorded, so I won't have any other interactions with this writer until I go and meet them. So the first interaction is going to be, besides, an email or two, to let them know what's happening. Obviously it will be somewhat live and I wanted to do this because I want to make it as raw as possible for the audience so that way, filmmakers future filmmakers out there can possibly find this documentary and it could help them in their journey at least of how to do things, because there's a lot of things I didn't know and if you don't have the right people around you, you're never going to know. And if it helps either one person not do a certain mistake, or even if it just helps one person, I'm happy with it it's already helping me, like just by watching the first two episodes.

Speaker 1:

Just so that we said the context. You have a budget with how much money you're working with? Yes, so the budget is between three to five thousand pounds okay, and you just don't know yet how you're going to allocate that budget. Is that right?

Speaker 2:

yes, because I don't have script.

Speaker 1:

And so you have a partnership with this organization that gave you six producers.

Speaker 2:

Yes, they're called Short to Features. They're a collective of filmmakers, mostly predominantly producers, and we get together. We've got something called the Makers Club, so every Thursday we get together on Zoom or Google Meets and we talk about films, we talk about our projects, where we are, we ask questions, we help each other out. It's quite. I'm obviously a part of that community and I've really enjoyed it. Because community is very important as filmmakers, because it can be a very lonely journey and for me personally, before I found this community, it was quite a lonely journey and so these six producers are here to advise you and guide you for the beginning stages.

Speaker 1:

Are they going to follow you through until the end of the project?

Speaker 2:

just for the beginning stages, to ideally to help me choose a writer and a director. After that, I obviously have to give the power to the director. I decided to do it this way because I didn't want. I wanted it to be an exciting journey for me and I love chaos. So, as chaotic as it is, I'm like great, let's do it. None of this is planned. This is I've got. I've got a structure, but the structure is there just so. There is a structure, but none of it. I have no idea who I'm going to be working with. I have no idea what's going to happen and I have no idea what the issues we're going to have throughout the process. But that's what makes it exciting, because it's raw, it's real and that's how I wanted it.

Speaker 1:

Are you also documenting it so that it keeps you on your toes and you have no other choice but to take action? Or is it literally the willingness of sharing with others, or is there also a thing about meeting deadlines?

Speaker 2:

So for me it's I like helping. I've always been a helper and this was my way of helping. I'm not really a teacher. I think that would annoy me. I have been a teacher for martial arts and it's great and all, but it's just not for me.

Speaker 2:

So this documentary was, in a way, to just help people, because I network a lot and I meet so many people and I meet so many people who want to start their filmmaking journey, especially actors who want to create their own script, and a lot of them.

Speaker 2:

They don't know where to start and this hurdle, this mountain of making your first short film, is a mountain, but it's not as big as a mountain as a lot of people like, as it feels for a lot of people. So I want to make it more real and bring it down to earth for people, so that way it's possible for them and that's why I'm doing it on a budget, so that way, three to 5,000 is something where a group of friends can get together. You can easily crowdfund. It's not extreme, because if I sat there making it's like, all right, we're going to make a 15K or 30 or 50K short, it's already like what? I can never do that and I don't want that to be the case. I want it to be doable for the audience or for the people it's going to help. I want it to be doable for the audience or for the people it's going to help.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. I really love the concept. So let's talk about this first person you're looking for, which is your writer, because I actually commented on your Instagram, so you said that you have an idea of the plot or like the rough lines, like you have a treatment in your, your head, but you're going to hire a writer and I'm a bit in a similar position in terms of I have ideas of where I see my, my movie, to go, but I'm not a writer. I have written stuff for theater and I've written great stuff. I don't have it in my heart to write. I don't think it's where I shine. I also want to find a writer. So how does that work, creatively speaking, and then also in regards to credits, because the idea comes from you, but then written by somebody else. So tell us first about the creative process.

Speaker 2:

So all my projects I've got in total eight, eight, nine projects. Half are long form and half are short form. All my projects are based on my ideas. I don't yet have a project that is someone else's idea. I'm quite creative at creating ideas, but I'm horrible at writing them. I attempted to once and it just wasn't for me. I create treatments and currently all my projects are all based off my treatment.

Speaker 2:

In my treatment I have character breakdown. I have a bullet point breakdown of start to finish of the story, of how it starts and how it finishes, and it doesn't really have dialogue. Unless I feel like that dialogue is very important within the story, then I'll have it. And then I have a breakdown of what happened before the shot. And then I have the message why are the audience watching this, what is the message behind it?

Speaker 2:

And so basically everything that's in my head I put on paper, so that way when the writer reads it they get a massive breakdown of exactly what's in my mind. So realistically, they don't even need to talk to me because it's all in there and I feel like that works. So in credit, wise is always written by that writer, but story by me, and generally I like to keep the assets, the IP, of my short because it's based off my idea. But obviously the writer always gains credit for writing that short and I think from my side it's fair and it's a credit given to someone who wants it, who needs it and it's their career. There's no point giving that credit to me because I'm an actor producer. I am not a writer.

Speaker 1:

Just for the listeners that might be less familiar with some of the jargon. Ip stands for intellectual property. So now you're going to interview writers, so do you share that treatment with them already?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so the initial. So in this case it's going to be slightly different, because I'm going to be meeting them. What I will do? I will send the treatment and let them know what's going to happen, and then I will go and meet them face to face. While it's recorded, that treatment that I've written will be shared to the public as well. So eventually I will find a way so anyone can download it for free. And then, yeah, from there I meet, generally meet the writer, we talk about the treatment, we talk about the ideas, we talk about the feel, the theme, and then I hand it over to the writer.

Speaker 1:

How does it work in regards to secrecy, because in our industry there is a lot of secrecy or we need to keep it private until we are further on the journey. Have you copyrighted that treatment? How does that work, even during the interviews and stuff? Is there any agreement?

Speaker 2:

copywriting In this particular documentary series there is no secrecy and I decided to keep it that way. The likelihood of someone's come to steal my short film is very low and the fact that it's documented on youtube as live as I can potentially make it, it would be a bit ridiculous for someone to go off and steal it, if you get what I mean. But generally my other projects yeah, it's always you don't do ndas for shorts. There is no point for features, yes, but not for shorts. So there is secrecy in a way, but it's not that extreme because shorts don't make money. So why would someone go through the whole process of trying to steal your short idea, make it so that way they can claim it when you're already on the journey? So by the time you've made it, they're starting to make it and it just it wouldn't make sense. So I'm not so worried about that if I'm being honest, and it's good to talk about your ideas and your short because you need to test it to the crowd.

Speaker 2:

So every time I network I always talk about the short that I'm working on and I share the results. I always have three pitches for my short. I have one or two sentence. I've got one slightly bigger and I got the main bulky one and I test all three and I practice all three, because some people they're in a hurry, they don't have time. You just give them the one line, like this is what it's about, and they're like, oh interesting, and then they want to know more. Then you go to the second and then you go to the third, which is the full bulky breakdown of the synopsis. So I am not worried about anyone stealing my idea, because the reality is it's just too much effort for anyone to do that.

Speaker 1:

I'm just clarifying the jargon again. So you talked about an NDA, so non-disclosure agreements. So for those that didn't know what an NDA is, so now you're going to interview those screenwriters. Now no, I have several questions actually. How do you find these people to interview? Because obviously you want to get out of your closest circle.

Speaker 1:

The point is also to search people that you might not know of yet. So how do you find them? And then, how do you interview them? Do they have to do a test for you, do they have to write a page of dialogue, or do you look at their previous work? How does it all work?

Speaker 2:

Generally, linkedin is really good and Instagram is really good because everyone's on it. You have other websites like Mandy or Backstage that can help For me. I use Instagram and LinkedIn and you just put an ad out with a basic description of what you're looking for, have all the details. If it's paid you have to say if it's paid or not how many pages. I like to give a synopsis of what the story is about so that way it can intrigue the writer, and you put an ad out. Essentially, you put an ad out and you wait for people to see it, people to share it, and then they've.

Speaker 2:

Generally, for me, I like it when they send me a CV or when they send me a sample. It doesn't have to be a whole short. It could be just a few pages because reading sometimes their sample is quite nice. You don't want too many pages anyway, because if you get like 20 people applying, you're not going to have time to read 20 scripts. So you want just one or two pages and you look at the CV of what they've done before and then you Google them and you look at their work and you're like, okay, I like this and so on, and then you just take it from there.

Speaker 1:

Really, what is your criteria? I know that your producers will also have their say, but what is your criteria?

Speaker 2:

For me, personally, it's passion, because a bad script can easily be fixed, but a non-passionate person can't. So for me, I meet someone with passion, I don't mind if they've just started out or they just don't want a project before, I don't mind, but they need to have the passion because I can work with passion. What I can't work with is an unpassionate person who just doesn't care. So it's passion is number one, I think.

Speaker 1:

What do you think are the criterias in the heads of the producers? Because?

Speaker 2:

they're going to vote right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, most likely they will go through their CV of what they've done before and compare. And some writers rightly so have won awards, have had their scripts taken to festivals or it's won an award in a competition. Things like that are valuable because then it's almost like a stamp of approval that they've done a good job, so most likely the producers will look at that. They've done a good job, so most likely the producers will look at that. And that's quite important. In fact, when I made my first short which is up here my Hero I didn't know how to find a writer. I literally had put on Twitter I've got this much money, I'm looking for a writer. And no one replied.

Speaker 2:

And what I did for my hero? I teamed up with a short script competition. It's called South London Expo. I teamed up with them and I basically confronted them and say, hey, I've got this much money, I'm a production company, I want to make a short film, maybe the second or third winner or the first, I can work with them. They loved the idea. They said, yeah, sure, they actually had another two production companies. So the two production companies beat me. So they picked up the first two writers, I picked up the third winner and since then we made my Hero and it's been amazing experience. The guy I'm working with. He's been amazing and his other scripts are amazing and it's just nice to build a community and it's nice to just meet new people, making new friends along the way.

Speaker 1:

I think it's wonderful absolutely, and even for me, like making the podcast, is a way to make new friends and expand my own, be enriched by people's stories.

Speaker 1:

So you're going to do also a similar process to find your director. I really want to know how are you going to find a director, because for my movie as well, I'm like, oh my gosh, I need a director, for example, that is, that is a passion for action. But I'm really struggling to even know where and how to find them. And even if I was to find them, I don't know how to interview them or on what I should base my criteria. So what are you doing, or what will you be doing, to find your director?

Speaker 2:

When I get to the director stage I will have three things at hand.

Speaker 2:

Number one I'll have my treatment, I will have my pitch deck and I will have my script, hopefully by then, or at least the first draft of the script.

Speaker 2:

For me, sometimes I'm quite strategic when it comes to choosing the director.

Speaker 2:

For example, my hero was an action, but I didn't want an action director. So I didn't want an action writer either, because I wanted to go more on a story side, because the piece has a meaning and I wanted a writer that can focus on the meaning and not focus on the action focus on the meaning and not focus on the action. So my writer, when he did my hero, he just put fight and then my fight director, which I had the fight director, took over from there. I preferred it that way to keep it separate and to have more opinions on the piece. So in this documentary aspect I will have those three things treatment, pitch deck and script. I will be very upfront with what I'm looking for, because I want a director who's done comedy, because each genre is somewhat of an art on its own and it's shot in a particular way and you want someone who's done it before, to make it funny or make it romantic it's so interesting that you're sharing that, because for me it's a bit the opposite.

Speaker 1:

So my short that we just we just finished post-production. I didn't interview anybody, I just had an idea. I was full of enthusiasm and all of a sudden I'm attracting, like literally the universe orchestrated it and sent me 26 people to make it happen. And this was on a micro budget. It was not even a small budget.

Speaker 1:

It was a micro budget. So here I have 26 people and people, most of them had experience, but nobody got actually really interviewed. Within five days we found people and it was to enter a challenge. But reflecting on it afterwards I was like because I wanted to make an action movie and this action movie actually became more of a sci-fi with a tiny bit of action. But reflecting on it I'm like, no, actually I should work with a director that understands action, that has a passion for action, that I think my vision would have been fulfilled in a more I don't know in a more poetic way, and maybe same thing with the writer.

Speaker 1:

I think if the writers had more experience in action, the script would have gone in a different direction. So it's interesting that you are saying that your creative process is leading you the opposite way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so for me I had a fight director for the fight and I had a fight coordinator, so I did have people with experience in fighting and in filming for fights within the team. But I didn't want. It's just a different process. There is no right or wrong for me. I just wanted to stick more to the story side and the meaning of the piece as it dealt with men's depression, the piece as a whole, and I wanted the script to reflect that and I didn't want to be I didn't want it to be too clouded by action, because for me the action was the cherry on top, but the message was the main focal point. So that's why I went that direction. But there is no right or wrong way, so yours is different from mine and that's not a bad thing. I think that's an exciting and it's a cool thing.

Speaker 1:

And just like brainstorming with you, because, as a person, I'm speaking to someone that understands my world fully and that might be facing the same dilemmas. Would you, for example, consider having two directors, maybe one that is specialized in comedy and one in action, and maybe same thing for the writers, have a team of writers, like one that's specialized in comedy, one in fighting? Do you think that's that would be an efficient way of working, or not?

Speaker 2:

for me, yes, as many people are on board, it's better because each person comes with their own professional background and experience and they will bring that to the table. And you, as the creator of the show, of the piece, you're the engine. So as long as you're there to steer the ship, everyone else will be on board and will be happy. Generally, in most projects it's actually the director that's like steering the ship, but I guess I consider myself more of a creative producer. So generally it's me steering the ship and just motivating and helping the team within the project to do their best and make it as easy as possible for them to say what's in their mind, give their opinion and that's a hard one when people have different ideas.

Speaker 2:

As the steerer of the ship, you have to accept that when you go through this journey you're not going to get everything your way, because if your director says I want this, you're going to have to think about it and be like, okay, I'm not a big fan of it, but I see your opinion, so let's go with it. So you have to give power to the director or the writer or even the actors to go slightly their direction. Obviously, unless it's way off, then you need to bring it back in. But you're not going to get everything your way. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, because you're one person, you might miss little details and that director's got their own experience and they've done it before, so they know what you're missing and they will help you, and same with all the other members in the team. So when you're working as a team, be prepared that the start of your idea will be very different from the end product, and that's okay.

Speaker 1:

That's the best for the project because ultimately, everyone wants it to do well I want to bounce back on this idea of stirring the ship, because I'm in a very similar boat. I was in my previous project and I'm gonna be in my next project, which is I'm the initiator of the fire, but then I'm also the actress. So while in in pre-production, I find it quite easy to navigate my different roles and like steering the ship, as you say, and in post-production as well. But then there is you being on set as the actor and then you have to focus fully on your character and being that character. Is there space for you to still steer the ship while you're on set, or do you decide to just wear the hat of the actor? How does that work on set, specifically on set.

Speaker 2:

So for me, for my hero on set, I dropped everything. I didn't care when the line producer was arguing with the director or whatever it was, I'm like, whew, that ain't my problem and I just step back, I sit down. I'm like, hey, I'm the actor, they'll solve it. So that's what I did for my hero. I completely stepped back and I didn't interfere at all with the planning or anything like that. I helped out because obviously we had different locations so we had to drive. So sometimes I was the driver, but that's fine. But I didn't let anything get to my head, I just focused on being an actor and I ignored everything else.

Speaker 2:

But that's the importance of having a very good, solid team that you can trust around you. I had that good, solid team. We were a crew of I think 50 to 60 people on filming my Hero, so it was a big team, thank you to my mom. A lot of mouths to feed, so my mom helped me out feeding everyone three meals a day. But I had a solid team around me that knew what they were doing and I trusted them. So I completely left my producing hat and I was just an actor and I behaved like an actor and I didn't intervene in anything they were doing. So I recommend that, because the worst thing you want is to try and act, especially when it's an emotional scene. Try and be emotional, but you've just come off chatting with someone about coordinating meals or whatever it is on the day, or like we need more lights or something like that. You don't want that interference as an actor. For me, I chose to just be an actor on the day of production.

Speaker 1:

Also, when we're doing a short and with limited budget, things can get really stressful. I remember on my previous short, at some point there was a scene that is extremely emotional and we had the end of the day. We have already been shooting for about 15 hours.

Speaker 1:

So all of a sudden, there is this super emotional scene, but everybody is screaming around me and then all of a sudden, all right, everybody quiet on set, cindy, ready, camera rolling action. Yeah, I really had to cut myself like in that bubble and thanks god, I do a lot of meditation but within 20 seconds I had to, yeah, dive into my world again as an actress and it's not easy, and I think it's even worse when we are on small productions, like as actors, you've got to be on it.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because also a lot of people are doing favors or are not working for their normal rate, so you have to keep them happy and you have to be kind. You want a kind team on set because the last thing you want is people upset emotionally. You don't want to. You want people happy because you want them to enjoy the process and you want them to work with you again. And my little secret is always food. Good food always helps.

Speaker 2:

I started my journey within the filmmaking world as a runner, and as a runner I worked for small productions and I worked for big productions, and because I wasn't responsible for anything, I was just a runner, which was great. So every time fights happened I was like, damn, it ain't my problem. But I learned that good food always helps. So I focused heavily on preparing good food for everyone, so everyone had nice warm meals, but healthy food as well, because there's no point having six days of just junk food or everywhere, because that junk food isn't going to give them the energy that you want them to have as a team let's go back to the recruiting your director.

Speaker 1:

So you're going to go for a comedy director, but how are you going to choose him or her? What is the criteria? Do you want to see their portfolio? Are you going to interview them, ask specific questions? How is it gonna go?

Speaker 2:

it's literally gonna be cv and showreel and the six producers are gonna choose.

Speaker 2:

I don't know for this documentary aspect it's gonna be very different and be very interesting, uh, but generally that's what you want to see. You want to see the cv, you want to see the showreel and then you want to meet them once just so you can get a feel for them to see if you can work. It's a bit like feed day in for a friend, because realistically, they're going to be your friend for those couple of months or they're going to be your partner for those couple months until the project gets made. So you're going to want to know what's their work ethic like, what's their personality like, what do they like, how friendly they are, how you connect to that particular person, because if you connect very well, generally it will do amazing things for the project, because you'll become friends and when friends work together, they help each other out and they support each other and they go through this journey and it's an amazing experience and that's what you want from every one of your project is a beautiful, wonderful experience.

Speaker 1:

Everybody I interview and from my own experience and what you're saying as well, it's all about creating a team that you trust, a solid team. Now you have a background in business and management. How do you use that background in building that team and having team building moments and also creating that trust from the moment you interview them? Because obviously we interview somebody and it's only a glimpse of who they are right that we get, but how do you create that trusting solid relationship? But how do you create that trusting solid relationship?

Speaker 2:

I think the most important thing is there's a few steps that you normally have to take.

Speaker 2:

A lot of people think about business and think about the guy with lots of money and trying to use everyone else to make money for themselves and just be greedy. They think of the greedy businessman, but that's not business. Greedy, they think of the greedy businessman, but that's not business. If you break down what business is, it's essentially management, leadership. That is what business is. So if you're going to manage teams, you've got to be a good leader, and if you're going to be a good leader, you've got to be kind, you've got to be respectful. So my business background is in managing, and the best way to manage and the best way to lead is to be someone people look up to, a role model. That is why you're the most important thing when it comes to managing, because you have to be happy, you have to be positive, you have to help and support your teammates, you have to drive that ship and you have to pick people up when they fall and you have to listen to their concerns. It's a lot of mothering, in a way, sometimes of people's emotions and people's feelings, and sometimes it's adapting to the way they work because they have a particular way and you have to be willing to adapt to that and you have to listen to different people's opinions. You have to take it on board and you have to merge this cluster of people and their opinions and their ideas into this weird, beautiful bubble of creativity. So that way, everyone is somewhat happy. So, yeah, that's basically it.

Speaker 2:

I've written a few things down. One of the most important things is take advantage of your own circumstance. A lot of people forget that life has given you certain cards to play. Play. A lot of people forget that Life has given you certain cards to play. Play them. A lot of people focus on trying to do everything themselves. It's like, no, I don't need anyone, I will do it myself. That's not how films are made. Films are made by teams, so your own ego has to drop and accept other people's help. If you have someone who knows a great director or knows someone who could help you, just accept it, say yeah, that will help Bring them on board. So take advantage of your own circumstance.

Speaker 2:

Everyone's in different levels. I see life and circumstance as. Imagine this whole screen as multiple ladders One person's up here, one person's down there, another person's down here and the person's up here he's super rich, he's super wealthy. The person down here, maybe, he doesn't have a lot of money. The person down here, he's got intelligence, but he's got money. The one down up there, he's got intelligence but no money, or whatever it is. Everyone's got different circumstances. You have to, first of all, ignore other people's circumstance. That's great for them. If that person knows a bunch of people that you don't know, that's fantastic for them. You've got to know your circumstance. Advantage of that, use that and go on your journey. So that's the one of the most important thing and that's the thing I battle the most with other filmmakers. They want to be they. It pains them sometimes when if they're not the one to create the whole thing, but they have to realize filmmakers is a team effort and that resonates so much because I've spent my whole life in dance and theater, before, you know, going into film.

Speaker 1:

And there is one thing for sure is that you can create a theater or a dance show on zero budget. If everybody is willing to give their time for free and you have a theater that gives you a studio to rehearse, you can create a show, an awesome show, on zero budget and you can wear as many hats as you want. But in film it's absolutely impossible. There is a team that is required even for a one minute sequence from sound to image to lighting to food to acting.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

And once you film it as well, there is no going back right, you have the images that you have in post-production and that's it, and you better have the best shots and everything. So you have to have a team. There is no other way around it.

Speaker 2:

But that's why the things I listed take advantage of your circumstance, great leadership skills, self-development, and, at the same time, you have to build a community. But the most important thing is you have to benefit others, because when you work as a team and when people are doing things for free, with no money, you have to say to yourself how can this project help them? Yep, so you have to help to yourself. How can this project help them? So you have to help them on a journey, because you can't pay them with money. So what you can pay them is with a credit, with experience, with something that makes it valuable for them. And that's why those five things are very important and most of those things rely on you as a person, to be a great leader, to build a community, to develop in yourself and to be a strong-willed person in order to manage a team, because the last thing you want to do is be trapped in a cave and the person that's supposed to be leading you is panicking. You're like great, we're all going to die in this cave, and the person that's supposed to be leading you is panicking. You're like great, we're all gonna die in this cave together. I thought we had 10 years experience. You don't want that, you.

Speaker 2:

So there's a lot of self-development and a lot of looking in the mirror and sometimes admitting what you're good and not good at. And if you're not good at leading, then find another producer who is. If you're not good at people skills, then find someone who is to work with you and just say to them look, I'm horrible at talking to people, I'm very awkward all the time. Can you please take over and let them take over? It doesn't mean you're useless. It doesn't mean it's their project and not yours, or you didn't create it or whatever. No, it means you're working as a team and you're using someone else's skills to your advantage and you're sticking to what you're good at to make sure the project is created in the best way it can be.

Speaker 1:

I love how you phrased all of that because, in a way, making a film is a spiritual journey and it's a gift from the universe to become a more expanded version of ourselves. Because, like you say, all of a sudden you have the mission not only to tell the story, but you also have the mission of elevating others. You know everybody. You know we start together, we finish together and we're all going to go forwards and upwards together. You know you want to bring and contribute to their career and their journey. You learn to let go of control. It's about trusting. You learn about trust and also you learn to receive. You have to learn to receive and be open to being helped. There are loads of opportunities in filmmaking to grow as a human being.

Speaker 2:

And sometimes the best drug in the world is making someone else happy, because the best feeling in the world is when that person after the project comes back to you and says, hey, I got another job because of your show or hey, I did this because of that journey, and it just makes you so happy and you're like, oh, so happy for you. You go in my hero multiple people started working together and they got jobs from that and big production jobs and like Netflix jobs which was amazing to hear all from this one short and I was just like. It made me so happy and it made my day to know that my short was a stepping stone in someone's career and I think that's such a beautiful thing. You learn that helping others really does bring joy and once you find that joy in helping others, you're going to want to do it more and I think, ideally, this is what this documentary is about I'm sure you're going to have like fantastic reviews on this documentary.

Speaker 1:

So this just to clarify the documentary is the working title is a thief's laws. That might change when the writer comes on board, but yeah, it might change.

Speaker 2:

Nothing's uh set in stone. It's called a thief's love and it's basically about two people who've had bad relationships in their past and they decide to take a revenge on the opposite sex. Now our the male. His name's jacob. He's just gone from a bad relationship and he's met this beautiful girl named hazel and he's like she looks rich, I'm gonna steal her. So he gets his friend chris involved and he says to him look, I'm gonna go in, open the door, you go in, steal while I distract the girl. Little do they know? Actually I already spoiled it on the first step.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, leave it so that people can go on the YouTube channel and follow it, because that's your episode one. It's true.

Speaker 2:

So, yeah, the message of it is a little bit of understanding can weigh relationship, so don't bring the bad baggage from your last relationship into the next one. And that's the kind of message of it, but with a comedic overtone, and I like generally, for me, I love touching sensitive subject, but with a layer of positivity Because I like to let people know that, yes, bad things can happen to you but it's okay, you can get over it. And I think that's a beautiful message to send to people. And I want people to resonate with that because, at the end of the day, as a producer, as a business person, I'm in a business of emotions.

Speaker 2:

So when I look at a project and when I look at a script, I want the audience to go through emotional swings because that's what they're going to leave with, that's what's going to make people love your short. So a message is very important within the shorts. What are you trying to say? Because with no message, your short there's a fear your short will look like a scene from a bigger film, which is great. But want people to really resonate with your short. So, having a message and focusing on what is their emotional wave of the audience, if you want them to be angry at this point and then you want to flip it and be like, oh wow, I hated him, but actually I now feel sorry for him. That's an amazing emotional swing that the audience would love to go through and it makes them resonate with it. So I like to say a lot. I'm in the business of emotions.

Speaker 1:

Ooh, I like that. I am in the business of emotions. I really love that. Another question I wanted to ask you is that you've been training in a childling temple for three years. Can you tell us about how that impacted your journey as an actor and filmmaker now? Or is that literally a chapter from the past or not?

Speaker 2:

No, it was because of filmmaking. It took me to that journey. So there is no right way and there is no path of becoming an actor or an actress For me. When I discovered filmmaking, first of all I was in a world of business and I was always. I spent half my life looking for what I want to do in life and then this opportunity came along to be a runner for a feature film in Malta and I was like, okay, sure, let me go. And then that's when I discovered film. Before that it was like way up in the sky, maybe just in Hollywood, it's impossible. But when I became a runner, everything became possible. So the cloud came down and I can actually see them and it was amazing, it was perfect for me. I was like I love this, this is amazing, this is what I want. And when I decided to say to myself, okay, where do I want to be in the film world, I decided I wanted to be an actor. And when I chose to be an actor, I did a two-week course in Mountain View, never doing, acting, like completely never done anything before. And when I did the two weeks it was quite emotionally. It made me emotionally. I knew I had to be emotionally vulnerable and I didn't feel ready to be emotionally vulnerable when I did the two weeks. After the two weeks I felt weak physically and mentally, and I'd always done martial arts before. So in my mind I was 20 years old. I was like, okay, let me go and train myself. That's the only way I knew how to be stronger.

Speaker 2:

So I went to China and I was supposed to go to China for a month in Kung Fu Temple in China and I was supposed to go for one month, but I loved it and one month was not enough. So I stayed six. Then I stayed for a year and then I need to stay more and my mom was like, hey, let me bring your brother along. I was like sure, bring him along. He was 17 at the time and he came along. So I stayed another year and then he left and then I stayed for another year and I just didn't feel complete.

Speaker 2:

I competed while I was in china and I did mainly weaponry because I knew that was the one thing I couldn't do here. So swords, spears, chain stuff, daggers was like the thing. I competed while I was in China and generally I was the only foreigner amongst all the Chinese and it made me stronger. It made me emotionally stronger and it made me physically stronger and spirituality and the soul being strong. I've always seen it as a balloon. Now, if you're too spiritual, then what happens is the balloon will easily pop. So you have to balance your physical strength and your internal strength, so to speak. They have to go up together in order for you to be the best you essentially. That was my journey and that was the whole reason for China.

Speaker 2:

When I decided I wanted to be an actor, I went to China for three years instead of doing acting which is strange to a lot of people but it was because I wasn't ready. I felt like I didn't have the right tools. I'm not going to try and drill a hole in a wall with a screwdriver. I'm going to need the drill. So I went and got on a drill, essentially. So it took me three years. Then I came back, then I went to drama school and then I went to the acting journey.

Speaker 2:

The acting journey and all these different tools made me because again come back to my business mentality when I decided I wanted to be an actor, I needed a UPS, a unique selling point. So I was like, okay, there's no point. I'm like I felt like I was a bit too late. I was like I'm 20 years old, so I was like I'm already too late because there's a lot of people done it until little kids. So what is my unique selling point? And I chose martial arts.

Speaker 2:

Little did I know that business was also my unique selling point, and it was only when I went through the whole journey and I started making my short film that I found the lack of business knowledge in the film industry or the creative world in general kind of surprised me, and that became my asset as well, because the way I see is, business and creativity can't live without each other. When you see the ad of an iPhone, it's the business person who put it up there, but it's the creative who created it and they have to work together and, if you think about it, you've got creativity and you've got business. You need both, and the baby of the two is marketing. Marketing is really important throughout the whole process because it's essentially what's gonna attract the audience. Without marketing, no one knows your show exists. So you need all the, you need all the elements to make a short film successful I absolutely loved listening to you and I learned so.

Speaker 1:

So where can people follow your journey of this documentary that's about to go live? Every week, or something?

Speaker 2:

Yes, so it's pretty much Instagram and YouTube. I do try and dabble a bit on TikTok and Twitter, but it's mainly Instagram and YouTube. Every month there's an update of the short, of the progress of the short, and between every month there's an interview with an industry professional on essentially their journey, how they did it, advice on that particular field and any advice for me on the journey of making this particular short film. So, yes, instagram and YouTube. Akis Studio London. I've only got one Instagram account besides my personal.

Speaker 1:

A very last question to wrap up. This is the Loud Whisper Takeover podcast. We talk about the loud whisper and our intuition. What is your loud whisper telling you right now? Is there anything? Is there a little voice that is telling you to do something in regards to this short film or the next steps of your career?

Speaker 2:

Oh, that's a good question. Currently, it's just telling me to enjoy every moment because, ultimately, happiness doesn't come in the future, it comes today, it comes now. Come in the future, it comes today, it comes now. So you choose to be happy and my loud whisper is telling me enjoy today and just have fun.

Speaker 1:

That is beautiful. Thank you so much, arnaldo, for this beautiful, magnificent, empowering and nourishing interview. I will be following your documentary for sure, and I actually hope to have you for an episode two at some point back on the podcast.

Speaker 2:

Would love to. Would love to Thank you so much.

A Filmmaker's "raw" behind the scenes documentary
Context and collaboration with Shorts2Features
Finding a screenwriter
Selecting a Director
Stirring the ship and having a solid team
Criteria to choose a director
Having a background in business and management
A few top tips
Filmmaking, an opportunity of personal growth
The best drug in the world: making someone else happy
What Arnaldo knows so far...
Training martial arts in a Shaolin Temple in China
Your Unique Selling Point as an Actor
Follow the documentary
Listen to Your Loud Whisper