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Sublime Soul: An Interview with Diego Stavitzki

Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?

I started in audiovisual still young, with 14 years old, accompanying some productions that my father led. Later, at the University of Cinema, I was able to improve my technique and met many professionals who inspired me, until I decided to found EVO Filmes, the production company in which I work until today, where I was able to sign more than 4,500 films, including features, shorts, documentaries, music videos and series. for web and tv.

What was your first job in the art field?

My first job was as a sound researcher, I stayed in a room with thousands of DAT sound tapes where I organized and compiled, still in analogue form, all the sounds needed for post production, from tracks to sfx. With the time and knowledge acquired, I migrated to Director Assistance, for Director Cadu Salles, currently in Portugal.

What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?

When I did my first job in Africa, with Fraternity Without Borders, I could see the strength that audiovisual has to transform realities through well-told stories, which bring real benefits to society. On my first trip there I was able to produce the music video "Best of Me" by the Mozambican singer Mariza. This fruitful music video was instrumental in sponsoring thousands of vulnerable children who, through audiovisual media, were seen and heard and received the support they needed. The film has power, a well-told story, much more.

Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?

Every new project for me, I look at it with a different eye. I try to study in depth the theme that I will work on and whenever possible, I visit the locations, talk to those involved, try to see the possible stories and characters that have not yet been raised on paper. I seek a more humane, sensitive look at each scene I shoot. I try to find the poetry that exists in the simple things in life.

Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?

My influences are directors who really mastered the technique of guiding and moving the audience, among them Steven Spielberg who manages to work the collective imagination in a sublime way, Tim Burton who has a unique aesthetic signature and also knows how to find the most primal connection points with human feelings, in Brazil I also have a director and screenwriter that I admire a lot: Jorge Furtado, his short film "Ilha das Flores" is a masterpiece and at the same time a shock in our society.

How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?

The audiovisual industry has developed very quickly since 2020 with the advent of covid, changing a series of parameters in the way we film and interact between teams on set. The impact of the pandemic was intense in our area, as we had to use our creativity to be able to create new solutions and ways of filming. On the other hand, the demand for audiovisual has become much more present because the fact of "being at home" has made the consumption of films, series and even the need for brands to communicate with their audiences, made this universe grow. Now, I believe we are going to turn another key in our market, that of Artificial Intelligence, which is producing scripts, images, animations, many times more accurately and better than ordinary human beings. Those who do not seek to innovate and surf on this knowledge will be left behind.

What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?

My message to anyone starting their film career is that the best courses and learning you can take is on the film set. Find who you admire, in the area you admire, talk, exchange information, be willing to learn, participate, be close, sometimes 2 days filming with someone who is really good at what they do can be worth much more than years at university. So forget the barriers of geography, status, everyone is people like us and there is always a way to get in touch. The no we already have, let's go after the yes, money is just a consequence of doing what you love.

Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?

Cinema has a surreal power, a story has the power to overcome any barrier and reach the soul of those who watch it. Therefore, you also put your soul into what you do, seek to reinforce the archetypes of peace, of benevolence. We know that death and tragedy sell more tickets, but we have the ability to change that perspective, bring things from a better world to the screens, a person who is touched by a superior message can be an agent that transforms lives. That's the power I'm talking about and I'm living proof of it, I've already been transformed by a movie: Tim Burton's Big Fish opened my mind to many aspects that I radically changed, leaving the cinema, and I've also seen this happen with movies that I produced, Best Of Me and Be Strong, are proof of that strength, unpretentious projects that reached lives all over the planet, until today I receive messages from those who watch and that is the best possible return that I could have in this profession.

What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?

People have a more accurate look at the audiovisual industry as a whole, they are able to perceive technical and script nuances, which were never commented on before. Our daily lives are full of movies and videos, Youtube is the second largest search engine on the planet. The pandemic came to accelerate this process and we, as cinema workers, have to evolve, both in technique and in the messages we are spreading. I think people are looking for more quality, especially when it comes to scripts.

Please tell us about your upcoming projects.

2023 is a year that promises many interesting projects for me and also for my team at EVO Filmes. Today we have two offices in Brazil and a complete team in Portugal. We are focused on developing projects across Europe, and we are planning to shoot a feature film in Brazil in the first half of the year, an action and romance thriller, and also a TV series about soccer, which will be shot in 6 countries in Europe and 5 states in Brazil. In 2022 we released the feature film "Águas Selvagens – Savage Waters" a police thriller and also the film "Self Dive" an underwater audiovisual poetry. 2023 also starts with the launch of the Music Video: "Sublime Soul" which is even one of the competitors at the Tokyo Festival, in the Message of Hope category.


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