From Short Film to Feature Film- Tips from Filmmaker Daniel Ribero
Our favourite film of the moment is The Way He Looks. (Watch the trailer here.) The film, starring Ghilherme Lobo and Fabio Audi, is a feature-length version of Ribeiro’s 17-minute short from 2010, and a winner of the Teddy Award for Best Feature at the Berlin Film Festival last February. In The Way He Looks, Lobo plays Leonardo, a young gay teen who has been blind since birth and gets walked back home from school every day by his best friend Giovana (Tess Amorim). Their familiar and safe routine is upset when Gabriel (Fabio Audi) joins their class and becomes friends with Leo.
It’s a sweet, moving and effortlessly romantic film which handles the love story with charm and sensitivity. We caught up with writer-director Daniel Ribero to find out more about his journey from short to feature film.
‘The Way He Looks’ started off as a 17-min short. Can you tell us a little about your journey from short to feature film?
It was always a plan to make a short pilot for a feature film. We never dreamed that it would become as popular as it did: we started sending it to festivals and one festival screened it online so that audiences could vote for their favourites. Soon, we had lots of people downloading the film and sharing it via YouTube, so we had to start taking it down of course! In the end, we decided to put a better quality version of the film up on YouTube ourselves, and that was it. It grew so quickly, and was the best thing that could have happened to us in a way.
What was next in the process of getting your feature made?
Well, we suddenly had this huge audience who were very keen to see a feature film made. I’m very involved in social media- we built our campaign around our Facebook page, always updating them with awards that we were getting for the short and news about the making of the feature. It made our followers interact more with us and we were all very excited about the project. My producer and I were always studying different ways to get the film noticed, and to create a buzz around the film.
One example was the process in which we cast our extras! We posted an ad on Facebook and hundreds upon hundreds of people wanted to be a part of it. I was heading the social media so that we could engage our audience and bring them into the film in that way. It was very direct.
What is your top tip for filmmakers?
Always choose something that you feel passionate about because you’re going to be talking about that film for a very long time!