Novedge: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. Carlos Ferrer: My name is Carlos Ferrer. I'm a filmmaker based in New York City. I started making films at a young age, directed my first feature film by the time I was sixteen with the help of friends and family. We later screened the film in NYC to an audience of over 400 people and won a few awards at festivals. I later earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts & Film at Purchase College. I started working on my second feature RETINA just before graduating. My upcoming projects include Sound of Obsession and Zoey. Novedge: Did you always want to become a filmmaker?
Carlos Ferrer: For a short period I actually wanted to be a painter. I was convinced that would be my path until I played around with my dad's old video camera at the age of ten. Since then, I've never looked back.
Novedge: Retina is a movie that you produced, wrote, directed, designed the sound and the stage for and worked on all the VFX; did it turn out the way you envisioned it at the beginning?
Carlos Ferrer: I'm actually proud to say it turned out better than I envisioned. Before shooting any film, you try to prepare for every possible outcome on set and what happens is that; the one thing you didn't think of goes wrong. I'm a big believer in the phrase "everything happens for a reason". I've always found that trying to make the best of a problem in any situation inspires new ideas and can actually work out for the best. I think this is what happened while shooting the film - it took on a life of its own.
Novedge: What did you learn from your work in post production?
Carlos Ferrer: I learned a great deal, not just technically but about myself, as a director and an artist. It was like wearing different hats and convincing myself that whatever hat I was wearing was the most important hat on the movie, if that makes sense... A film needs love from every angle. By tackling each job with such intensity, I gained a greater understanding of the entire post-production process. Knowing how it feels to be a sound mixer, visual effects artist etc, helps communicate, saves time and money. So as a director, I feel a greater sense of confidence. I'm excited to collaborate with a team again and use this experience to bring a story to the big screen in the most effective way possible.
Novedge: What software did you use?
Carlos Ferrer: I used a lot of software while working on Retina. I kept a close eye on everything being released over the years and took advantage of any software or plugin that I felt could help tell my story. When it came to VFX, I mostly used Maxon Cinema 4D, Adobe After Effects along with various plugins. I composed a fifty minute score using Steinberg's Cubase. I started the sound mix in Avid Pro Tools but actually migrated to Nuendo for more flexibility with my studio and the surround mix. Novedge: Give us some numbers for Retina: cast, staff, number of explosions, years it took you from beginning to end ....ect..?
Carlos Ferrer: Retina was shot with a small group of talented actors and a three person crew. The entire crew was literally two close friends I knew I could trust (Joshua Jenks & Jared Slade Goldman) and myself. It took about 6 years to the complete the film but only a few weeks to shoot it. During those years, I worked on developing the skills necessary to complete all post-production myself. The director on a film is often compared to the captain of a ship. After making movies for years, I felt it was crucial to understand the workings of the entire ship if I wanted to take my work to the next level.Novedge: Which aspect of movie making will be your focus from now on? Will you keep deepening your knowledge in several areas of the process ?
Carlos Ferrer: My focus now is writing and directing, maybe some composing but I'm really interested in working with a team. I do try to keep up with everything I've learned though. It's hard not to at this point; I feel more closely connected to the world of sound, music and VFX then I ever have. In the end, I'm a storyteller and I'll use any medium or software I feel supports the telling of that story.
Novedge: What is the best advice you would give to someone who would like to become and independent filmmaker?
Carlos Ferrer: I interviewed Mary Tyler Moore back in college and when I asked her what advice she'd give to film students like me, she said to be strong through the tough moments and always follow your conviction, that if you keep at it and really want it, you'll get there. This really inspired me, a passion is worth fighting for. Novedge: Who would you like to work with?
Carlos Ferrer: There are so many actors, producers and studios I'd love to work with but I get equally excited about working with new talent too. There's just so many passionate artists out there waiting to collaborate. I learned a lot from the cast and crew of Retina, for example. I've been lucky enough to screen Retina for a few of my heroes in the business. One of them was Mace Neufeld, he produced the Jack Ryan series and a long list of other great films. I spent the better part of my young adult life watching these movies. It would be a dream come true to work with someone like that, who's changed the world of film in some way. Like, I would have loved for a chance to be on the set of a Stanley Kubrick film, just to see what it was like and be in that moment of change.
To keep a close eye on Carlos Ferrer and his fascinating work, check out Carlo's own website .
To get started on post production with the best VFX tools, visit Novedge.