Interview with

Daniel Calderone

Director/Writer/Producer of

Daniel Calderone

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

The inspiration behind making the short film, ‘Beautiful’, was my fascination with commercial advertisements. As a graduate of Marketing Management from Ryerson University, I always enjoyed the promotional videos Nike and Adidas would create for their products especially around the time of the FIFA World Cup. The fast editing, flashy footwork with the soccer ball, and punchy music all served in making you feel immersed and inspired to buy their product. However, in my film Beautiful, there is no material product I am selling to the viewer. I am simply selling the game of soccer and one man’s passion for the sport. The voiceover work and fast editing is taken from these sort of high sport brand advertisements, but the story of a young man telling the audience why he loves the beautiful game was my true intention.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

I did experience a couple of challenges trying to make ‘Beautiful’ happen. The first major challenge was that I filmed this during the pandemic. While COVID-19 cases were lowering from where I reside in Toronto, people were still sceptical about going outside and interacting with others not from their own household. I overcame this challenge by being patient with my actor, Robert D’Amario, and explaining to him that the production is extremely small and will be done with safety protocols implemented. We waited for the right time in the summer when cases in our area were the lowest it had ever been and decided to shoot. Another challenge I encountered was on the day of the shoot we were told by the manager of the soccer field we only had an hour to film because a soccer team was arriving for practice earlier than expected. According to him, they had higher priority than our film shoot so we forced ourselves to accelerate production and shoot as much as we could in that one single hour!

How has the short film been received?

I am very grateful for how my short film is being received. The endless support and positive feedback from friends, colleagues, and professionals in the industry, was such an honour. I am truly flattered because as much as I was optimistic about ‘Beautiful’ being recognized I could not have imagined it would be featured on Think Shorts, become Winner of an Honourable Mention at ONE REELER Competition in Los Angeles, and several Finalist placements in festivals from Italy, New York, South Korea, Tokyo, Istanbul, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Many creatives and soccer enthusiasts have commended me on my work and my growth as a filmmaker because of ‘Beautiful’.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

I recently directed another short film called ‘Cracked’ that explores the mental illness of a young man, which is written by Kosa Akaraiwe and Dani Mariathas. The film is currently in film festival circulation and we are now awaiting the results. There is another project I will be directing, filming, and producing under my productions company, NinetyFour Productions Inc., at the time that I am writing this answer. Also, I am writing and producing a film project with a friend, which I intend to make this year.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Pick up a camera and shoot! Seriously, you don’t need an actor, fancy lighting, or a production value that will put you in debt. When I made my first short film, all I had was a tripod and a camera that was intended for photography and not even film. But I utilized my resources by filming in downtown Toronto for the set piece, stepping in front of the camera as the sole actor/talent, and using music in editing to tell the story when I did not have the equipment or expertise to record dialogue. As my hero Quentin Tarantino always says, “If you truly love cinema with all your heart and with enough passion, you can’t help but make a good movie.” Once you create those stories and people see your films, those either in the industry or friends with similar interests will gravitate to you. This will then allow you the opportunity to produce more powerful stories. But just always remember – you have to start somewhere and you have to start NOW.

Recently Featured

Interview with

Daniel Calderone

Director/Writer/Producer of

Daniel Calderone

What was the inspiration behind making this short film?

The inspiration behind making the short film, ‘Beautiful’, was my fascination with commercial advertisements. As a graduate of Marketing Management from Ryerson University, I always enjoyed the promotional videos Nike and Adidas would create for their products especially around the time of the FIFA World Cup. The fast editing, flashy footwork with the soccer ball, and punchy music all served in making you feel immersed and inspired to buy their product. However, in my film Beautiful, there is no material product I am selling to the viewer. I am simply selling the game of soccer and one man’s passion for the sport. The voiceover work and fast editing is taken from these sort of high sport brand advertisements, but the story of a young man telling the audience why he loves the beautiful game was my true intention.

Was there any particular challenges you had to go through to make the short film happen?

I did experience a couple of challenges trying to make ‘Beautiful’ happen. The first major challenge was that I filmed this during the pandemic. While COVID-19 cases were lowering from where I reside in Toronto, people were still sceptical about going outside and interacting with others not from their own household. I overcame this challenge by being patient with my actor, Robert D’Amario, and explaining to him that the production is extremely small and will be done with safety protocols implemented. We waited for the right time in the summer when cases in our area were the lowest it had ever been and decided to shoot. Another challenge I encountered was on the day of the shoot we were told by the manager of the soccer field we only had an hour to film because a soccer team was arriving for practice earlier than expected. According to him, they had higher priority than our film shoot so we forced ourselves to accelerate production and shoot as much as we could in that one single hour!

How has the short film been received?

I am very grateful for how my short film is being received. The endless support and positive feedback from friends, colleagues, and professionals in the industry, was such an honour. I am truly flattered because as much as I was optimistic about ‘Beautiful’ being recognized I could not have imagined it would be featured on Think Shorts, become Winner of an Honourable Mention at ONE REELER Competition in Los Angeles, and several Finalist placements in festivals from Italy, New York, South Korea, Tokyo, Istanbul, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Many creatives and soccer enthusiasts have commended me on my work and my growth as a filmmaker because of ‘Beautiful’.

Do you have any other projects in the pipeline?

I recently directed another short film called ‘Cracked’ that explores the mental illness of a young man, which is written by Kosa Akaraiwe and Dani Mariathas. The film is currently in film festival circulation and we are now awaiting the results. There is another project I will be directing, filming, and producing under my productions company, NinetyFour Productions Inc., at the time that I am writing this answer. Also, I am writing and producing a film project with a friend, which I intend to make this year.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to make their first short film?

Pick up a camera and shoot! Seriously, you don’t need an actor, fancy lighting, or a production value that will put you in debt. When I made my first short film, all I had was a tripod and a camera that was intended for photography and not even film. But I utilized my resources by filming in downtown Toronto for the set piece, stepping in front of the camera as the sole actor/talent, and using music in editing to tell the story when I did not have the equipment or expertise to record dialogue. As my hero Quentin Tarantino always says, “If you truly love cinema with all your heart and with enough passion, you can’t help but make a good movie.” Once you create those stories and people see your films, those either in the industry or friends with similar interests will gravitate to you. This will then allow you the opportunity to produce more powerful stories. But just always remember – you have to start somewhere and you have to start NOW.

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