This week’s Featured Member is the 1st place winner of Unilever’s Beat the Odds global initiative. Carlos Calika is a filmmaker who shoots, directs, and edits all of his own work. With a Master’s Degree in film from Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, it’s no question why he’s our latest Featured Zoopper! Check out his full interview.
Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
All my friends say I’m a very funny and creative person. I’m always imagining alternative realities to our own, usually in a black humor way.
I breathe cinema. I’m a relentless worker and I like to call myself a Guerrilla film maker, because I like to work with small teams and portable equipment, usually with small or no budget, I usually work with Blackmagic Cameras and Canon DSLRs. I write, produce, direct, shoot and edit all of my work.
What first interested you in film?
I’ve loved film since I was a kid. Living in a small town where nothing happens, movies were the only escape I had to other realms.
What drew you to the Zooppa community?
A friend of mine, a director and freelancer like me, showed me the website. I found it a very interesting opportunity to show my work and I decided to join.
What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?
You get to share your work with the world and professionals, and it’s a good way to get your work seen.
What do you like to do when you’re not creating video masterpieces?
When I’m not shooting, I create music. I’m the lead singer in a rock and roll band called Rebel Radio.
Where is home for you?
My home is where I work; I have no mother base. I’m a citizen of the world.
Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?
I studied film in Universidade da Beira Interior, Portugal and also Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. I have a Master’s Degree in Film Directing.
My education helped me build a more philosophical approach to movie making. I was also introduced to the work of some of greatest filmmakers ever.
All of the equipment I had available in my University helped me perfect my cinematographer skills.
What/where do you find inspiration for your films? Share a bit about your creative process.
As a kid I read a lot of comic books, so I think those millions of storyboards were the biggest inspiration source for me. I’m also a movie maniac. I have a giant collection of movies that I like to watch and study when I have time.
I usually start by having an idea and I work around it always based on the equipment and production values I have. I try not to imagine things too big so I don’t get disappointed by not being able to create them on set.
Which was your favorite Zooppa contest to participate in? Why?
Beat the Odds was the first Zooppa contest I participated in and I won. I promise it was just the first one, now I’ll try to win all I can!
What are you currently working on (job, films)?
I’m editing two music videos I shot, producing a web series and working on a full-length documentary about Cidade de Deus, the favela in Rio de Janeiro. The doc is called “City of Good.” It’s in postproduction phase now, and will show the good things that exist in that favela so violently portrayed in Fernando Meirelles, City of God movie.
What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
My ultimate goal is to win an Oscar, but I know I’m still a long way from that. For now I just want to shoot as much as I can, and get my work out there!
Link us to any work/a portfolio that you would like mentioned.