Recently I had the pleasure to interview Davi de Oliveira Pinheiro. Director of Beyond the Grave.
What made you want to go into film?
I want to share my imagination, create worlds and transform our own through emotions and ideas. I flirted with music, comic books, literature and drawing in my childhood and teens, but I only felt truly comfortable with filmmaking. So, what made me go into film is the feeling that it is my call, something as natural as breathing. When I am on a film set, I feel like I am in the arms of someone I love.
Can you tell us a little about story of Beyond the Grave and how the story came about?
It’s a yarn about a good guy searching for a bad guy and trying to kill him. Except the good guy is not really all that good and the bad guy is something else entirely, a post-human being. The story came about from my love of cinema and literature. Looking from afar, it feels like the most personal film I can ever make and at the same time it feels very impersonal. I stole from my life, from things I love and tried to create the film for my ideal audience: the Davi and Isidoro (Guggiana, the producer) from the 1990s, those two kids that always looked into VHS films looking for weird looking stuff. This is a weird film for weird kids.
What was it like shooting on 22 day schedule?
It was a luxury I was not mature enough to understand. I learned during the process of "Beyond the Grave" that I had never really directed a film. My shorts were kind of experimental and on the fly. This was the first time I had the chance and the obligation of doing something that was professional. It was really fun and an experience that I always remember fondly. The time was short - as was the money! - for a film of this scope and ambition, so I learned to be very good at adapting myself to what the film was offering in terms of actors, locations, situations. It was a very inventive ambiance and taught me to be patient and creative.
What other challenges did you face making Beyond the Grave?
It was a very slow paced in post-production, with a lot of visual effects and rigorous sound design. It took a lot of tenacity to go to the finish line and a lot of financial sacrifice.
What is the Brazilian film industry like?
It is in expansion right now with financing through the Audiovisual Setorial Fund dedicated to development, production and distribution of content. It has been feeding the market and the new films have gone to debut in Film Festivals like Berlin, Toronto, Sundance and Venice, with strong careers in the international market.
Do you prefer working in the horror genre or other genres?
I love every genre of film. My last short is a romance. My next one is a sci-fi. I want to hop from genre to genre in my career, but if I had to be stuck in one it would be the horror/fantasy/sci-fi triptych.
Any plans for a Beyond the Grave 2?
I will make one in the future. I love the world and it would be great to get back to it with a more mature point of view and new ideas. I have worked in a few drafts of the treatment, and I hope to make it in the next decade.
What's it like winning 14 international film awards?
It is great. It shows people are being touched by whatever you made with your film. It always great to find appreciation and awards are helpful in understanding what kind of film you realized.
What are you working on now?
Right now I am finishing a short film, a series pilot, preparing myself to direct the first season of a sitcom, as well as developing my second feature.