Writer Emiliano Forino Procacci’s book is Golden Book Awards 2016 Winner

Emiliano 1Many people think that all of their problems can be solved by a high-profile, well-paying job. In today’s world, it is easy to be concerned with what will make us the most money, rather than what will make us truly happy. What many fail to realize is that success does not equate to your financial status, but your emotional status. Happiness is in fact success.

Emiliano Forino Procacci is an Italian writer and psychologist, and he knows this better than most. Procacci had a high-paying job, a good employment contract, and as he describes it, a “linear life”, but decided it was not the right path for him.

His leap of faith has worked out for him, as Procacci has written and published a list of successful books, which include: Secrets of Motivations and Personal Growth, Organizational Evolution and Development of Human Resources, Follow Your Own Star and Fulfill Yourself in Change, and The Freedom of Words. His book Communicating With Success: The Secrets of Persuasion is the Golden Book Awards 2016 Winner, and a finalist at the International Book Awards 2016.

“Writing is a communicative mode. I would like to help all people to be more serene,” he said. “In my books there is also the story of my life, of my travels around the world and how I tried to help the people that I met on my path.”

The biggest satisfaction for Procacci has been readers contacting him to ask you for an additional publication. He has now gained a true fan base.

“A few days after the publication of The Secrets of Motivation and Personal Growth, I received lots of comments by those readers who particularly appreciated the sentences that they considered, in their words, ‘poetical’,” he said.

Newton Lee, the Adjunct Professor at Woodbury University and the president of the Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships in Los Angeles published some of Procacci’s books in English. Lee wrote the preface of Secrets of Motivations and Personal Growth called Exercises and Tools to Make the Quality of Your Life Better.

“Emiliano is very pleasant to work with. He is easy going and down to earth,” said Lee. “A good writer always writes from the heart. That is what makes Emiliano a good writer.”

Procacci writes from the heart because writing is his heart. He knows writing a book is not easy and it is very time consuming. He says that during that period many good and bad things happen in life and the writer becomes affected. For him, the desire to communicate and the love for his family has always given him the strength to write.

“Sharing what you know, donating your creative talent to the world and helping people to improve their lives are some of the things that can be done to fulfill ourselves as social beings and to step out of our comfort zone,” he described. “We don’t have to be masters to teach orchestral music, and the athletes who won the gold medal at the Olympics are not the only ones who can teach sports, in fact, every day is perfect to convey what we know to someone else and remember: even the most brilliant light has no value if it is hidden in darkness, be bold and show the world what you can do.”

Procacci teaches in the Department of Communication Sciences at the Università Popolare of Gorizia. He aims to inspire his students to both read and write.

“As I like to repeat to my students, the moment a writer and a reader meet inside of a book is magic, because they share the reading of the same printed characters on the paper, even if with different eyes. So, a thought takes shape in the writer’s mind, makes its way through emotions and feelings, adopting their movements and smell, and then transforms into sentences which are transferred to paper,” he said. “The reader, in turn, performs the reverse process and extrapolates the sentences from the text, hopefully remaining intoxicated by them and making them his own. It is a mutual exchange and the place where all of this takes place is between the pages of a book.”

Procacci believes books are all written with a purpose and that his is simple and unpretentious. He would like to somehow convey a message of hope that can help you realize what you most intimately want.

Procacci has now written five books of which four of are on the subjects of communication and personal growth. He is now I’m writing a motivational novel, which he is certain will as successful as his other books.

“It would be a shame to waste our time without trying to deserve serenity and happiness,” he concluded. “I chose to exit from my comfort zone and I have found happiness. There is a world right around the corner if you just to have the courage to look for it.”

TV GIVES LINZEE BARCLAY THE OPPORTUNITY TO PLAY EXTREMELY DIFFERENT STRONG FEMALE ROLES

We are definitely at a Golden Age for the small screen. Cable TV and streaming platforms like Netflix and Apple TV have changed the game and resulted in more Actors steadily crossing over from feature film to series based programs, as well as pushing the boundaries of what Writers, Actors and Producers are able to create. This is a huge win for the viewing public as well as the Artists. The average viewer now has a wider selection of genres (and subgenres) to choose from and those whose passion is to create them have more work opportunity than ever. One performer beginning to make her mark in television is up-and-comer Canadian Actor Linzee Barclay. In the span of her short career she has raked up some impressive and diverse roles on her resume, including the lead role as a Nazi Woman in the award winning German-English short film Homefront (2015), her feature debut in the crime drama Gone Tomorrow (2015) and recurring roles on hit television series Lost Girl (Syfy/Showcase), and most recently, on the American series Reign (CW). Proving to be the chameleon type of performer who effortlessly shifts through genres and character types.

Reign is the CW Network’s historical fantasy series following the life of a young Mary, Queen of Scots during her time at French Court. The program is currently in production on its fourth season and has proved to be one of the CW’s most popular shows. Barclay appears as ‘Sharlene’; a sassy, cockney harlot who begins an unlikely friendship with Noblewoman Lady Greer (played by Celina Sinden). One of the things that Barclay has become known for is her mastery of accents and dialects. It’s an attribute that played heavily into her favor being selected as ‘Sharlene’. Marilla Wex, a Crystal-award-winning voice artist and dialect coach, worked with Barclay on Reign and comments, “It took producers two rounds of casting until they found someone as talented as Linzee to play the feisty and funny ‘Sharlene’. She brought a lot of energy, humor and play to the set both on camera and off. Her dialect was fantastic! Most Canadian Actors can pull off a decent standard English accent but what Linzee brought was a subtle lower-class accent that was really perfect for the role.” Barclay admits, “My parents are Scottish and we spent a great deal of time in Scotland throughout my childhood. I think that exposure early on to different British dialects helped me develop an ear for them and then I just continued to hone that skill as I became an Actor.” When further asked about her process she elaborated, “I use different trigger words/sentences for each one. I try to isolate specific sounds in any given dialect and then find the music to the speech pattern of that region, and then it’s just the confidence to go with it. There are so many British dialects, but with an American Show like Reign, they wanted a more “General Cockney” sound to combat any worry that American audiences could understand ‘Sharlene’. The challenge was finding a happy medium for Producers and the Writers.” While accents may come easy to this Actor, the role was not without certain unexpected challenges. As a period piece that takes place during the mid 1500’s in French court, the look of the show is paramount to provide the realism of its setting. One way in which Barclay related to the challenges of the era was in terms of wardrobe. She reveals, “Getting used to wearing a corset for long hours will cause you to have greater respect for what women of that time period dealt with. I know it sounds silly, but you do have to breathe differently, which goes against all your theatre training. I now understand all the heaving bosoms on historical shows; it’s all upper-chest breathing!” She laughs, “I’ve learned from that experience to breathe out during your

costume fitting when they are sizing you for a corset – you will be thankful for that little extra room later on.”

As a fan of movies like 1998‘s Shakespeare in Love, Barclay understands the huge fan base that Reign has acquired throughout its many seasons. The combination of historical fact mixed with popular myth provides a unique creative playground for storytellers and performers. However, Barclay sees her character on the show as a bit of a fun dichotomy. Although ‘Sharlene’ is a working class harlot, the role provided Barclay an opportunity to present something of a feminist representative in this genre of storytelling. She explains, “Characters like ‘Sharlene’ are great fun to play and are rare on certain shows. Especially in a historical piece like Reign which is more serious in tone due to its depiction of court life. More often than not it is the Male characters that are the comedic relief in a show and the females are the foil for their jokes. It was freeing to play a character that comes in and shakes things up. Someone who really don’t care what people think and is so frank – its refreshing as a Female Actor”.

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Whereas traditional television has for the majority used the Male perspective as its vehicle to take the audience through its narrative; modern TV has seen the female perspective become increasingly more centre stage . An early example of this was the long-running series Lost Girl (winner of two Canadian Screen Awards in 2014). A Syfy/Showcase supernatural drama which sees its main character “Bo” (played by Anna Silk), a succubus in modern day in search of her own origin as well as that of her powers. Playing against the norm once again, Barclay’s character ‘The Handmaiden’ is a Fae; an immortal soul who is a servant to the character ‘Rainer’, played by Kyle Schmid (History of Violence, The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants). Barclay’s explains her character stating, “She is very nosey and pushy but takes great pride in her station and has an Old World feel to her. It was fun to play someone who was so feminine and proper in contrast to the bad-ass energy of Anna’s Bo.”

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Lost Girl was Barclay’s first recurring television role, who was brought into the audition room after a Casting Director noticed her in a Workshop in Toronto. Primarily a stage Actor up until this point she admits to being nervous her first day on set but quickly adjusted. As a Sci- Fi/Fantasy show, Lost Girl uses a lot of special effects; it was something that was new to Barclay. She explains, “There are a lot of effects in Lost Girl, that are put in afterwards in post production. It was a lesson in trust and not judging yourself. I found if I broke the scene down to the human elements it was a lot easier to approach than getting caught up in suspending my belief in the scene.” Anna Silk, (the star of Lost Girl) recognized Barclay’s abilities from day one and credits her for making the performances better stating, “Linzee’s talent as an actor brought so much to the role and to the performers around her. I have worked with many incredible actors over the run of the series but only a handful really stand out with a level of talent at the top of their game; Linzee is one of those actors. Her professionalism, poise and presence fill a room, raising everyone around her to that level; a rare talent indeed.”

Barclay will soon be appearing in CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries (the series has numerous wins from the Canadian Screen Awards) as ‘Bessie Fellows’ and National Geographic’s feature movie 4 Billion Heartbeats. As Barclay continues to diversify her roles, her work location also diversifies between

her home country of Canada and the newer opportunities afforded her abroad. We look forward to see what this multi-talented performer does next.

 

ACTOR MICHELLE ALEXANDER EXCELS AS ‘DARKNET’ SERIAL KILLER

Actor Michelle Alexander inhabits every role with a masterly conviction. Her characterizations, whether a light hearted comedy or dark suspense thriller, display an involvement and authority which completely draws an audience in. The Canadian-born Alexander’s artful prowess allowed her to transition, with admirable grace, from theater to television, where she electrified viewers as a knife-wielding slasher on the groundbreaking Darknet, a well-received, innovative anthology series of urban horror stories.

The lissome, charming Alexander was hardly an obvious choice for a serial killer, but she easily won the role of murderous psychotic Alison. “The Darknet auditions were highly competitive,” Alexander said. “The individual slots for the first round were only five minutes long, but I was kept in the room for 45 minutes. They had me do a 2-minute scene about 10 different ways, and later told me they were blown away by how quickly I adapted to direction.”

“Then there was the callback,” she said. “It was one of my favorite ever auditions. The scene was Alison stabbing her first murder victim and realizing how much she loved it. I wanted to have something to push against, literally, when doing the ‘stabbing’ so I slammed a giant chair into the ground over and over again. I thought ‘they’re either going to think I’m crazy or an acting-chair-wielding genius.’ That bold choice paid off.”

Alexander’s instinct and audacity, combined with a deep well of classical stagecraft—an alumni of the distinguished University of Windsor BFA Acting Program with extensive additional training and stage experience—effectively guaranteed her the part, and she took full advantage of the offbeat opportunity.

“Those are the scenes you wish for as an actor, going from 0 to100 in seconds, from innocent student to serial killer,” she said. “Alison was the first role that showed me how my own personal brand of humor and heart is watchable and exciting. I love bringing that quality, which is uniquely me, to roles that show how women can be really screwed up and still amazingly powerful at the same time.”

Alexander’s gift for weaving subtle ambiguity and blunt force drama together into an engrossing whole is impressive, and Darknet was an important upshift in her already solid roster of theatrical and film achievement. But she doesn’t take any of it for granted.

“Is anyone ever really satisfied with their performance?” Alexander said. “Actors are notoriously hard on themselves and driven for self-improvement, not qualities that foster self-satisfaction. Of course, there were moments in the final cut that I watched and thought ‘oh they chose that take, it’s good, but I can do better.’ I didn’t think that was my best’. But, ultimately, my job is to deliver believable moments and it’s their job to choose which version fits into the story they want to tell.”

Darknet’s singular format, with multiple plotlines progressing over several episodes, each helmed by different directors, provided Alexander a rare, interactive behind-the-scenes experience.

“It felt like a truly collaborative experience,” Alexander said. “The directors of the different episodes really treated me like the authority on my character, always asking what I thought Alison would do in a situation. Even the script writers were collaborative. For example, before they signed off on Episode Five they asked if I agreed with the very extreme choice they had Alison make. You can’t ask for a better work environment than that.”

“I had the pleasure of working with Michelle on Darknet,” director Jeremy Ball said. “Michelle stood out for her energy, commitment, and ability to take direction. I also found her to possess a singular screen presence that was at once completely her own and capable of accommodating a scene’s unique requirements.”

Alexander’s work on Darknet, currently streaming on Netflix, instilled a fondness for the small screen format. “It was fantastic,” she said. “The entire crew, creative team and cast were a joy to work with. Also, we laughed a lot when the cameras weren’t rolling, which is key when making any show, but especially a horror show.”

She has gone on to appearances on The Strain and Orphan Black and is eager to take on additional television roles. “I want to play amazing females who viewers can look forward to hanging out with, crying with and watching in awe as they take on the world episode after episode.” Alexander said. “My dream job is to helm my own sci-fi series as a character that’s riddled with flaws but has a killer sense of humor and can kick anyone’s ass.”

At her core, Alexander is a reliable, self-critical craftsman with a driven, pragmatic attitude that serves her very well. “Nothing will ever go exactly as planned,” she said. “So bend your knees, trust yourself and always be in the moment.”

Actor Cody Sparshu Shares His Secrets to Success as a Lead in Double Booked

By Martin Desouza 

cody 3It is no secret in the film industry that actors are faced with having to play characters who drastically differ in comparison to who they are in real life. 30-year-old Canadian actor Cody Sparshu knows this all too well.

In order to overcome this challenge, Sparshu likes to find emotional similarities between himself and the character in attempt to make the character’s behaviour as authentic as possible.

Sparshu attributes his success to this strategy, but laughed when admitting it was very difficult to do in preparation for his most recent lead role in, Double Booked. The laughter was in reference to the fact that the film’s award winning director and producer, Neil Webb, cast Sparshu just one week before shooting began in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

“I just locked myself at home for a week and prepared the 60 pages dialogue over and over. It’s just the nature of the business. Sometimes actors need to work with what they’re given and go with the flow,” said Sparshu.

Despite the intense preparation timeline, Sparshu felt he delivered one of the best performances of his career, and Webb agreed.

“Cody showed extraordinary commitment both on and off the set in his leading role. He had a very limited amount of time to prepare for this project, being one of the last members locked in and having one of the largest and most dialogue heavy parts,” said Webb. “Nevertheless, Cody showed up on set for his leading role prepared to the utmost extent, ready to deliver an amazing performance. Rarely did Cody require more than two takes to achieve the performance which brought not only a unique and extremely thought-out perspective, but an immediacy that resonated with viewers.”

Sparshu was very humbled to receive high praise from Webb, and on top of his ability to make emotional connections with the characters he plays; he acknowledges another untraditional and personal approach.

“As weird as it may sound, when I’m acting I’m able to be more true to myself,” he said. “When playing a character, you have the freedom to embrace the real emotions and actions within you, that you feel you might normally not have permission to. You’re living under imaginary circumstances so there’s no repercussions to being real.”

Double Booked premiered in Los Angeles in 2014 and depicts the story of a tight-knit group of friends who have been taken captive while on vacation at a cabin in the mountains. Months after a scarring event, the group find themselves being subjected to sleep deprivation and mental torture as they desperately try to discover the motivation of their captors, a seemingly normal couple.

Sparshu played the role of Jeff, an easy-going hipster who was very passive and timid in nature. Throughout the course of the film, Jeff undergoes a dramatic self-realization experience as he eventually finds the strength, motivation and courage to stand up for himself.

The Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association nominated the film for Best Feature Drama and Best Original Score, two achievements that Sparshu is very proud of.

Undoubtedly, Sparshu’s passion for the arts runs deeply, as he references being on the family video camera with his sisters at age six. As he studied drama in elementary and high school, he acted in several theatrical plays, commercials, and films. It is on this foundation that he has been able to build a successful career.

“In studying various forms of theoretical acting techniques, I’ve been able to develop a strong sense of self-awareness which has allowed me to execute the techniques that best suit my style and strengths,” he said.

On top of his acting roles, Sparshu is building his portfolio as a writer and producer. In the process of writing his first feature film, Sparshu revealed that he has been able to leverage his experiences from acting, and apply them to the realm of writing and producing. Ironically, by improving his writing and producing skills, he is able to further evolve as an actor. It is a reciprocal process that Sparshu feels any aspiring actor should consider. He added that he is excited to show his dynamic ability to the world in the near future.

“As I mature in this business, I want to model myself off the Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson’s of the world,” he concluded. “Those guys produce more work than they act in. They are just as concerned with delivering a captivating movie as they are about their own individual acting performance.”

It is this deeper understanding of the fundamental elements that go into the production of a movie that Sparshu feels will allow him to continue to grow in the film industry as an actor, as a producer, and as an artist.

Cinematographer Peter Hadfield “disarms” viewers with his talent

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Peter Hadfield is from British Columbia, Canada.

Peter Hadfield has achieved a lot through his career, and a lot of this has to do with his success filming music videos.

The Canadian cinematographer has had four music videos selected as Vimeo Staff Picks. He describes the highlight of his career so far as working on the politically charged music video for Wintersleep’s song Amerika.

Two years ago he experienced success working along directed Dee Shin for Akmu’s video for the song Melted, which has over 6.5 million views on YouTube.

This song gets a strong emotional reaction from people.
There are tons of comments on how it makes them cry, and there are a few reaction videos of people watching the video and crying,” said Hadfield. “I think after this video was released I thought, ‘wow, I can do this.’”

The video was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, and follows a boy as he comes across a variety of different people.

“It was fun to shoot a video with so many different people. Lots of different faces and textures in that video. Shooting a bearded dragon lizard with a macro lens was a ton of fun,” said Hadfield. “Everyone has a sweet spot, or a certain way they can be photographed that shows off their personality immediately. It was a challenge to find that spot with all the different people in the video.”

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Hadfield’s work on Melted brings out an emotional response from audiences.

After this success, Hadfield had the chance to work with his college friend, the musician, Pomo, aka Dave Pimentel, on the video Back 2 U, which Hadfield describes as his favorite videos that he has shot. It was shot in Toronto at the Pan Am Sports Facility as the video features many divers on their way into the pool.

“Finding the angles for the divers was a lot of fun, and taking the dives to the next level by adding the visual effects gave it a weird, trippy feel,” he said.

A challenge was presented when it came to shooting underwater. Hadfield had operate a 7D in a 5D underwater housing.

“We just rolled the camera, put it in the housing, and jumped in,” he said. “You can’t really see what you’re doing when you shoot underwater. I was wearing a snorkel and mask, but there are still a few inches of water in between your eyes and the mask that makes the monitor blurry. It was also really hard to keep the camera still, and I knew that shaking underwater footage wasn’t going to cut well with the footage we were getting of the divers in midair or on the deck, so we had to figure out a way to steady it. Our PA had to dive down to the bottom of the pool each time to retrieve the camera because we ended up just resting it on the bottom of the pool!”

Hadfield worked alongside Bahwee Suh, who was the executive producer and president at HW&W record label, as well as Kerry Noonan who is a producer and art director in Toronto, and Jack Yan Chen who was the camera operator.

“Things always seem to go smoothly when working with Peter. He has a warm and thoughtful presence on set which can sometimes disarm you from how professionally he executes every shot, every scene, every day. In short, Mr. Hadfield has a great deal of technical proficiency and makes it look easy,” said Kerry Noonan. “As a cinematographer, Peter has a lot of skills at his disposal. His instinct and sensibility come through on his reel, however something that you can only see on set is his cautious curiosity. Peter looks at figures, objects and landscapes and wonders how many new ways can we see it. He is always considering slight adjustments to impact a shot. If the idea doesn’t work he moves on, it does, it might just be the best part of your day.”

Hadfield agrees he and Noonan made a good team for the video.

“Kerry had some great creative input on the video and he worked his butt off to make it all happen,” said Hadfield.

Hadfield was not only the cinematographer on the film, but he also had the opportunity to direct it. He says having this opportunity further cemented his knowledge on shooting ratios and how much you actually have to shoot to make a cohesive music video.

“Directors are always editing in their minds on set, and I think being a cinematographer who can also edit and has a deep knowledge of post-production is an advantage. Before you specialize you’ve got to know how the whole machine works. I think that’s the difference between film making now and film making 20 years ago. Before each position was very specialized and delegated in a militaristic way, but the contemporary digital cameras completely democratize the whole film making experience. Since everyone can now direct, shoot, edit, and mix sound more can be accomplished with a smaller amount of people,” he said.

From a young age Hadfield knew what his passion was, and his love for his art has contributed to his many achievements.

“I’ve always had an interest in cameras and filmmaking,” he said. I played with my dad’s camcorder as a kid, and made little movies with my sister. There’s footage of me somewhere filming my sister giving a tour of the house, and walking into a wall with the camera held up to my eye.”

His understanding and appreciation for the art of cinematography, as well as his inherent skill behind the camera show why Peter Hadfield’s name will continue to be seen on rolling on the credits, now and in the future.

MASTER FILM EDITOR TAKASHI UCHIDA’S LIGHT TOUCH STRIKES COMEDY GOLD

Whether film editor Takashi Uchida is assigned a drama, fantasy or action film, the Japanese born craftsman always delivers a crisp, distinctive cut which enhances the impact of any story. Equally adept at complex narrative dramas—he worked with ten different directors on Actors Anonymous—or the walloping animated adventure of the Netflix Kong: King of the Apes series, Takashi’s technical facility and innate grasp of any subject’s subtly and nuance is uniformly excellent.

Takashi’s instinct for what a story requires and the impact even a single frame of film can have to achieve a specific dramatic goal is masterly, and these formidable skills were recently brought to bear on a new type of subject for the editor, the fizzy tween comedy Jessica Darling’s IT LIST, an Amazon online release starring Disney TV actress and YouTube phenomenon Chloe East.

Adapted from the sixth of Megan McCafferty’s best-selling teen novel series, the middle school-set prequel presented a unique new setting for Takashi. The titular ‘It List” passed down by a sibling to her little sister when  she enters junior high, touts “the 3 Ps: popular, pretty, perfect” as Jessica’s requisite goals for survival. Intrigued at the prospect of exploring new thematic territory, Takashi didn’t hesitate.

“I was introduced, by a mutual friend, to editor Daniel Hanna, who was a good friend of the director, Ali Scher, and I joined the team as co-editor,” Takashi said. “After I started the project, a couple of Japanese friends said they had read the novel as teens and told me how the books actually became an important part of their young lives. So, I was really proud to be working on a project that I hoped would stay in the audience’s heart like that, as a bright spot in their own youth.”

Takashi doesn’t just inhabit a story, he carefully manipulates the action in a way that elevates each sequence. “In order to express the youth and freshness of the story, we were using a very playful editing style, making creative transitions,” he said. “But at the same time, however comedic it is, there’s still dramatic arc in each character and the editor’s job is to reconcile these two elements.”

Takashi’s deft handling of the story’s content paid off. “Takashi is a great editor because he is dedicated and detail oriented.” Scher said. “He’s also a fantastic storyteller. He can see where the story in a scene is and flush it out in the cut in a way I might not have thought of. That’s what a great editor does—brings the director a new perspective on something they’ve looked at a gazillion times. It’s always very exciting to get to see your film in a new light, the great editors understand this and push the envelope with their first cuts. Then it’s all about collaboration and marrying the two visions. Takashi excels at this because he doesn’t bring his ego to the table. The edit should never be a fight, but rather a dance, where the two partners each bring a lot of passion and a lot of give. Takashi is a great dance partner.”

Together with Hanna, the emotional content was carefully addressed. “In this film, we are trying to capture Jessica’s nervousness and struggle in this new place,” Takashi said. “It is her journey to find out who she is and also what it means to stay true to yourself. As an editor, crafting a narrative to express her emotion was the most important thing and our goal was, always, to build character and express their emotion.”

“There were a lot of challenges,” Takashi said. “I learned so much from editing this film. I was really lucky to work with such a talented director, Ali, and Dan, a great co-editor. Also, a lot of times the editor really has to work on shaping up the acting in post-production, but I didn’t have to worry about it at all—these kids were so talented. I am really proud of it and I believe this film will remain in the audience’s heart along with many other classic teen movies.”

The mutual pleasure which radiated throughout the IT LIST team imbued the finished product with great warmth, charm and appeal, and connected them on both a personal and professional level. “Takashi was such a joy to work with,” Scher said. “He was innovative and hard working. It takes a lot of determination and perseverance to be a great editor and Takashi worked a scene until it truly sang. I personally could not be more pleased with the work that Takashi did and the way the film turned out. I would definitely work with him again, no question.”

 

Mariana Wahrhaftig goes from fan to expert producer for Zelda symphony

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Mariana Wahrhaftig used her years of being a Zelda fan to her advantage for the concert series.

Most adults in today’s modern world grew up playing video games. For many children, opening up a gaming was the greatest gift they could possibly receive. A favorite video game often has more of an impact on a child than a favorite book, and people become nostalgic when talking about them.

 

Producer and director Mariana Wahrhaftig is one of those people. For her, like so many others, Nintendo was the system of choice, and Zelda was the game. But, for Wahrhaftig, she doesn’t have to talk about “the good old days” playing the game, because Zelda is her present.

Wahrhaftig was a producer for the third season of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest. The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is a concert that features music and video from the acclaimed video game The Legend of Zelda series where new and exclusive musical arrangements are played by a full live orchestra and choir in sync with vides played on a giant screen. Master Quest is the third season of this concert.

The Legend of Zelda was my childhood. I fell in love with the games after playing them, and have loved them ever since. The games’ soundtracks were basically the soundtracks to my childhood,” said Wahrhaftig.

As producer, she was responsible for all the new creative content of the show. She supervised the pieces, as well as produced it. She was in charge of the new piece for the Majora’s Mask game, which was a request from Nintendo, since they were releasing a remake of the 2000 game. She also was responsible for writing, and providing direction for the videos they recorded with the game creators. She directed creative content and produced the new videos, and some updates requested by Nintendo. She also worked a bit of tour logistics.

“I loved the fact that I got to work with my favorite video game, and bring life to pieces that would touch the hearts of fans and take them back down memory lane and re-live the moments from their childhoods,” she said.

Wahrhaftig worked alongside Bill Panks, a composer who orchestrated the Majora’s Mask piece under her direction, and Daniel Johnson, the editor of the videos that accompanied the music. Johnson described working with her as a “total blast.”

“We had so much fun on this project, and her insight and fandom for the Zelda games really helped guide me along in the edit, since at the time I had never played any of the games myself,” said Johnson. “Her knowledge and passion for all the little details of the Zelda universe really helped flesh out the final videos to be as rich and specific as possible for all the fans who came to the show.”

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The concert features videos that are perfectly timed with the music.

Wahrhaftig agrees that the experience was a great one, especially because of those she worked with.

“The videos are a huge part of the show, and they have to be perfectly in sync with the music, and Dan and I spent hours on end in front of his computer getting things just right,” she said. “He’s a star, he truly made the videos amazing. He knows his craft, and he does it really well.

I got to work with some great people who are very talented, and I am very thankful for that.”

The pressure was on for Wahrhaftig to deliver, as Zelda fans have a love for the game that is unlike most other video games.

“You want to make things that are true to the original games, and that are at Nintendo’s standards. You aren’t dealing with your own content, and so, everything you do, you have to make sure you do it right,” she said.

And it looks like she did, as The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses – Master Quest received extremely positive reviews, and is described as something every fan must see. And who better to do this, than a true fan.

Click here to buy tickets at a concert near you.