All posts by Christina Williams

Actress Sarah Wessendorf Wows Global Audiences in “Chain Opera”

Sarah Wessendorf
Actress Sarah Wessendorf shot by Lars Gehrlein

Projected in planetariums around the globe, Chain Opera and The New Infinity introduce a new medium to filmmaking that has already begun to impress international audiences.

The film Chain Opera opens in a hospital room, where a woman is faced with an existential crisis after a medical event requires her to reexamine her life. Playing an anthropomorphized role, actor Sarah Wessendorf reveals to the woman that the path she has thus far followed was not really of her own choosing, but instead a construct created by perceived expectations of society, whom Wessendorf’s character personifies. 

What’s even more intriguing than Chain Opera’s storyline, however, is the venue in which it is displayed. Unlike most film viewings, Chain Opera is projected not on a flat screen but instead on the 360-degree panoramic canvas of a planetarium. 

The incorporation of the planetarium as a post-modern theatre is the center point of The New Infinity exhibition, of which Chain Opera is a part. Created as a collaboration between the Berliner Festspiele’s Immersion series and Planetarium Hamburg, The New Infinity exhibition features a variety of films and exhibits from many award-winning producers, artists and directors, all of which are displayed in the planetarium. 

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Still of “Chain Opera”

“Planetariums have been high-tech spaces from their very inception, a sophisticated simulation of artificial worlds…” writes Berliner Festspiele about The New Infinity, “so why not use these institutions for artistic projects? The aim of this new project is not only to democratize the high technology of these places but, as an alternative to the works usually in the program, to invite contemporary artists to develop specific works of art for this ‘new’ medium, which is becoming increasingly accessible in the digital age.” 

The New Infinity debuted in a mobile planetarium designed by Planetarium Hamburg at the Berlin Art Week in late 2018 and was a popular success, attracting more than 23,000 people over the three weeks it was open. 

Since opening, The New Infinity has toured internationally and has received widespread acclaim. It debuted in the US at the Festival of Disruption by David Lynch in Los Angeles in June of 2019 and continues its tour this summer, with future installments scheduled for Hamburg (Aug 13-18), Mariannenplatz (Sept 5-17) and the Berlin Art Festival (Sept 18-Nov. 24). 

Written by Holly Herndon and Matthew Dryhurst and directed by Jos McKain, Chain Opera could not be a more appropriate story for the panoramic setting. Consider the gravity of a character contemplating their life using the planetarium as a medium… How vast that quandary must feel for not only the character, but for every member of the audience in attendance. 

What is even more uncanny is how Chain Opera  parallels the real-life experiences of Wessendorf. Similar to the bedridden character in the film who is forced to confront her mortality, Wessendorf was faced with a similar situation when she was wrongly diagnosed with cancer several years ago. 

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Actress Sarah Wessendorf shot by Lars Gehrlein

“It rocked my world,” Wessendorf said, “I felt how precious this life is and that every minute doing what I don’t want to is throwing away a chance of experiencing this beautiful gift.” This pivotal experience not only influenced Sarah to pursue acting as a full-time career, it also opened her mind to pursue a wider range of stories and roles.  

Perhaps this open-mindedness was part of what led The New Infinity to Sarah. “I was suggested to the director Jos McKain by another director who had seen my work… Looking back now,” Sarah recounted, “I believe that my path was exactly planned and every experience was meant to be.”

“[Chain Opera] forced me to question my own life… To go against what society and family expects comes with a lot of pain, confusion and anxiety. But when you realize you lose yourself and waste your precious life if you conform, it all becomes worth it. The fight… the struggle to stay true to oneself will always be the right choice in the end.” 

According to Berliner Festspielethe, the second cycle of “The New Infinity” will have its world premiere in August 2019 at Planetarium Hamburg in cooperation with the International Summer Festival Kampnagel. Returning to the Berlin Art Week in September, the new works will again be shown in the Mobile Dome, return to its original location on Berlin’s Mariannenplatz

With The New Infinity series, the Berliner Festspiele aim at making planetariums and their technical knowledge available to all types of artists, including sound artists, musicians, filmmakers, and video game designers who want to explore the immersive genre of full dome projections. 

Extending beyond the medium of the planetarium, Berliner Festspiele is pioneering the development of Virtual Reality (VR) technology. “Besides these full dome productions, we have also been producing films for VR glasses since 2016 to develop artistic works that make it possible to experience the positions of contemporary artists in this young medium.”

The future is here, and art keeps up with the times. The avant garde is introduced by the most forward thinkers, of which the group of people contributing to The New Infinity, Chain Opera,  and the entire Berliner Festspiele Immersion series are. Sarah Wessendorf is no exception, communicating the same ideas both on and off the screen. 

“My personal mission for myself is to show how nothing truly differs between us except our experiences. If you would have experienced what I experienced you would understand and have compassion.” Much like the concept behind The New Infinity, “I love expressing how in the end we are all one.”

 

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Q & A with Actress Sarah Wessendorf from “Chain Opera” and The New Infinity Exhibition

Sarah Wessendorf
Actress Sarah Wessendorf

 

German actress Sarah Wessendorf, who plays a key role in the film Chain Opera, is one of the few actors in the world who can confidently say that one of their films has been broadcast in planetariums around the world.

An amalgamation of a narrated story, choral music, and filmed material, director Jos McKain’s Chain Opera is an innovative blend of a film and a documented performance, and it’s a main feature of The New Infinity exhibition. Debuting in Berlin earlier this year where it drew more than 23,000 visitors, The New Infinity is a planetarium-inspired immersive art experience that utilizes digital audio and visual technology to create a full-dome experience. 

Chain Opera, a major highlight of the exhibition, invites audiences to lay down their traditional assumptions about life – and the movie-going experience – and open their minds to alternative ideas. The film questions the influential power society holds over each and everyone of us, and its far-reaching effects on the decisions and paths we take in life.

We were lucky enough to catch up with Sarah Wessendorf, who’s character in Chain Opera acts as a symbol of society, to interview her about the film. When asked about what drew her to the project, Wessendorf explained, “I was captivated by the topic of how society influences us… which often can prevent us from living out our true passion and our calling in life. If we cannot stop these voices and actually start listening to what is true and what is authentic to us, we might have to come to terms with the fact that we have wasted a big portion of our life either working for someone else’s dream or fulfilling the expectations our parents, neighbours, teachers and society at large… The consequences of this can be far more painful than actually taking the leap and trusting that the universe has got our back.”

Sarah Wessendorf
Actress Sarah Wessendorf

For Wessendorf, the power of the film’s message is deeply personal. Though she grew up performing on stages as an actress, she admits that she was influenced by a slew of external forces, including her family and society, to veer away from her career as an actress and choose something more ‘stable.’ It wasn’t until she was falsely diagnosed with cancer several years ago that she experienced a major wake-up call that life is short and you should do what you love. She’s dedicated her life to her passion and career as an actress ever since, and she’s become quite a successful one at that.

Through the film Chain Opera Wessendorf’s poignant performance has been seen by audiences across the globe as The New Infinity art installation continues to tour internationally. Reinventing the wheel in a way, the exhibition has innovated upon the use of planetariums as a venue for science and education, and turned them into a space for contemporary art; and it is slated to be on view in Wisdome LA’s 360-degree dome theatre next year. 

CW: Hey Sarah, thanks for joining us! Can you start by telling us a little more about The New Infinity exhibition?

SW: The program series is a collaboration between Berliner Festspiele and Planetarium Hamburg. It has and will continue to feature selected filmmakers, visual artists, sound artists and game developers until the conclusion of its cycle in 2020. Some of those featured include David OReilly, Holly Herndon, Mathew Dryhurst and Fatima Al Qadiri. All of the projects are broadcast in a mobile planetarium that is setup in each new location.

New Infinity is a very captivating project. The idea behind it was to connect humans through the ancient form of coming together, looking past ourselves and gazing into the stars. We as humans have done this for centuries, wondering what is out there, who we are beyond this experience. 

New Infinity implies that we, as humans, still crave to look beyond who we are on this world and into the infinite night sky, but have lost touch with this as we have expanded technology and innovation. The goal of the New Infinity project is to combine this ancient longing with modern technology.  

CW: How about the film Chain Opera?

SW: In the film, a woman is stuck in a hospital room at the charité in Berlin. she is pained with agony because she realizes that her life goals weren’t her own, they were dictated by society. All her struggles, all her losses on the way, were in vain. She has to confront the fact that her life in the end was wasted by the expectation that society had of her, one that she happily and readily accepted. Society (which I play) shows her the crushing truth of her life, and leads her into an existential crisis– one where, if she doesn’t completely reinvent herself on her own terms she will be forever lost. 

This all is shown through either monologues or dialogues with my character, Society. It is a very abstract and artistic film… there isn’t a direct moment to moment story line. It is fear, pain and agony expressed in different pictures, frames and situations.

Sarah Wessendorf
Actress Sarah Wessendorf

CW: Did you see Chain Opera in the planetarium? What was that like? 

SW: I saw the film during Berlin’s Art Week in the mobile dome constructed in front of the Bethanien Art Institute, an iconic and breathtaking architectural landmark. Just like the concept behind New Infinity, the planetarium reminds you of gatherings when humans were living in times of simplicity, under the night sky, hearing stories, learning and coming together. The impermanence of the planetarium’s construction gave it the unique feeling of both stability and elusiveness, which could be interpreted as a nod to human existence. 

Bringing the audience of my generation into planetariums is such a wonderful idea! It reanimates places usually geared toward a specific group of people. Watching almost in a laying position gave the whole experience a calm, meditative feeling. It was a completely new way of taking in a film. Because they were in a dome, everybody sat in circles together… so much more connected than in cinema rows. These showings felt very intimate. I felt involved, captivated…  as though the characters surrounded me; I had to look, find, focus on specific parts. It made for an unforgettable experience and it was very inspiring to see the forms of architecture, technology and art come together in that way.  

CW: Chain Opera debuted during the Berlin Art Week. Did you attend, and can you tell us a little more about Berlin Art Week as a whole?  

SW: Since the early 20s, Berlin has been a city for artists. Even now, in certain areas, everyone seems to be creating, planning and being inspired by art. Berlin Art Week is a week in which Berlin showcases all the amazing, modern art that is created in the vibrant city. 

During this festival, artists, museums, buyers, and collectors all come together to connect. Art brings people together, no matter the nationality, religion, or beliefs. If art is not shown to the world, it remains unknown; it is about being seen and experienced! This is why Berlin Art Week is so important.

I was able to attend the festival and see the film debut. It was an amazing experience! I really enjoyed being with my cast members and viewing all the other projects, but also hearing about how our film influenced the thinking and minds of the audience that watched it. 

Sarah Wessendorf
Actress Sarah Wessendorf

CW: How was working with the director Jos McKain as you mentioned you knew each other from before?

SW: Jos McKain, the director, asked if I wanted to become part of Chain Opera. He and I became very close friends and I could not have asked for a better director. Jos comes from a dancing background, which we have in common. To approach filmmaking from this background helps immensely with intensifying the physical expression and aspect. It made for a very powerful combination of monologue and using the body to portray emotions, beliefs and opinions. 

It was a joy working with someone who takes their craft so seriously and is not afraid to take risks. I admired this about Jos very much, and it helped me to give back the same trust and passion while working on the film.

CW: Is there any other story or part of your experience in Chain Opera you’d like to share?

SW: Chain Opera was shot in a historic part of the Charité, the largest university hospital in Europe. The charité is one of the most renowned institutions in Germany, and gave birth to more than half of all German Nobel Prize winners in Medicine and Physiology, including Robert Koch and Paul Ehrlich.

We filmed the majority of the production in an old classroom, with extremely high ceilings and a round shaped room. The room had not been restored; it was almost falling apart but at the same time had kept the essence of years and years of medical teaching and discovery. To shoot the film there felt important and daring at the same time. 

 

Mesmerizing Dramatic Actress Eliana Jones

HemlockCarpet
Actress Eliana Jones

While Eliana Jones is only 18 years old, her resume boasts the accomplishments of an actor well beyond her age. While she has undoubtedly made her name known in the world of television, Jones has given a slew of knock out performances on the stage and in feature films like Step Dogs as well. Her television career, however, is what has catapulted her to the top of her industry.

While Jones has appeared on array of award-winning television shows over the years, her career got a major boost when she landed the recurring role of the caddy high school teenager, Alexa Sworn, on executive producer Eli Roth’s (director, Hostel series; actor, Grindhouse: Death Proof, Inglorious Bastards) Netflix original series Hemlock Grove.

The Emmy nominated Hemlock Grove tells the story of a small town reeling from the recent murders of several teenage girls. Jones’ character Alexa, and her twin sister Alyssa, played by Emilia McCarthy (Kid’s Town, Maps to the Stars, Max and Shred), are the daughters of Hemlock Grove Sheriff, Tom Sworn, played by Aaron Douglas (The Returned, I, Robot) and the best friends of Christina Wendall, played by Freya Tingley (Once Upon a Time). Often eliciting intense reactions from their peers as they taunt and ridicule students at their high school, the Sworn sisters are the exact opposite of their quiet and reserved friend Christina, and their caddy nature might just make them the killer’s next target; but you’ll just have to watch the first season of the show to find out.

Hemlock Grove has received widespread praise and critical acclaim, and is currently in its third and final season. Other notable actors who worked with Jones on Hemlock Grove include Famke Janssen (Phoenix in the X-Men series), Dougray Scott (Mission Impossible 2, Taken 2, Ever After), and Bill Skarsgard (Vicoria, Anna Karenina, Behind Blue Skies).

The first hit television show Jones landed was Nikita, in which she debuted on screen as the younger version of Alex, one of the show’s lead characters who was played by Lyndsy Fonseca (Kick Ass; Kick Ass 2; How I Met Your Mother; Desperate Housewives). Nikita, which aired on the CW, has been nominated for numerous awards, including two Primetime Emmys.

Jones debuted her versatility in the role depicting young Alex through the show’s repeated flashbacks in nine episodes over the course of the first and second seasons. During many of the episodes Jones had the opportunity to display her knack for dialects and speaking other languages, an asset that has assuredly set her apart from other actresses.

“I often spoke Russian throughout the show,” Jones explained in an interview, “which is something that I had to spend hours learning!”

Her rendition was spot-on, however, which contributed toward many of the subsequent roles for which she was cast. The CW enjoyed Jones’ portrayal of young Alex so much in Nikita, that not long later the network cast her for another younger version of a lead character. In the hit TV series Lost Girl, Jones played teen Tasmin, the younger version of Rachel Skarsten’s (50 Shades of Gray; The Vow) starring character.

Jones has captivated television audiences on many other shows, including the CBC series Saving Hope, in which she acts alongside Wendy Crewson (Air Force One; The Santa Clause), as well as YTV’s The Stanley Dynamic, where leads the series alongside prolific television star Michael Gross (Anger Management; Suits; How I Met Your Mother; ER; The Young and the Restless).

Jones gave yet another dazzling performance in the feature film Step Dogs (2013), where she played the starring role of Lacey, a spoiled teenager from Hollywood who is forced to move to Canada with her aunt and their dog. The plotline follows both Lacey and her dog as they adjust to a new way of life, encountering many surprises, challenges and new relationships along the way.

Currently, Eliana Jones is in production for The Family Channel’s Backstage, a new show that follows a group of extremely talented artists, dancers, singers, painters, and actors. Backstage is set to begin airing in January of 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Producer Wows Audiences Across Cultures

Producer Min Dai shot by  Jan Cain
                                                                  Producer Min Dai shot by Jan Cain

In today’s global economy, cultural exchange is a valuable tool to possess. So has been the experience of producer Min Dai, who will attest that running productions in both China and the United States has greatly developed her ability to work in varying cultural conditions.

Throughout the last 10 years, Min has been in charge of the production process for countless film, television, and musical projects in both China and the US.

In addition to her work in editing and production, Min has extensive experience in writing, directing, visual effects, sound and cinematography. With such rich, far-reaching expertise in these areas, one can safely say that Min fully knows the ins and outs of the filmmaking process.

Her knowledge about the production process began long before she was able to contribute. As a child, Min learned what it took to run a successful production company from her mother. As a teenager, Min began writing, producing, and directing her own films, as well as those for independent filmmakers.

As a young adult, she began her professional career with the China International Television Corporation. During her time there, Min was put in charge of the production for several television series, including Mission for Peace and King of Silk, which starred major Chinese actors such as Ma Yili and Zhang Guangbei.

While in China, Min also served as executive producer for the King’s Film Company as well as the WIN China Group, where she spearheaded the production and editing processes for many films and commercials.

Min began to collaborate on projects in the United States upon partnering with Jackie Subeck of Footprint Worldwide, a company that works closely with Chinese productions. While working with Footprint, Min led live production for Linkin Park and 30 Seconds to Mars for the Chinese portion of their international tours.

It was not long after these experiences that Min brought her talent to the United States. During her time in the US, Min has focused on film, which she describes as her favorite type of production.

While Min has produced many dramatic films, including Eat a Hot Dumpling Slowly, Device, Icebox, Meeting Gary and 4 Latas, she has also thrived as a producer of documentary films.

“At times,” Min said, “I find documentaries have a much stronger social impact, [and are] sometimes more intense than a thriller.”

Two of these documentaries that were of particular social impact were A Trip to Tibet and You and Me.

A Trip to Tibet followed a group of teachers from Beijing who volunteered to help in a Tibetan school. During their time there, they found that the conditions were far worse than they had imagined, calling attention to the current struggle in Tibet and the country’s need for support.

You and Me offered a somber glimpse into “the dark side of elderly care taking” in the Washington region. The film showed how many senior citizens are abandoned and treated poorly, and highlighted the Washington County Home, which takes in many elderly lacking resources and access to care.

Min recently worked with InterMix Productions on another documentary, entitled Wake Up With Me, which is currently in post-production. The film features a group of people living in New York, and attempted to answer the question: does social media help people connect, or does it prevent them from doing so?

As she has continued to demonstrate her abilities in the US, Min has developed relationships with high-ranking figures in the entertainment industry. One such example is Carl Gilliard, whom Min met during the filming of Meeting Gary.

Gilliard is not only known for his role as an actor in more than 70 films, including Inception, Coach Carter, and the television series 24, but he is also the founder of the Gilliard Media Group. Min is currently working with the Gilliard Media Group on several upcoming projects.

Min’s dedication to making the best decisions in the production process is evident, as she has had a tremendous role as producer of countless critically acclaimed films, television series’, commercials, and events to which she has lent her talent; and she shows no signs of stopping.

 

 

 

Spotlight on Child Star, Alexander Davis!

Alexander Davis
                                       Alexander Davis on set of the film “Niko”

While it takes many actors years to develop great range, at eight years old, child actor Alexander Davis has continued to demonstrate his extraordinary talent in a variety of genres through leading roles in theatre and film; and his career has continued to flourish as a result.

Alexander was born in Russia, and placed into the care of an orphanage as an infant. When he was 16 months old, he was adopted and moved to Canada to live with his parents and older brother, Richard.

It was Richard who inspired Alexander to pursue acting. “My brother is a professional actor, and I wanted to be just like him,” Alexander explains. “When I was three years old, I had a chance to be in a film with my brother… My parents could see I had a ‘gift’ for acting as well.”

The film he describes was In Lieu of Flowers. While this was Alexander’s first time appearing on film, it was far from his last. In this film, Alexander’s character was used as a plot device for the pregnant lead actress to ponder the life of her unborn child.

This experience excited Alexander, who began begging his parents to let him try acting, just like Richard. His parents agreed to allow him to start auditioning for roles when he turned five, and Alexander has been working non-stop ever since. He says, “I started working regularly that year… with people calling my mother, asking if they could use me in upcoming films.”

In the last three years, Alexander has excelled as both a dramatic and comedic actor on film through his roles as Thomas in A Long Way Home, Alex in Senior Drivers, Jacob in Volition and many others. He has even proven to have quite the proclivity for horror films, terrifying audiences through his portrayals of the title character in the film Niko and young Charlie in the film Neighbour.

As Niko, Alexander haunts the babysitter who murdered him and his mother, eventually driving her into an insane asylum, where he continues to torment her.

Besides acting in the film, Alexander recalls how he particularly enjoyed the special effects in the making of Niko, “It was so much fun to find out how horror films are made. I think the make-up artists in horror films have an awesome job… if I wasn’t an actor, I think it would be cool to do this.”

Alexander continued to send shivers down audience’s spines as Young Charlie in the film Neighbour. In this classic haunted house story, Charlie interrupts the lives of the new owners of his childhood home, who soon learn about the house’s sordid past.

Volition, which screened at the 2013 Grand River Film Festival, takes audiences to a more dramatic genre where Alexander’s character Jacob encounters a terrorist who plans to attack the train on which they ride. However, after meeting Jacob the man is overwhelmed with uncertainty over whether to continue with his plan. To find out if Jacob’s innocence is enough to detour the man away from committing this act of violence, you’ll just have to watch the film.

A more accurate representation of Alexander’s true personality emerges in Senior Drivers, where he played Alex, the grandson of an elderly couple who are late in taking him to his doctor appointment. Senior Drivers allowed Alexander to express his sense of humor, which was appreciated by critics and audiences alike, evidenced in his 2014 Young Artist Award nomination for his performance in the film.

Alexander learned the meaning of hard work in his role as Randy Parker in A Christmas Story, in which the cast staged 48 shows in six weeks. To commend his work, Alexander received the 2015 Young Artist Award for Best Performance in Live Theatre for his role in A Christmas Story.

Most recently, Alexander landed guest starring roles as the voice of Brownie and Checkers in the PBS television series Super Why!, which is scheduled to be released later this year. Confirming yet again another of his many talents, Alexander will also give audiences a chance to hear his singing voice in the series.

Alexander Davis has already soared to great heights in the entertainment industry; and with the upcoming release of Super Why!, and several more projects on the horizon, this little cutie will undoubtedly be touching the hearts of audiences everywhere for years to come.

Brazilian Event Producer Makes a Name for Himself in the U.S.

Today producer Sylvio Fagundes is known as the mastermind behind a long list of events. He’s not shy about his ambitions, admitting, “You have to take chances and risks in life if you want to make it to a place where you really want to be.”

A motto to live by that has clearly served him well, the Brazilian native has strategically used each and every one of the various roles that he’s taken on over the years in the event and media industries to build a dynamic foundation for his career as an event producer.

Fagundes began his journey as a journalist and photographer, covering events for the popular radio station Jovem Pan FM. Jovem Pan was something of a launch pad for him as it was there that he discovered his passion for music, but the call of event life was too great to ignore so when he was asked to go on tour with singer-songwriter Alex Band, best known for his work as lead singer of The Calling, Fagundes jumped on board.

The nine-city tour across Brazil was an unforgettable experience, and only further solidified Fagundes’s fascination with producing large-scale musical events.

“It motivated me to pursue a career as an event producer in the music industry”, he recalls.

After the tour, Fagundes was hired by Yahoo! as a staff photographer where he had the opportunity to photograph an extensive list of high profile concerts including Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, Gloria Gaynor, Diana Krall, Chris Brown, The Prodigy and Moby.

As his reputation as a sought after photographer in the industry grew, Fagundes continually found himself in the right place at the right time, allowing him to develop connections with prominent figures in the live event and public relations industries. Thanks to these connections, as well as his background in communications, media and journalism helped him build a strong foundation as an event producer, and in relatively no time at all Fagundes was working on monumental events like the 2011 Miss Universe beauty pageant, which was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and commemorated the event’s 60th anniversary.

Since then Sylvio Fagundes has also amassed an astonishing collection of producing credits for music festivals including Brazil’s first Lollapalooza edition, the 2012 Sao Paulo Live Music Rocks Festival featuring Maroon 5 and Keane, and the 2012 Pop Music Festival featuring Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Lopez. He even had the opportunity to work on the production of rock and roll legend Sir Paul McCartney’s 2010 Up and Coming World tour.

After producing some of the largest and most notable events in Brazil, Fagundes moved to the U.S. to further his education in the music business at UCLA; but naturally, his proven track record of success caught the attention of those in the event industry in LA, which led him to assist in securing the talent the 2013 Los Angeles American Trend Vision Awards on behalf of leading cosmetics company Wella. The event, which featured music icon Blondie, was a rather synchronic development for the young event producer who by that time had barely been in the U.S. for a year.

A diehard concert lover even when he’s not at work, the first show he attended stateside as an audience member was Blondie.

“It felt like a full circle. I would have never imagined that the first concert I would help assist in the USA would also feature this artist,” admitted Fagundes.

In addition to music-based events, Fagundes’s skillset as an event producer has come to include producing film festivals and award shows like the 2013 Hollywood Brazilian Film Fest in Los Angeles and the Sao Paulo International Film Festival. But his list of production credits does not end there; in fact, it doesn’t seem like they end at all.

In addition to concerts, massive music festivals, film festivals and award shows Sylvio Fagundes has also produced street fairs, motorcycle rides and parades.

Fagundes currently works for Nuell Entertainment, where some of his recent production accomplishments include securing music from The Allman Brothers, ZZ Top, and The Wallflowers for GEICO national television campaigns as well as a nationwide celebrity image licensing campaign with Sebastian Professional and pop superstar Kesha to serve as the face of the “Rock Your Shaper” advertising campaign.

With his expertise in photography, journalism and public relations all blending together to give him an edge that sets him apart from other event producers, Fagundes’s diverse resume demonstrates that when a person is passionate about their work there is literally nothing they can’t accomplish.

(Pictured from left to right at MILK Studios : Sebastien Professional Prestige Brand Manager Becky Godlove (Sebastian/Wella/Nioxin Brands), Sebastian Professional Brand Manager Bailey Dyer, Education Director for Sebastian Professional Christina McCarver, singer-songwriter Kesha, P&G Salon Professional Education Director Carole Protat, Nuell Entertainment VP Global Partnerships Fred Sherman, Nuell Entertainment President Gary Nuell, Sylvio Fagundes.
(Pictured from left to right at MILK Studios : Sebastien Professional Prestige Brand Manager Becky Godlove (Sebastian/Wella/Nioxin Brands), Sebastian Professional Brand Manager Bailey Dyer, Education Director for Sebastian Professional Christina McCarver, singer-songwriter Kesha, P&G Salon Professional Education Director Carole Protat, Nuell Entertainment VP Global Partnerships Fred Sherman, Nuell Entertainment President Gary Nuell, Sylvio Fagundes.

Featured Film Editor: Said Franco!

Film Editor Said Franco
                                                                                         Film Editor Said Franco

In the world of filmmaking, many groups work together to create a production. The vision of the director, the roles of the actors, and the reach of the production team are all important. That being said, it doesn’t matter how incredible these teams are if the film falls apart in the post-production process.

The skill of a film editor can make or break an entire production. When a production company finds a film editor that can rapidly create quality content, they hold onto them. Perhaps this is why Said Franco, 29, has remained so busy for the last decade.

Franco was born in Mexico City, and found himself fascinated with the filmmaking process from a young age. At 15, he decided that he wanted to pursue a career in film editing. At that point, he set out to complete all the necessary education required to turn his dream into a reality.

Franco began working as a film editor immediately after graduating from the University of Mexico with an MBA in TV and Communications. The first job he secured was in 2008, as an assistant editor for the Spanish TV series Capadocia. To add a dash of prestige to his early resume, this series was nominated for three Emmy awards, in addition to winning numerous awards at other events.

After he began working in film editing, Franco realized that he had chosen his career wisely: “While working on Capadocia, I learned that I had the skills that an editor needs to succeed in the business.” Apparently, many other companies have acknowledged his skills as well, as he has since been recruited to lend his talent to an onslaught of productions.

Recently, Franco has been working for Rancho Studios as a chief editor on many international commercials, including those for Apple, Coca-Cola, Ducati, Hershey’s, Sony, and Wal-Mart. After completing commercials for Coca-Cola and Sony, both companies returned to Rancho and asked if Franco would edit their future commercials.

Microsoft also hired Franco for more work after seeing the results of his holiday promotional commercials for the Xbox gaming system. Franco agreed to edit commercials for many video games, including Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty, FIFA 2013, Grand Theft Auto, Halo, and the Need for Speed.

Not all of Franco’s editing work has taken place within the confines of an office though. As a result of his success in his career as a film editor, he has had the opportunity to set forth upon many adventures.

On one of these adventures, Franco travelled to Spain as a representative for Heineken. Heineken, who sponsored the Champions League of Europe football game, hired Franco to edit each game, which was then broadcast to television networks throughout Europe. During his time in Spain, he edited a total of 25 games and six additional events.

While working for Grupo Televisa, the largest media company in Latin America, Franco edited a commercial campaign for the 2010 World Cup. During the month that the campaign for the World Cup aired, he edited five commercials a week, which were broadcast to many major television networks throughout Latin America.

Franco has a wide variety of experience in many different genres of film editing. In addition to his prominent work in commercials and sports, he has expertise in editing television shows, YouTube channels, and music videos.

Several of the music videos Franco has edited have achieved widespread acclaim including the “Voces” video he edited for Division Minuscula, and the “Miedo a Caer” video he edited for Ruido Rosa.

When it comes to film editing, Said Franco is comfortable working within any genre. In the last 10 years, he has repeatedly demonstrated his expertise in his field. This continues to be confirmed as companies return for more work after viewing his product. As important as the film editor is, it’s no wonder they continue to return.