Bellarosa’s Just A Game music video was shot during the pandemic lockdown, produced and shot by Half and Half Social, Directed by Paula Vergara who is also a creative & marketing director and co-Founder of Half & Half Social.
Paula has an ability to imagine a concept and make it a reality. Her process involves everything from generating ideas and assembling the right team to seeing the project through to the final stages of production. Her past experience managing projects for national and international companies gives her the knowledge about each aspect of the production and creative process and how to make things happen. It is our pleasure to speak to Paula about her latest project.
How did you start making films and what was the first film project you worked on?
It all started while working on our client’s projects, corporate and advertising videos, then I participated in short documentary as Creative Director but when we as a company got the opportunity to work for a local artist, creating a videoclip for a 14-year-old musician, I took the lead and directed the project and I felt in love with the whole filmmaking process. What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
This was a challenging project to work on, not only because we were in the middle of a pandemic lockdown, with no locations to film at, short of staff because of the distancing policies and all of the crazy things you can imagine if you are a filmmaker hoping to get everything you need from the producers and the whole team. But also, we had only 4 days to come up with the whole concept, visually and creatively. Plus a 3 days window for editing, which we were able to complete in a record time considering there was some VFX needed to be done. I definitely enjoyed the whole process and learned a lot from everything and everyone. What is the most challenging aspect of being an independent female filmmaker in the film industry?
Well, it is not a secret that the filmmaking industry is predominantly dominated by men, fortunately I count with the endless support from my husband who has more experience in the industry, and my entire team who I know I can count on. I have to be humble and accept that I lack experience and this is my first project directing and I hope not the last one.
How difficult is it to fund indie films?
It’s almost a mission impossible, especially in the middle of a pandemic as I mentioned before. There is some support out there but everything takes time, it could be better and it’s something that London, where I am from, is trying to improve by creating the London Film Office. How did your project go into production and how did you finalize the cast and the crew?
Honestly it was a rush project. We were starting the first lockdown due to Covid and we only had 4 days to pre-produce and only 1 day to film the video. We were lucky to have found the location and everything else we needed. We shot everything in 1 day ( 15 hours) and did all the post production in 72 hours.
How was the film received by your audience and film festivals and what is your plan for further distribution of the film?
We have won The Telly Award bronze in the craft- filmmaking and cinematography category for music video, and two official selections, one for the Toronto International Film Festival for best music video and one for the Toronto Film Magazine for best director. The video had an amazing engagement on YouTube getting more than 1k views in one day. We are applying for different film festivals and waiting for decisions to be able to support this 15 year old artist from London, ON. Bella Rosa.
What do you recommend to other filmmakers regarding the making and the distribution of independent films?
Is not an easy game but is one that any independent filmmaker will enjoy and it’s worth it. Keep trying and pushing and following your dreams.
What is your next film project and what are you currently working on?
Right now we are still supporting Bella Rosa and in fact we just finished another video for her latest release, Dead Lies, that will launch Friday June 11, 2021.
Why do you make films?
I started as a graphic designer, art director, creative director plus I love theatre, and I decided to mix all that knowledge for my first video and fall in love with the whole process.