We recently caught up with the talented and young filmmaker from Greece –Velvet Datsopoulou. She gave us some insights about what it means to be a producer, as well as what inspires her in this field. Here is what she had to share with us:
What does a producer do? How does it differ from the role of a director?
A producer’s role is multifaceted. It involves overseeing the whole film production. It’s basically the person who is the champion from the beginning to get the project started, select the script, gather the team, find the director, arrange the financing, and get the movie distributed. It is all encompassing.
The director is the person who is creatively responsible for the artistic and dramatic aspects of the film. That’s the person who visualizes the script and brings it to life, while guiding the cast and the technical crew in the fulfillment of that vision.
I have been in both roles, but over time decided to focus more on producing. I enjoy the multitasking, the organizational work, and managing the entire film project. I try to have a combination of business and creative sensibility to succeed in this line of work.
In taking on new projects, what do you look for?
Producers are in the business to tell a great story and also have commercial success. So it’s important for me to pick projects that have potential to do both – inspire the audiences artistically and keep my investors happy by making money. It comes down to commercial instincts.
My projects tend to involve stories that are about human relationships, psychological challenges that characters face and overcome. I enjoy bringing to life stories that depict the triumph of the human soul in the face of adversity. Stories that bring us together and remind us our common humanity.
Tell us how you go about selecting a director. What are some of the qualities you look for?
The director is a key element of any film project, and I’ve learned from experience that it’s important to find someone who matches my creative vision, who has a track record that gives me confidence and who can influence an audience with his artistic sensibilities. I look at their creative talent and assess what’s needed for the project. Overall, you want to make sure the director sees the movie the way you see it.
What projects do you have coming up?
I am working on an independent feature film that will be shot primarily on an island in Greece during the summer of 2021 and will involve a Greek-American cast. I will collaborate with a New York-based filmmaker Tom Sklavos. While we are not ready to share many details about the script yet, I can tell you that this film will capture characters who navigate psychological challenges and live through the emotional damage of their pasts. The vision we have for this film is heavily influenced by David Lynch and Bernardo Bertolucci. In particular, our project’s creative direction is similar to Bertolucci’s style that blended poetry, politics, and psychological depth.