Roy Arwas: “How to inspire people”

That’s a tough one. There’s so much I’d want to do. But perhaps the thing I would try to inspire is for people to stop coming at each other with so much hate. I feel like the world teaches judgement before it teaches compassion. With compassion, there would be a lot less hate in the […]

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That’s a tough one. There’s so much I’d want to do. But perhaps the thing I would try to inspire is for people to stop coming at each other with so much hate. I feel like the world teaches judgement before it teaches compassion. With compassion, there would be a lot less hate in the world.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Director Roy Arwas, a British-Israeli filmmaker who has won over twenty festival awards and is a student Emmy nominee. Most recently, Roy produced, wrote, directed, and edited Clarity and in 2013 co-founded an independent production company Gearmark Pictures which created viral content on YouTube, leading to a sponsorship deal with Thunder Studios. One of the most notable videos Arwas created was Gym Wildlife where he served as writer, director and editor. It has received 40 million views and world-wide recognition from websites like FOX, Unilad, and Buzzfeed. He has become an in-house Editor for SidLee, one of Hollywood’s leading creative agencies, where he edits short trailers for upcoming Netflix Films, Amazon Films, and Theatrical Films. He is also a First Assistant Director for music videos for artists such as Wiz Khalifa, Ty Dolla Sign, Tyga, and Timbaland. Arwas has worked in key positions over 40 short films, commercials, Music Videos and is creating content and developing TV shows and feature films for socially relevant and important stories.

Thank you so much for doing this with us Roy! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

I was born in Israel and spent most of my childhood there until I moved to London at the age of 12. I am one of 4 children, and am the son of two incredibly hardworking parents. My parents have a travel agency for films, and I saw them put incredible efforts into not only growing their business, but saw all the sacrifices they made into giving us a better life.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Because of my parents’ business, I was introduced to the film industry at a very young age. However, my story with film really began when I received my first video camera at 15. I remember being profoundly fascinated with it, and began feeling this indescribable feeling whenever I got to film something. It wasn’t long until I began editing, and began to teach myself how to do VFX. The idea that I could artistically tell a story, and potentially help people or inspire them through my work was the final push for me to go all in. I went straight into studying it for my undergrad, and got my MFA in film production at USC.

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Perhaps my favorite story is that I met my now fiancé, who is also my producing partner, Tiffany K. Guillen, at USC. I find it so fascinating that my passion for filmmaking not only allowed me to do what I love, but it also brought me to find love.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

– Funny mistake? I wouldn’t say funny, but I’d say that the biggest mistake I made was I was too hard on myself from the get go, I didn’t give myself room for error, only to be made a joke out of when turning in what I thought was Oscar worthy material… So, my mistake — Didn’t think I could make mistakes… Fact is I made more than ever, and the moment I honed that and appreciated every mistake, I began to grow as a filmmaker.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

I’m currently creating a TV show with my fiancé and filmmaking partner while also Editing social campaign videos for Netflix/Amazon/Starz shows.

We are very interested in diversity in the entertainment industry. Can you share three reasons with our readers about why you think it’s important to have diversity represented in film and television? How can that potentially affect our culture?

My film, while it may not have a “diverse” cast, it was created by a diverse crew about a very important topic that is often times dismissed when told about it. Our crew consisted of all female key crew members, and a crew that comes from all different parts of the world. As a whole, Diversity is the key to create an industry that is equal, an industry that represents what the real world is, and an industry that has a voice for every audience. That is the most important part of art, to have it include an endless possibility of stories that can be told. Having such diversity can provide our culture with a great improvement on how we view each other around the world, perhaps providing insights to those who have no access to information.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You won’t find success in “becoming the best.” Success can only come when you choose the work that makes you feel fulfilled.
  2. Agents find you, you don’t find them.
  3. If you want to make it in this industry, you must create your own job, you must create your own stories. Don’t wait around for work to find you.
  4. Constantly challenge yourself to learn knew skills in filmmaking. It can help you become a bigger asset in this business. Always do your best to be the best contributor and collaborate.
  5. Don’t be scared to fail! If you don’t ever fail, it means you never tried… which is undeniably worse.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

I would say to remember that this is a marathon, not a race. The most successful people didn’t get to where they were because they got their first. Most of them got there because they persisted for quite some time. I also would say taking care of yourself, both mentally and physically, is severely underrated. No job or opportunity will ever be worth sacrificing your health.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

That’s a tough one. There’s so much I’d want to do. But perhaps the thing I would try to inspire is for people to stop coming at each other with so much hate. I feel like the world teaches judgement before it teaches compassion. With compassion, there would be a lot less hate in the world.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My partner in crime, Tiffany Kontoyiannis Guillen, has changed my life for the better and continues to do so every single day. When I met her I was very much a writer for solely entrainment. However, her passion for telling stories that inspire change in the world struck a chord with me and inspired me to really push myself to do good with the stories we create. I went on a journey, with the help ion Tiffany, to find the reason I want to tell stories, and nowadays I write with a purpose, a purpose to make change, big or small, even if it’s to inspire an audience member to pick up the phone and call their loved one.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

It might be cliche, but “Go with the flow.” Lately I’ve come to terms with the fact that if something is meant for you, there is quite literally nothing that will get in the way of it. If something’s not meant to be, accept it. It wasn’t the right path for you.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I recently did a virtual Tony Robbins seminar, so I’d have to say him. He’s really inspired me to push myself towards becoming the best version of myself, and has inspired me to challenge myself even further.

How can our readers follow you online?

Instagram: @royarwas / website:

This was very meaningful, thank you so much! We wish you continued success!

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