Home Director Interview: Federico Guarascio, Making a Career Producing Documentaries in Modern America

Interview: Federico Guarascio, Making a Career Producing Documentaries in Modern America

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Federico Guarascio is a producer, writer and author of Cinema and Television

Federico Guarascio is a producer, writer and author of Cinema and Television. He was born, Federico Guarascio in Rome, Italy 34 years ago. After graduating in ‘Contemporary History and Philosophy‘ he followed it up with a Master’s Degree in ‘Film Journalism‘. Federico began work in an Ad. Production Company called “Sparring Partner Production”. He later kicked of production of his personal projects back in 2011. That same year he met Alex Lora and they kindled a collaborative partnership that lasts until today.

In 2017 he won a Scholarship to study Production at The New York Film Academy, a very intense and interdisciplinary course where he learned the skills needed for work in a very competitive market like the United States. Federico stayed in New York with a special working Visa called OPT and started working on several projects. Meanwhile he continued working with Alex Lora, who had moved to New York.

indieactivity : How would you describe your work as a producer and agent?
Federico Guarascio : One word, hectic!

indieactivity : How did you get into producing/agent?
Federico Guarascio : When I started to feel the need to express myself with the cinematographic medium I had a lot of difficulty finding someone who believed in and wanted to invest in me, Italy is much different from USA, so I started to self-produce my projects and from that moment I never stopped. f you want something done well o properly, do it yourself.

Captura de pantalla

indieactivity : Did you study producing? What did you study?
Federico Guarascio : Yes, at New York Film Academy, was an intensive one year producing course where I gained experience in all manners of the production process including but not limited to; development, line producing, production on set and editing.

indieactivity : How do you choose a project to produce?
Federico Guarascio : I like to define myself as man with his feet resting firmly on the clouds. Meaning that I can work only on projects that I really like and I consider appropriate to my spirit and with whom I share a basic moral assumption. Once I have ascertained this aspect, I try to understand the economic potential that the project can have and how I can raise the funds necessary to produce it. Usually if it’s a documentary the search for grants will be an important part of my work, if instead it’s fiction, I am more interested in finding private funds. You can call me a pragmatic idealist.

The Fourth Kingdom wins at Brooklyn Film Festival lead to the 90th Academy Awards

indieactivity : Briefly describe a few wrong impressions actors, writers, and directors have about producing.
Federico Guarascio : Well, can happens the we are consider like a walking check, or even worse, like someone who is trying to spend less money as possible for the project

indieactivity : Do you often take courses to increase your craft?
Federico Guarascio : I did, last year I had the opportunity to take some very interesting workshops ad DCTV, in archival production, Research and development and post-production. Also I took some amazing editing courses at The Edit Center and I had the opportunity to study with amazing artists such Adam Bolt and Debra Granick.

indieactivity : What books do you read?
Federico Guarascio : Elena Ferrante “My Brilliant Friend”, Nick Fraser “Say What happened, a story of documentary”, Howard Zinn “History of the people of United States”, Gilles Delueze “Time-Image”, “Werner Herzog” by Emanuelle Carrere.

indieactivity : How do you keep in shape as an producer/agent?
Federico Guarascio : Reading Variety and Box Office Mojo, going to networking events and read, read, read!

indieactivity : Why would you choose an actor, writer or director? what do you look for?
Federico Guarascio : That really depends, every film is a different world and need different talents.

indieactivity : When you are offered a project, what do you do?
Federico Guarascio : First of all I do my researches and I see if there is potential, then I’ll start doing a plan in my head thinking about the best strategy for having the project done.

indieactivity : What ‘thing/situation’ helps you during a production?
Federico Guarascio : Access to a character or a location for docs, and a good location scouting for fiction is very important to me. Then the economic resources as well

indieactivity : Explain a creative choice you took on set of a recent production?
Federico Guarascio : Use for a fiction’s project an access I had for real location previously used for a documentary. Real locations are always the best.

indieactivity : How do you advice actors to find project?
Federico Guarascio : I think good preparation is the most important thing, theatrical and classical if possible. New York is the right place to study acting. The best academies are here. If you know you have a vocation, your moment will come, just keep looking.

indieactivity : How can filmmakers finance their projects?
Federico Guarascio : Grants and Crowdfunding are the best tools for the Indies projects.

indieactivity : What do you want from a director during a production?
Federico Guarascio : A clear vision and crafting skills it is the essential requirement.

indieactivity : How do you prefer to work with a director during a production?
Federico Guarascio : Start working together since the pre-production phase and have a shared vision of the project in mind.

indieactivity : Do you get offers from Bollywood or Nollywood?
Federico Guarascio : Not yet but one of my dream is to Produce a movie version of the Novel “Shantaram” so it might be interesting to explore the Indian industry. Unfortunately I have to admit I don’t know nothing about Nollywood

indieactivity : What do you think an actor can do to get into the film industry?
Federico Guarascio : Keep trying and never give up, the world of movie is changing. What was impossible 10 years ago now can be made much easily. Thanks to technological advances, it is possible to find the latest generation of cameras which are accessible to everyone for moderate prices. With few funds and a lot of willpower anyone can make a film today. Just be curious and listen, the world is full of stories that are worth telling

indieactivity : Who is your favorite producer/agent?
Federico Guarascio : Simon Chinn

indieactivity : Why is this producer/agent your favorite actor?
Federico Guarascio : He’s just the best

indieactivity : Briefly write about your career?
Federico Guarascio : Documentaries production was the most important part of my career, where I learned the most. Godka Cirka and Thy Father chair were the most compelling and rewarding projects I made. The fictional film I am most proud of is Solomon Lee, but my gem, my greatest pride, is The Fourth Kingdom.


Tell us what you think of the Interview with Federico Guarascio. What do you think of it? What ideas did you get? Do you have any suggestions? Or did it help you? Lets have your comments below and/or on Facebook or Instagram! Or join me on Twitter @oladapobamidele

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