16th April 2015
Feel the love
Title of film: Five
Director: Katina Mercadante
The Mercadantes like to celebrate life with films about the up side of existence, their latest being about five children and five spiritual ways

How did your directing partnership come about?

KM: We met working on the Prudential: Day One series and instantly were drawn to one another as collaborators. Daniel is committed to the raw, real, and simple, I’m obsessed with the meaningful and inspirational, and we both like things that are beautiful. Our partnership grew naturally out of an attraction to each other’s working style and aesthetic.

Do you take turns in being the director and does the director make most of the decisions or is it usually a collaborative process anyway?

KM: We work as a directing team on the commercials due to the complexities of the advertising world. When a client and agency come with an idea there are a lot of different interests and egos at play. Being a team helps us stay committed to our creative vision and also allows us to tag-team when things get tough. The last thing you want to do when lots of money is on the line is lose your creativity.

DM: Having each other to stay grounded helps us make better commercials. As far as our non-commercial work, Katina designs and oversees the production for my pieces, and I shoot and edit hers. We are both always discussing and workshopping our ideas.

Most of your work requires loads of editing – is this a process you’re actively engaged in?

KM: Daniel has edited all of our non-commercial work and some of our commercial work. It helps him to stay connected to the footage, his directorial process begins with conception and ends with the public release, he’s very autonomous. More and more we’re looking to outsource and work with people who are incredible artists in their corner of film – great editors, producers, etc. When we’re juggling multiple projects at once it helps to have another editor who is totally immersed in one film at a time.

Do you know what you’re going to get before the shoot or is a lot of the filming down to spontaneity?

DM: It depends on the project. Some of our shoots are completely doc-style, and we enter production completely open to whatever we’re going to find. Other times everything is scripted. The collection films, for instance, all begin in list form, and FIVE and BREATH pretty much the exact script. Even when we think we have it all figured out beforehand we still like to allow for spontaneous changes and of course the addition of real details we didn’t think of beforehand.

Your films are consciously about the positive caring side of life. What’s behind this focus? Is it a reflection of both your everyday natures?

KM: We strive to make films that are balanced in both the light and the dark, but most naturally end on a positive, uplifting note. If we’re lucky, some of our films will be seen by thousands or hundreds of thousands of people. With that type of reach, would we want to leave people with a negative message? It just feels like the responsible thing to do, promoting peace, love, understanding.

Shit does happen though. How do you deal with that?

DM: We fight it out, usually. We’re very emotionally connected to our work, obsessed with making good movies, and want everyone around us to have a good time. When something is out of whack we get very affected but luckily disasters are usually opportunities for new solutions.

Out of all the places you’ve been in the world where would you like to return to?

KM: I can’t wait to go back to Bali and Lamu with Daniel. They are both places that feel like another time and space all together.

DM: Every place is beautiful. I’ll go anywhere.

Credits

Five

Director: Katina Mercadante

Director of Photography: Daniel Mercadante

Assistant Editor: Alisha Shimada

Producer: The Mercadantes

Edit: Daniel Mercadante

Producer, India: Sonali Gosh

Malayalam Translator: Vijayan Peringode

Japanese Translator: Miwako Ozawa

Xhosa Translator: Blessing Gurure

Casting, Japan: Ko Iwagame

Casting, USA: Linda Varonin, Jordan Gill

 

Breath

Director: Daniel Mercadante

Executive Producer: Katina Mercadante

Producer: Jed Hubbard

Associate Producer: Jordan Shively

Music: Keith Kenniff

DP/Editor: Daniel Mercadante

Poster Art: Craig Deakes

 

Fitbit, Find Your Fit 

Directors: The Mercadantes

Agency: Argonaut

 

Chevrolet, The New Family

Directors: The Mercadantes
Agency: Commonwealth
Music: Keith Kenniff
Editor: Leo Scott

 

Faceboook, Big Sister

Directed by The Mercadantes
Agency: Wieden + Kennedy

 

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Matters

Directed by The Mercadantes
Agency: Anomaly
Music by Eluvium