Cinematographer Mika Altskan with Daniel Soares, Portugal
You went to Portugal to shoot the video with Gohu and then Covid-19 took over. What happened to the production then?
Yeah, we went there to shoot this and the production went great.
Covid was already in the news, but nobody was freaked out about it yet.
Life was still wonderful, without us knowing. Grannies and grandpas were still allowed to twerk on the street.
There’s a cast of many including your grandparents – are they all friends? Safe and sound now we hope.
Yes, everybody is safe and sound. The guy milking the cow and the lady with the chickens are my grandparents.
The other ones were cast in the village we ended up shooting. We would hang out at the local bar and just wait for people to come in.
Every time I saw someone that could be interesting I’d hit them up. Portugal is a gold mine for characters. A bit like when you watch a movie shot in southern Italy by Matteo Garrone I feel.
So it’s not that hard to find amazing characters.
And now Gohu has re-written his lyrics – what were they originally about?
Portuguese people love to complain. So the song that Gohu had written was amazing, smartly written, and playing on that constant complaining.
After years of financial crisis Portugal was finally in great shape, yet people would still complain. The song was called “Ta tudo fixe”, meaning “All is great”. Which didn’t make much sense after Covid arrived. So then he re-wrote it. We didn’t want to take advantage of the situation, but the lyrics simply didn’t make sense anymore but the footage was all shot.
Consequently, Gohu is donating all the money he is making from this song to organisations that fight the cause.
So did you manage to get back to New York? Where are you now?
No, I ended up getting stranded here and haven’t flown back to New York yet.
I’m at my parent’s place nowadays, living in my teenage bedroom. Which is weird. But fine.
How would you describe your usual style of work when you’re living in New York?
I think all my work focuses mainly on people and places. Everything builds around it. I love photography, music, words.
But for me there is no film without those two things. People and Places. It’s hard to describe my style. I like to think of it as an always evolving thing. I started out in agencies as a creative, then went into photography and documentaries.
Now I feel I want to create worlds too vs just documenting them. But real people will always be the most fascinating to me. There are some amazingly fascinating humans on this planet, but cameras rarely show them.
Anything else you’d like to share?
A shout-out to El-Hey who amazingly produced this.
Daniel Soares website
Gohu, Vai Ficar Fixe (All will be cool)
Director: Daniel Soares
Starring : Fernanda Soares, Augusto Soares, Rogerio Tomas, Marilia Pinelas, Jose Carrico, Antonio Pinelas, Leonel Mateus, Elisabete Pinelas, Candida Ramos
Head of Production: Vanessa Oliveira
Director of Photography: Mika Altskan
Editors: Oliver Stumpf , Daniel Soares
Colorist: Sofie Borup, Company 3
Stylists: Maria Nobre, Raquel Guerreiro
Assistant Director:Pedro Madeira
First AC: Miguel Varandas
Second AC: Guilherme Daniel
Loader: Jose Pedroso
PA:Tiago Xavier, Nuno Marques
Musical Producer: Emerson Martins
Executive Producer : Miguel Coimbra