November 5, 2018
podcast

'Diamantino': How to Make a Masterpiece Out of Your Mistakes

The directors of the Cannes award-winning film stuck through their failures, and so should you.

For co-directors Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes, the making of Diamantino was just as, if not more complex, than the award-winning film's insane plot. It tells the story of Diamantino, the world's premier soccer star, who loses his special touch and ends his career in disgrace. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius.

That's a whole lot of ground to cover within the confines of an hour and a half, and after seeing the first assembly of their cut, the duo was dismayed and ready to throw in the towel. Even during production, Schmidt felt as if they had bit off a little more than they could chew. Unhappy, they walked away from the project and decided to regroup at a later date.

Ultimately, they came to realize that they still had a fair amount of interesting material they felt they could work with and that their failures could, through the magic of post-production, be turned into an avante-garde tour de force. Using stock imagery, frenetic archival footage and green screen wizardry they spliced together a cut worthy of Cannes, New York Film Festival, The Toronto International Film Festival and more.

I sat down with Schmidt prior to Diamantino's screening at TIFF and we talked about adapting to difficult circumstances, learning from mistakes, and never giving up hope on your vision.

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This episode was edited by Jon Fusco.

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