Written by Jiarui Guo

Back in 2021, when Sergio and I first met, he mentioned to me he was hired to direct several commercials and a short documentary for the Voices For Children Foundation. At that time, while he was filming and working with those parents and children, his whole life changed. He and his wife decided to take the foster parents' course to adopt their son.

But for some other kids that didn't find a real family, the system stops supporting these children at the age of 17. This often leads to a significant percentage of them ending up homeless.

We always want to collaborate and do a story that could have meaning to the world. It was from there that our film VERA was born, a story that invites us to delve into that very difficult moment where its protagonist, still a teenager, has to face the adult world alone. But in this case, her talent, passion for music, and inner strength will make her refuse to give up and fight for her dreams.

'Vera'Sergio Vizuete

From the beginning, Sergio was the director/screenwriter and he was the one who wanted to tell this story. As the producer, I always think the key to collaboration on creativity points is to trust the one who creates the story.

So before Sergio delivered the draft, I let him handle the story and make sure he got what he wanted. But after that, there has been a very close collaboration between the two writers and the director.

We knew that the chemistry between the director/screenwriters and the producer would be crucial – especially for a film with such specific characteristics.

'Vera'Sergio Vizuete

We wanted to make sure that – if we embark on such a production journey – the result could live up to our high expectations. This is why we were looking for high-level talent but also human connections between everyone involved in this project.

We decided that the film was 50% the script, but also 50% the production. For this reason, I want to collaborate closely with the creator, generating camaraderie all while focusing on our common goals. We have analyzed the film scene by scene together. During these sessions, we worked on making the script and the end product more competitive and original.

We have also included other screenwriters as well as other third parties who are not involved in the project in these brainstorming sessions to curate the best version of a story that is already original by itself. We really liked that, throughout the entire process, Sergio has been very open to new ideas and feedback. We are very committed to turning our script into the best version of itself.

'Vera'Sergio Vizuete

Like all other micro-budget indie productions, we have to face a lot of unpredictable challenges. We're lucky because we found so many people that see how hard we are trying and are willing to believe in us and give us a hand.

During casting, we posted our cast call everywhere that we could think about and reached out to every school in Miami to find our lead. There's a high school girl who caught our eye and we all believe she is VERA the moment we watched her tape.

She's a first-time actress but she acts so naturally. One week before production started, we had trouble with the shooting schedule since the actress was still in high school at the time, but with the support of her parent, we were able to continue the film. Things like this happened a lot in our production but we have such a great team so all challenges come with support and help make us get here.

'Vera'Sergio Vizuete

I started my filmmaking path in post-production so I learned filmmaking by solving problems instead of developing. A lot of young filmmakers relied on post-production to fix things but it could not fix everything, especially the story. Knowing this, I started working as a producer, collaborating with the director and writer to have the story. Before I graduated, I produced more than 30 indie shorts that related to social problems.

My goal of making independent films is not only about entertaining people but also can heal people who had life trauma. I know producing is not only about storytelling, line producing is also a huge part of producing if I want to make a good movie and be reliable to my investor.

'Vera'Sergio Vizuete

So, I buried myself in production as a line producer/UPM. I did 8 TV Movies in Canada, Paris, Venice, and Japan as a line producer, production manager, and production accountant within a year, which helped me gain knowledge of feature production, tax credit returns, and international producing; I learned project packaging, financing, distributing, and legal work by selling my first Chinese feature film "Rusty Blade" internationally.

The idea of VERA came up in 2021 and we did the production this year. By the time I produce VERA, I think all my experiences make me capable of carrying out the lead producer duties for VERA.