Exclusive Interview with Filmmaker Evgeniya Radilova
NY Glam: Can you tell us about the film and the process of making it?
Dear New York Glamorous Magazine, I want to start by saying thank you for having me and our film “Patrik”. My team and I are happy to be a part of your prestigious magazine and share our work with your audiences.
The process felt like a ready to erupt volcano. Once we started we never stopped until it all came together in a incredible eruption of the day of the shoot. Almost the entire film was shot in one day but we prepared for months before that. The preparation stage was the most important part of creating our film. I created detailed storyboards with my cinematographers Michael Tosner and Allen Fergusonini, while staying open to all new possibilities given to us by the universe. The mixture of preparation and letting the moment unfold organically, was one the most magical experiences. With Patrik being my first film, I wanted to make sure that every detail was thought through, but I also realized that not all the shots I planned were as important as I first thought. During the process I realized some things needed to change and actually became better than planned. Some of the most special moments and situations we were able to witness and participate in, were pure gold and were given to us by the universe. Also, working with Patrik Baudauff was an absolute honor. His dedication to the character was so profound. Much of the process, was also following my intuition, allowing me to finish everything on time and better than I have ever dreamed of. However, I can’t stress enough how important team work is when creating a film. Without my team this movie would not have been the same! When I started to work on the film at the beginning we thought we were going to make a 1 minute silent film but we then quickly realized we can do so much more. With all due respect to short form of filmmaking which I think is very hard.
NY Glam: How did you go about casting for the film?
I wrote the film 10 years prior, in my Acting Academy in Bulgaria, but only after meeting Patrik Baldauff at the Actors Studio, I knew right away he is the only man to play this part and that it was time to create my vision. While, I was studying acting in my Bulgarian University, I had only 1 class of Directing and we had an observation exercise – I was on a lunch break from the Academy when suddenly I found myself staring at this man struggling to cross a busy road. He moved very slowly, with a persistence and patience, but obviously intimidated by the fast world around him, failing in every attempt he does to cross the street. He kept on going back to the starting point, facing the traffic light, waiting for a green light. He would barely make a few steps when the light would turn red again forcing him to go back and start over. Eventually, he gave up and walked down the street.
That story became one of these seemingly unimportant moments until it finally made sense, and I felt the urge to share it the moment I met Patrik Baldauff. We both performed in a production of The Cherry Orchard at The Actors Studio, alongside Ellen Burstyn, as lifelong members in the actor’s unit. Instantly, I found the perfect actor for my story and “Patrik” was born! Of course, I called the movie after him. His exceptional persona and our work together inspired me to develop a lot more the narrative and established the main topics of the movie.
NY Glam: What is the story about and how did you achieve it cinematically?
This is a story about an accomplished elderly actor who grew too old for our modern fast paced life and on his way to receiving his final and ultimate life time achievement recognition, he gets swallowed up by it mercilessly. It is a human story about trying to age gracefully while being pushed aside by the next generation. It is the real human connection, that Patrik receives in the end, which is the ultimate reward we can all only hope for in this lifetime. “Patrick” is a story about a man of the theater, a giant of the stage and a charmer of the screen. I am honoring the long carrier Patrik Baldauff has had, and we follow the happiest day of his life. He needs to make one last effort and proudly walk alone all the way to the theater to receive his award. This is his Golgotha.
We shot with two cinematographers. One was focused on the action with Patrik and more of his inner world, and the other was the outside worlds, the street, the cosmopolitan force that becomes the biggest obstacle for him. Yes, I am happy to say as a NYC resident I will be attending the festival for opening and closing night as well as many screenings in between.
NY Glam: Will you be attending the IFFNY festival in New York in May?
Yes, I am happy to say as a NYC resident I will be attending the festival for opening and closing night as well as many screenings in between.
NY Glam: How long have you been making films and videos?
I have been an actress my whole life. I have never thought I would become a filmmaker so early and with such a force. My mother was an actress and my father a director so I grew up in the theatre, and being the, 3rd tree to the left, in my fathers movies and I think this might have given me the subconscious knowledge that I am realizing that I have now.
And I think now is the time for me to mention my partner in crime Darja Schabad. She is the co- founder of iDare Productions with me and the reason why my directing career came to life so soon. She came to me a couple of years ago asking me to teach her how to fire dance for her first music video. I dance with fire as one of my biggest hobbies, and in the process of me teaching her, her original director dropped out. At this moment, this feeling struck me, and completely confidently I thought to myself….”Wait, I can do this! I can direct your video! ” And so it all began…..
In the past two years I have also managed to become a proud lifetime member of the Playwrights Directors Unit at The Actors Studio. I directed the play “Thank You for Letting Me Have Sex with You” by Dave Hanson for Nylon Fusion Theatre Company in NYC.
For the past 6 years, I have taught/mentored for Mythic Bridge, a NYC based nonprofit organization that teaches film making to at-risk and homeless youth at no coast.
I was also very fortunate to teach acting for film and theatre successfully in China and all over the United States. I directed my Chinese students in 2 films – “Fortune Sticks” & “Marga”, and 2 theater productions – the Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and “Peter and The Star Catcher”.
NY Glam: What film was your directorial debut?
This one – PATRIK 🙂
NY Glam: What was the most important lesson you had to learn that has had a positive effect on your film? How did that lesson happen?
OOOOh BOY, I would like to say that as a first film I did every single mistake possible but I am very proud with the end result even the wrong doings. I have learned so much!!!!!!!!! One of my biggest mistakes was to shoot with no monitor on Times Square. We shot guerilla style with an 85 years old man who was barely surviving at the end. And we needed to get everything done while being in the middle of one of the biggest melting pots in the world.
We’ve had background actors but we ended up not using too many of the situations we had previously imagined. The continuation was such a challenge. Definitely better moments came out of spending a day on Times Square, from people dressed as cosplay, to busses and fire trucks blocking the road naturally. Sometimes it was really impossible to cross it was so packed ad hectic. How it benefited me in a positive way was that I spent hours and hours and hours in the editing room trying to fix some of the problems and that gave me so much more knowledge and understanding for the next films I did.
NY Glam: Is it harder to get started or to keep going? What was the particular thing that you had to conquer to do either?
I was an actress my whole life and directing came to me. Because of that reason it was more an inspiring and uplifting process than hard to start or keep going. All I wanted to do was just keep going. Since I felt the power of filmmaking, which is basically get up and make your own movie, tell your own story, without waiting on other people to hire you, like in acting most of the time, I just kept going. I have done 6 short film, two of which I have written, produced and directed, and two music videos. A total of 8 project for 2 years. I can’t even explain how that happened. But it did. And I am only inspired to do more.
What I had to conquer was to learn more and more and more. I have an incredible 6th sense, a strong intuition about directing and the process but I need to learn more of the technicality.
It is very strange but I had this feeling about directing which is never with panic, or self doubt or questioning. Just solution, exciting ways of figuring things out but with a strong and deep knowledge that I got this!
Sometimes, there is an obstacle and some people around me freak out…and somehow i just say ok give me a minute …and i come up with a solution. It is really amazing feeling. I am still very young and there is so much to learn but maybe because i was an actress for a long, I know some of the process and especially how to speak to actors. Also, how to take the best out of them.
But the biggest thing i had to conquer was in the editing room. When i am in love with a particular shot but we can go without it. I think a professional editor is important because by myself I won’t be able to edit. I get too attached. With my second film El Cavil it was much easier to cut but still. Letting go of a favorite shot because is not moving the story forward but you love it is a tempting trap!!!! Also, another thing in the editing room that i realized is that i need time. When we do a cut I need a week to pass to understand what is working and what is not. . So time for me in between the edits is very important especially for now. I think with every movie it gets easier to eliminate footage that is not important but for Patrik was a huge struggle.
NY Glam: How has your style evolved?
I am still trying to figure out what is my style. What I know is that I like to tell stories that deal with humanity. I love directors like Frank Darabont – with one of my favorite films of all time The Green Mile. Or Ron Haword with another favorite movie of mine Cacoon, and A Beautiful Mind..and many more, of course. I like films that deal with the complexity of humanity. Of what makes you feel pain, how do you live with it. Or joy. People who are in need like the poor, older generations, young kids without a voice., controlled humans, the power of the ego, the power of the human mind and desires. Basically everything that makes us do what we do, feel what we feel, and be who we are.
NY Glam: What has been your personal key to success?
I won’t lie that the recognition we are getting from the festival run with all the awards so far feels like a personal success, but I think the “key” to call myself successful is the body of work I have created. I have worked really hard as an actress and a filmmaker to find my place into the world, to connect and to share what I have with the world. What makes me truly happy and feeling successful is doing the work.
I set myself a goal and I work very hard for it, sometime making it sometimes failing, but I keep going out of necessity to live and create art, and this makes me more alive than actually being alive sometimes . I feel connected, i feel I participated and that makes me feel successful. Because i know i have done the work.
NY Glam: What are you thinking about doing next?
Next is the biggest project I have come close to so far which is my first feature film- BACON. I am co- directing and co-producing with Michael Tosner, who also wrote the script. We have already funded half of the film and soon starting a campaign to raise the other half of the money. We are getting close to some pretty good actor names who are interested in the project. We are definitely shooting this Fall and is so exciting. We are searching for our BACON- our main character in the movie is a little piglet.
You can see more about the film at www.baconfilm.com
NY Glam: Where does your studio want to go from here?
I want to keep producing and making films. The next step for me is figuring out where and how to distribute my film which will be followed up by two other shorts and a feature in 2020. I would love to learn all the tips on distribution and start looking out for an agent. I am so excited and looking forward to sharing my new projects with you.
Thank you NEW YORK Glam Magazine and IFFNY for the amazing recognition!