We had the good fortune of connecting with Pierre Tsigaridis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pierre, what role has risk played in your life or career?
As a director/filmmaker I feel like I have to constantly take risks. Filmmaking like many creative and artistic fields has always an unknown outcome. As for directing, taking risks means exposing my vision, my project and my sensitivity to the world and to people’s criticisms. It can be very intimidating and I have to be willing to take these risks from the very start.
Taking risks can be things like:
– choosing a certain person for a part and trusting her/him/them.
– Not being quite sure about my script but following my guts even when people around me would advise me not to.
– Feeling not prepared enough or changing things at the last minute on a shoot. With experience I realize I never feel prepared enough (even if I am), so I just have to roll with it. Most of the time even if it feels like I’m taking risks, it’s really about trusting myself and believing in my creativity and art.
So far in my career one of the best risks I took was getting financing to buy a cinema camera and lenses along with other film gear. It represented a huge investment and it put me under pressure but it forced me to trust in my desire and ability to pursuit filmmaking and directing in my life. Thanks to that investment I was able to shoot and direct a web series, a short and my first feature called “Two Witches” that will come out sometime in 2021. My short “I Who Have No One” can be seen on the horror channel ALTER on YouTube for free and I’m so grateful for the amazing feedback it’s gotten so far.
All of these risks are actually good because they mean I’m moving forward with my projects and my career. You take risks, you make things happen.
Taking risks really makes you work extra hard, it kind of raises the stakes in a good way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For the last two years I’ve been working on and recently completed my first horror feature film called “Two Witches”. I have to say I’m pretty excited and proud of this project and I can’t wait for people to discover it. One of my life’s goal was to direct a feature before I turned 30 and I’m so grateful and happy to be able to say that I succeeded (I just recently turned 30). I’ve had this goal in mind for almost ten years and I think this motivation is the main reason for how I got to where I am today professionally. Of course, it wasn’t easy. As a film director the hardest part for me was to auto proclaim myself as a director when I had nothing to show to anyone. I knew that in this industry, filmmakers constantly need to prove to their peers that they’re capable enough, that their vision is valuable etc. I think the best way to overcome any challenge for me was to trust my vision and not be discouraged or distracted by the people around me. Always convincing myself that my project is worth existing.
I always knew I wanted to be a film director ever since I was a little kid. Looking back at my journey directing my first feature, I really was able to overcome any challenge and doubt by always remembering the 8-year-old child I once was. Every time I would doubt myself to the point of maybe giving up, I would think of what my 8-year-old self would say to me. This thought always fuels my desire to pursuit any project. Reminding myself how lucky I am to be able to do the job I always wanted to do.
Filmmaking is team work and that entails many challenges. As a director/producer I have to be a leader in addition to being an artist. I have to constantly be able to put myself in other people’s shoes and try to understand each person’s concerns and problems. This part of the job is just as important as any filmmaking knowledge.
I’m quite a technical director. So far, I’ve been shooting, lighting and editing my films. I use my past experience crewing on sets from sound to Grip and Electric or camera department etc. And that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned so far as a creator/leader, I need to be willing to learn as much as possible about the art of filmmaking. Thanks to this mentality I was able to make my first feature film. It might sound corny but I simply made it the moment I realized I really could make it and believe me, many people around me told me it wasn’t possible!
Now when my feature film comes out, I want my filmmaker peers to not only see me as a “technical” director but more as a director period. I’ve been working on directing actors, writing and articulating scenes narratively for so long that hopefully now my work will speak for myself.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’ve lived in LA for 5 years now and I’m so happy to be able to call this city my home. Of course, I still discover amazing little gems everyday but here are my favorite spots so far.
I’m obsessed with the ocean and I started surfing a couple of years ago so my first stop would be surfing anywhere in Malibu but especially at a spot called “county line” at the border of Ventura county. The scenery there is amazing and across the street there’s the Neptune’s Net, the legendary Biker’s sea food/bar if you’re into motorcycles.
Since we’re still in Malibu, I would have dinner at the Sunset restaurant on the beach in Point Dume. Like its name says, you can watch the sunset while enjoying great Italian food.
But speaking of having dinner with a great view, I don’t think anything beats the very famous Japanese restaurant Yamashiro in Hollywood. It arguably has the best view of all LA and the best Japanese food as well. Careful though, I heard people think it’s haunted at night haha.
If I’m going out with friends at night I’ll probably stay in Hollywood and go to bars like Good Times at Davey Wayne’s for a great 70s speak easy vibe. Otherwise, the bar No Vacancy is just as cool with a prohibition-era vibe. And if I’m feeling like dancing on 80s tunes, I think Breakroom 86 in Korea Town is the place to be.
For a day hang out, LA has amazing gardens, my absolute favorite is the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in Pasadena/San Marino. This place is in my opinion one of LA’s best hidden gems that many tourists don’t know about. It has trees and plants from all over the world. The library/museum is amazing and very underrated too. For example, its painting collection includes some works by Caspar Friedrich who is my favorite German painter from the romantic era.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a shout out to my close friends and family, particularly my mom who always believes in me and who gives me incredible support. I also want to mention my producer/executive producer Maxime Rancon for trusting my vision and work. I want to give a shout out to Dina Silva for wanting to make films with me and for being one of the first people to see me as a film director. Lastly, I want to give a shout out to my music producer friend Reda Haddioui for always helping me out on stuff.