We had the good fortune of connecting with Rodrigo Zanforlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rodrigo, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
I had to put all my resources into my own projects. After years and years working in the advertising industry, and have a well-established career with great opportunities ahead I decided to give it a try for my dreams, and own projects. I that case I had to take a risk and put all my money and time in order to make it happen. I left Brazil with one dream in mind, and one bag, and that’s how everything started. I moved to LA, took my MFA, and invested all my money in my films, and creative projects. And I don’t regret one single decision, I wouldn’t change anything I experienced for any money or success.
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.
I started my career lost, and I did not know what to do, the only thing I did was to figure out a way to make money, so I could at least have some freedom. But the problem of the path of the following money is the illusion that money is the answer to your needs. In my case, it took me almost 9 years to realize that was not my way of living life or the way I want to live life. I remember the first movie I shot in LA in 2013 when I wrote ” life is like a big theater where you can choose your character every single day”, and I still think this is the answer you are not only one thing, you can change, we are actually changing everyday, we are never the same, experience and time always changes us, so why get stuck in the same place and reality if you are feeling unhappy about it. We only have a limited time to spend here, and I decided to spend with joy and love as more as possible. I think just after that movie I realized that the purpose was “joy”, and the meaning was love, so that’s when things started to happen, project after project, and that’s when I felt my creativity growing and becoming more mature. I do think life is about dreaming first, but them is also about taking action and living the dream, getting comfortable and paralyzed won’t take you to any place, random wandering around won’t take any where, we need a sense of direction, a goal, or north in life.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
For me road trip was always the way, getting on the road with friends, seeing the landscape constantly changing, getting in touch with different and diverse people, finding moments of solitude, where we were all disconnected from the digital devices, social media, and technology, that’s when I felt my most special moments. Sometimes some solitude, other times telling stories around the camping fire as the way we used to do. I really like to think about a camping fire, as one of the most sacred places, it’s like an old TV, where people used to connect with stories, myths, legends, and much more. This sense of community and communion with nature is something that we lost in modern society, and still at least for me the place where I can find joy and fun. Travel, photography, friends, and dirt roads. I think today more than never, we must disconnect so we are not maxed out in distraction and noise.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I could definitely say without family and friends’ support I would not have the emotional strength to be where I am today. Other than that I was always inspired by great characters in our history, and if I have to mention someone, that person would be Werner Herzog, not only because he’s a great filmmaker, but mainly because he is a kind of self-made filmmaker, he never waited for things to happen, he was that type of person, that grabs an idea and takes to action. I do think his journeys and films inspired me to try and move forward. Courage to explore the unknown! I can also mention some friends that always inspired me, in that case, I would like to include Leco Moura and Guigo Foggiatto, those two guys always believed in my work and I can say they always inspired me to keep creating, and working. But nothing is more important than your inner voice, I do think I had something coming from within that always made me restless until I found myself making movies.
All pictures by Rodrigo Zan