Robert Dos Santos was once a lawyer, wearing full wig and gowns, practicing Commercial and Corporate law. However, he had an itch. That itch was something he had always had. To make films. So one day he decided to ditch the courtroom for the camera and live his dream of being a filmmaker. The best decision he has ever made! We knew Robert had a great story to tell and we wanted to hear it. So when we had the chance to sit down and chat to him we could not refuse. We had a great time speaking to Robert about what made him make that leap of faith, how his life has changed and about his upcoming short film.
Hi Robert. Thanks for taking time out of your day to sit down and chat to us.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into filmmaking?
I studied and became a lawyer working for commercial and corporate law. After some time I realised that I was in the wrong place and I made a massive change to my life.
What made you want to change careers?
I have known since I was a child that I was born to tell stories.
Did you have a moment where you thought ‘I need to follow my dreams’?
I have that moment maybe once a day or at the very least once a week. It hits me and I stop whatever distracting thing I am doing and then turn to the most important thing I could be doing that furthers my dreams. Or if I am already doing it I smile and continue.
You definitely have the right attitude. Do you feel like you made the right decision?
I am the luckiest and happiest person on earth. I definitely made the right decision.
How has your life changed since becoming a filmmaker?
I have unstoppable energy. I am always on the go and always trying to make things happen. I almost always have a smile and whenever things might seem frustrating I still appreciate that it is part of the process. I have gone from unfulfilled to absolute fulfillment.
That must be a great feeling waking up everyday knowing that you do what you love.
How has the learning curve been?
I love to learn and something I learnt early on is that you never stop learning. Telling stories comes naturally so that has always just been there but for everything else I cannot wait to learn something new. Most of the jobs I take are so that I can learn something new. The podcasts, films, and YouTube content I consume are all about learning. It might be the most fun aspect of the job.
There is always something new to learn. Are you enjoying the challenges that come with making films?
Yes absolutely. There is no such thing as a perfect day on set so there are always problems to solve, but that is half of the fun.
You have a short film being released in two weeks – A Moment, which has just been selected for the Los Angeles Film Awards. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
I have been directing commercials and music videos for a time now and I want to move to narrative. As I never went to film school I wanted to do some practice, so I set myself some challenges. It would be a single take and the story would unravel through the movement of the camera. The idea was to reveal information bit by bit until we understood what was happening. I was fortunate enough to be given an opportunity to use some incredible equipment and it made that challenge possible.
Well we have seen the film and we think it is great! You have certainly done what you set out to do. What made you keep the film so short?
I have seen many first time directors bite off more than they could chew. Slow and steady wins the race.
Did you come across any issues while making the film?
A million issues but with time and patience they were all overcome.
We have seen the film and loved it. Do you have any plans to take this story further?
No. This is just a moment in time and the teaser to a story which will never exist.
How did you find shooting during the pandemic?
It is never easy but with enough protocols in place we managed and were fortunate enough to have no incidents which we are grateful for.
That is good to hear. The pandemic has thrown up a lot of problems for filmmakers.
What are your goals as a filmmaker?
To tell stories that change the way we think.
What advice would you give to someone who is unsure what to do with their life or looking to make that leap and change careers?
You know exactly what you want to do, so do it.
Great advice. What does the future hold for Robert Dos Santos?
Next step is my feature film.
Well good luck with your feature. Thanks for chatting to us Robert. We really appreciate it, it has been a pleasure. Good luck with the launch of your short. We are sure it will do very well.