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Article by South Africa Today

Updated: Jul 12, 2022

Award-winning director Robert dos Santos has raised the stakes and drawn inspiration from outer space for his latest cinematic offering entitled, To the Stars.

To the Stars is a short film and television commercial created for Restonic by Robert, telling an inspirational story of growth and achievement through dreaming big and shooting, quite literally, for the stars.

Following and reaching your dreams is a concept the Cape Town-based creative is well versed in having given up his safe career in corporate and commercial law just three years ago to follow his dreams of filmmaking.

“When I heard that the brief behind the campaign was to create a story which inspires people to dream big I absolutely jumped at it. My life changed completely when I leapt from the world of law into the world of filmmaking and if there is something I know about it is dreaming big and living for inspiration. I had to be a part of it,” said Robert.

His leap of faith has paid off as he has since been nominated for more than 30 local and international awards, having walked away with numerous accolades including several best short film wins in Los Angeles and an honourable mention by Hollywood New Directors.

His latest film is for Restonic, a USA based company operating locally which is built around the slogan “Supporting Dreams Since 1938”. Instead of generating your typical hard sell advert Robert and his team looked at the ethos of the company and crafted a heartfelt narrative which encapsulates the soul of the company in supporting the dreams which we all strive towards.

“The concept was to dream as big as you possibly can. For me, nothing is bigger than the final frontier of space. So to marry the idea of inspiration and dreams I created a story about someone who dreams of going to the moon and then who, through hard work and dedication, achieves her dreams,” he said.

To bring this plan into action Robert worked with the top creative minds in the country.

“The set build, which was headed by the incredible Chris Lategan, who has been involved in projects for Netflix, Amazon and many others, was one of the biggest asks for the project.

To recreate the vast emptiness of space and the moon we needed exactly that, a vast amount of space. To make the world feel real for the audience it needs to be real and not be done using green screens or VFX, which means that you need to rebuild the moon in studio. People joke that the moon-landing was faked in a Hollywood studio, so we wanted to show that you can actually do it, and we did.”

The advert has already gone worldwide and has been featured on the Ads of The World, the world’s largest Commercial advertising archive, as one of the best ads currently in circulation and is on display alongside global campaigns for Amazon’s new Alexa and Lenovo’s GTA. In addition the short film has been nominated for awards in the Paris International and Sydney Short Film Festivals.

This commercial comes hot off the heels of his latest film project, short film, A MOMENT, which was released earlier this year and received several international honours. The film stars SA-born, Hollywood-based actor Sean Cameron Michael as well as Jonathan Boynton-Lee.

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