Pedro Furtado won the Environment category in the 2023 Sony Future Filmmaker Awards with his film The Good Dolphins. A professional diver as well as a marine biologist, Pedro's passion for the ocean, and conserving all that's within it, is reflected in his filmmaking projects. We catch up with Pedro to discover what he's been up to since his unforgettable experience in Los Angeles at the Sony Pictures studio lot.
How did you get into filmmaking?
During a holiday when I was a child, I grabbed my mom's pink Sony Cybershot and started snapping random pictures. It was a total game-changer for me. Cameras instantly stole my heart, and soon after I bought my first camera. I quickly found myself drawn to the world of videos too. I loved the way you could tell a story through moving images. Throughout the years, I've been passionate about developing my skills in both photography and videography.
What was the first filmmaking project you were involved in and proud of?
It is a documentary called Ghost Pond. Directed by Amanda Sosnowski, it’s also won multiple awards. The story revolves around the farming activity that is burying the wetlands in England at an exponential rate. However, a grassroots movement seeks to reverse biodiversity loss by recovering a lost feature of the landscape.
What's the best piece of career advice you've ever received?
Study your craft, get to know your camera, understand what the key elements are that make a story great, and believe in your projects.
Who or what are your creative influences?
Christina Karliczek, Santiago Cabral, João Paulo Krajewski, Cristian Dimitrius, Mark Bone, Jimmy Chin, Renan Ozturk.
In your opinion, what makes a good short film?
A good character and a journey! Your character(s) should go from point A to point B and ultimately reach point C. Showcasing a journey will captivate people and keep them engaged throughout, especially if you have a compelling character that the audience can connect with.
Is there anything you've learned about your filmmaking process since winning your award?
I've learned to find more inspiration! Since that event, I've been actively observing other people's work, exploring different styles, and incorporating these newfound learnings into my own projects. It's amazing how much inspiration can be found by immersing oneself in the creative endeavors of others. By incorporating these fresh perspectives, my own work has become richer and more dynamic.
What are you currently working on?
I had the incredible opportunity to return from the Amazon, where we filmed a captivating short documentary. Although I can't reveal the details just yet, I can assure you it's an intriguing project. Additionally, I spent two weeks immersed in filming The Good Dolphins once again, but this time, our focus shifted toward the dedicated scientists who are working tirelessly to understand these remarkable creatures and address the various challenges they face.
During your time on the Sony Pictures studio lot, you talked about creating a shorter version of The Good Dolphins. Have you had any more thoughts on this? Why did you feel it was needed?
Yes, I did, and I will continue to do so in the near future, because we are in the era of social media, and short content is more likely to go viral. My intention is to create short videos, like chapters, featuring the main characters who portray the issues. I want to see if I can reach more people on social media and make them care about what is going on in the estuary of Laguna.
What was your biggest takeaway from your time at Culver City?
It's true that becoming a successful filmmaker is no easy feat, but the beauty lies in the pursuit of mastering our craft. What really matters in filmmaking is not the gear but producing good and meaningful stories, and portraying them in the right way.
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Submit your short film to Sony Future Filmmaker Awards 2024