JUSTIN SAMUELS INTERVIEWS WARREN PEREIRA June 25, 2012
Today’s interview is with filmmaker Warren Pereira. Warren’s Hinglish project, which he created for advertising agency DDB Mudra Group, was the Gold winner at Cannes Lions Group in 2012. He has had a number of short films that received acclaim at film festivals. He is currentlyworking on a documentary, the Tiger Documentary, and his first feature film, Bathing in Honey. More info on Warren and his films can be found on his website and at the Hinglish Project.
The Short Films of Warren Pereira, a collection of his short films, can be found for sale on Amazon.
Justin Samuels: How did you get the gig at DDB Mudra? And for that matter, has winning at Cannes had any impact on your career?
Warren Pereira: I was introduced to one of the DDB Mudra creatives, Shirin Johari, who had come up with the “Hinglish” font. Shirin was playing with the idea of making a film to present the font. I took the initiative to make a demo film for her and she liked it so much that she commissioned me to make the film for Cannes Lions. The “Hinglish” project winning at Cannes makes me feel like I did my job for the agency. As far as career impact, we will have to wait and see.
JS: What inspired you to start the Tiger Documentary? When can we expect to see it? Obviously it is about tigers, but can you give us any details?
WP: The Tiger Documentary is in a research phase. Part of this research involves me going to a tiger reserve in India once or twice a year equipped with my 5D. If I get good footage I cut it together and throw it up online. Obviously I am a limited production being a one man show at this point. But I am putting in my time now to be ready for a formal, crewed and financed documentary. I have just started putting together an investor package and will also be reaching out to NatGeo and other organizations. If all goes as planned the formal doc will start Summer 2013.
JS: How was the process of stepping up from shorts to features for you? Was it any harder to write the screenplay for your first feature, Bathing in Honey?
WP: Yes, “Bathing in Honey” was tough to write, and I still wrestle with certain scenes. It has a traditional narrative structure. Then I have these symbolic cinematic techniques that are more aberrant, so there is this challenge of making it all blend together. Once it all blends and the right actors are cast I think it will be a pretty compelling film.
JS: How is Bathing in Honey coming along? In what stage of the game is the film at in production?
WP: Answered above.
JS: What is Bathing in Honey about? Any attachments we might have heard of?
WP: “Bathing in Honey” is about a professor caught up in boring and limiting marriage who ends up falling in love with his sultry but licentious student which leads to all kinds of passionate trouble and excitement.
JS: Do you do business with Bollywood producers? I ask because of your work on the Hinglish project.
WP: I had a meeting with Excel Entertainment in Mumbai. But I think I need to have many more meetings because that is the nature of it.
JS: Regarding films, what are your long term plans?
WP: Making them.