Some creatives fear process. This is not the case of videographer, editor and writer Gasper De Souza.
Born in Mumbai and now living in Goa, India, Gasper's creative process is structured and organised, filled with little tricks and tips that make his work less overwhelming. Rather than fear process and the lead-up to a finished project, Gasper has honed the art of making tasks more manageable even when working on big projects, such as some of his works for Euronews TV.
For this Member Spotlight we are getting to know a passionate storyteller with many a great wish for the future of the creative industry.
How did you get into the industry?
My journey has been very organic, somewhat of a rolling stone!
I began by writing nonfiction features for a newspaper and soon found myself also creating images to go with my stories. Later, I dabbled with moving pictures and got my first break when Euronews TV hired me to shoot and edit video features from across India.
Today, I find my place of bliss in the edit suite. In a way, it's like coming home to writing in another format – instead of words strung together into sentences and paragraphs, I string shots into scenes and sequences in an NLE.
Born in the bustling city of Mumbai, I now moved to the quiet coastal state of Goa – a former Portuguese colony, and set up my edit suite in my ancestral home.
If you weren't in your current industry, what would you be doing?
I'd be creating something for sure. Perhaps writing nonfiction. Perhaps even home brewing – an art that has caught my interest :)
Can you explain your creative process?
I start at the macro level, viewing the rushes once or twice. This gives me a handle on what we have. Organisation is key to my workflow.
Then I cut little rectangle notes from coloured paper and map out the scenes in the story. This gives me a visual of the narrative arc. I move the pieces on the board to see how best they'd fit. I learnt this from the great film editor, Walter Murch.
From here on, I will only focus on each piece of the puzzle during each session. It's easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of work ahead. By concentrating on the scene, I keep myself sane (and motivated) each day. It's good to end each day with the satisfaction of completion rather than the anxiety of a mountain to climb. Works in life too!
Finally I work on the big picture once more – only this time, it's not overwhelming anymore.
How has technology affected the way you work (if at all)?
Technology has enabled me to collaborate with filmmakers beyond my small hometown. I've successfully worked across distances, thanks to broadband. Having this system in place helped me to continue with a film edit even while the country was in lockdown due to COVID-19.
What's your secret to staying inspired and motivated?
I begin each working day with 20 minutes of quiet concentration on my breath – a form of zen meditation. It's amazing how much clutter goes on every moment inside our brain. This practice helps me stay focused and keeps me in the moment.
Besides, I always make time to learn something new about my craft, either from online resources or reading. I'm a voracious reader.
What's the work achievement you're most proud of?
From 2013, I've produced several short features for Euronews TV. I'm proud of this because these stories go beyond the bustling cities of India into the hinterlands where I met amazing people and saw their lifestyles.
I also got to work with experienced producers at Euronews, and through the process, learnt hands-on about cinematography, story structure, building narrative arcs and editing. This gave me a good grounding for my other projects.
How do you recharge away from the office?
I spend time in my bonsai garden. Now I'm also learning the science (it's also an art) of home brewing. Besides spending time with our three children playing family foosball leagues.
I make it a point to work five-day weeks. The brain continues to work on a subconscious level making connections that would not be possible during conscious thought.
What advice would you give to other aspiring creatives looking for work?
Don't be afraid to try new things. Opportunities may take you along new and exciting trails you cannot foresee. Be open. While on the path, learn everything you can. Get to the depths and enjoy the process, not just the destination.
Life is a process. So, enjoy life. The creative work will follow.
What's your one big hope for the future of the creative industries?
Wouldn't it be great if we could easily and seamlessly collaborate from across the world? Technology is enabling that. And as dreadful as the current pandemic has been, it's also taught us how connected we are. I hope we can come out of a parochial mindset into a borderless world. In that way, Creativepool is just the right enabler.
If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be?
I'd like creatives to be valued for what we do. The race to the bottom/cheapest is a wormhole that's difficult to come out of. Every age had patrons who knew the value of creative work. That enabled artists to create freely without worry. Not saying they were rich! But they didn't have to worry too much.