TNC Film Interview 2020
Best Director Raindance 2019
Renos, a lonely professional waiter, sees his well-organized life routine changing after an unexpected series of events.
Hi Steve thank you for talking to TNC, how are you holding up during the lockdown?
We have been out for the past couple of weeks. It wasn’t that bad here in Athens. I hope and pray it’s going to go smooth this summer as well.
Is this time offering you creative inspiration?
Actually I had time to rethink some projects and write and play . It’s definitely time to reconsider a lot and see the big picture in life.
You had an amazing festival run with your award-winning film The Waiter, did you expect you would get such a great response to your film?
Yes it was amazing indeed. I wasn’t expecting such a great reception . I had the privilege to visit quite a few Festivals , and to meet and hear different audiences and hear their feedback first hand. I'm very thankful.
What did it mean to you to win Best Director at the 27th Raindance Film Festival?
Raindance FF is a very prestigious Festival for independent cinema. I'm very happy and grateful to receive such a great honour . It meant a lot to me and to all my colleagues who were very supportive in this ‘journey'.
Can you tell me a little bit about how The Waiter came about?
The story was inspired by a true event . When I was living in NYC many years ago, I had a very intense and sad experience in the building I was living in. Someone murdered my next door neighbour. One day I saw the murderer in our corridor with some black plastic bags...
The police after a while caught him. At that time, I was working producing another film in the midst of a heat wave in NYC.
What was the inspiration behind your screenplay?
Based on that incident that was engraved in my mind for a long time I wanted to make a character driven film about a man who is a loner working as a professional Waiter. And what happen when his monotonous daily routine is broken by something extreme like a murder and a love affair.
What was the most challenging scene for you to film?
The most challenging scene was the scene we shot at the Lake. The murder scene. I had very limited time due to the schedule. We were losing the daylight as well. At the end everything worked out great.
Looking back, is there anything that you would do differently on this film?
It’s hard to say. For sure I had a couple of scenes that were on the script and I really wanted to shoot them (One at a horse race track and one in a gallery) but at the end budgetary reasons didn’t allow us to do them.
There are several scenes that I see now and I feel I would ve liked them shot differently - but making a film is always a ‘miracle’ thing for a certain reason.
Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?
Yes I had. I remember from my very early teens I loved going to the movies, reading about them, and also before I started styling films I was taking a lot of photos and developing my own B&W.
"Have more than one project in hand to pursue."
How was your approach to this film compared to your short?
I believe making a feature is like running a marathon compared to a short distance running.
I was well prepared working closely with my colleagues with mood boards, storyboards, references, and extensive location scouting. Having said that I was privileged to have a great cast who were very excited about the project and gave 100%.
What inspires your writing?
Something I read, a story I hear, a photograph I see , a place I visit , a face or a true incident.
Do you have any tips or advice to offer an emerging filmmaker?
Be persistent, be patient, follow the dream. Have more than one project in hand to pursue.
What are you currently working on?
Actually I'm working on several projects. A TV series for Greek television. A film script with an American scriptwriter. A doc about a basketball player. And we acquire the rights to a Greek novel for an international tv series .
And finally, what would you hope audiences will take away from The Waiter?
Hope they enjoyed it and kind of got into this microcosmos we created.