The Directors in association withLBB Pro

The Directors: Kitty Bertazzi

Barcelona, Spain
AntonellaPerilloAgency director Kitty discusses a love of telling stories and the joys of working as a team

Kitty Bertazzi is a film director, an artist, a mother, and a strong woman. She studied acting at Lee Strasberg Institute in NYC. After several cinema courses at New Your University, she moved back to Brazil and started directing at O2 films the Production House of the well-known director Fernando Meirelles (City of God).

Name: Kitty Bertazzi

Location: São Paulo, Brasil

Rep by Antonella Perillo Agency globally and in Spain by Nouri Films

Awards: two times 'professionals of the year' on Globo television Brazil/ 1 shortlist Cannes Lion/ 1 El Ojo.

What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?

Simplifying, I see two types of scripts. One that has beautiful images and another one that tells stories. I like to tell stories, all kinds of stories, so I always try to find in each script I work on, where the message is told, even when it's hidden behind beautiful images.

How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Usually, I think of contributions I can give to make the spot better. Some consistent proposals. Then I start to visualize the spot In terms of camera movements, art direction, and all visual aspects of the film. I have a person that helps me with image research and a wonderful girl that does my layouts. If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to.

How important is it for you to do research and understand the strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Sometimes the agency tells us their needs for the brand at the briefing, but if they don’t, I just try to find out what kind of audience we are trying to reach, but other than that, I just go for the best I can get from that idea/script.

For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?

I chose this job because it is a team effort. Everyone in the process of making a film is important, from the creation to the post-production. So I listen to people, let them add to the process. It really makes a difference. I leave my mind always open to ideas and surprises.

What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

As I said before, I love to tell stories. So that’s the kind of work I like the most. I love to work with lifestyle, natural environments, real actions. Kids are my preference because they are very spontaneous. But I started my career working with actors at the Lee Strasberg Institute, so I like working with them as well. Positive messages that I agree with and believe in are my goals.

What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?

I think my work style is well defined. My reel is consistent, so I can’t think of a misconception. The only one is one that most women still have to go through: Yes, we can do soccer and beer spots.

Have you ever worked with a cost consultant and if so how have your experiences been?

I usually work together with my producers, and we negotiate everything before and during production. I have never worked with a cost consultant directly.

What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of production – and how did you solve it?

When you work with kids, things happen! I usually use it for the benefit of the film. I had once a kid that did not want to film anymore in the middle of the day. And we had shot almost the whole storyboard. I tried to convince him in many ways. In the end, he did something very different from what was planned and gave a new and incredible end to the spot.

How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?

I like to propose changes, if necessary, but usually adding to the agency’s idea. If I have a completely different idea, I find the right moment (if there is) to expose it. All I always want everyone to know is that we all want the film to be great.

What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Yes! We just gain with more diversity. Different people bring different looks, ideas, points of view. And that is a need for our industry. They are more than welcome in my sets. They are needed.

How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work in the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time?

I think lots of things are going to change. We realized that we could gain time and work well without having to be in person every time. Meeting online made me increase my contacts. Many things can be done from far away.

Your work is now presented in so many different formats - to what extent do you keep each in mind while you're working?

Format, for me, is an issue that needs more attention. I don’t think it is possible to film for all formats at the same time. Yes, you can adjust the formats. But if I’m thinking 16X9, I can’t be genuinely working in a 9X16 format simultaneously. I always ask.

Who is the Hero? What’s your relationship with new technology and, if at all, how do you incorporate future-facing tech into your work?

Every format is welcome; it is good to have different perspectives and goals. I just think you have to have a reason to choose the technology you will be working with. It is the same when you chose the right camera, the right lenses. Everything has to have a reason.

Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why?

Those pieces that I’m sharing with you, represent well my line of work.

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