We had the good fortune of connecting with Charles Fernandes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Charles, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk taking is essential in filmmaking. You can’t have originality without some sort of risk involved. What’s scary about it is that you’ll have no idea if what you’re doing will work until it does. In highschool, I made a high concept/experimental short film called “A Tip on Torment”. It was a story told from two different perspectives, but playing side-by-side at the same time. All the character dialogue was overlapping with each other, and there were a lot of complex split-screen visuals happening. The whole time making it, I was worried if the film would even be understandable. It was terrifying; pouring all that time and effort into something that could completely fail. Sometimes I would feel bad asking people to help with it, worried that I’d be wasting their time. It turned out to be one of my most successful videos. The creativity of it garnered lots of attention from friends, family, and film festivals. So, I think risk taking is really the key to success.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have been a filmmaker for about 7 years now. I made my first short over the summer between 6th and 7th grade, and it went on from there. I do go to school for it, but I still love/prefer to teach myself. I do research and watch Youtube videos and tutorials, just trying to perfect the craft. I keep a journal of everything I learn. I would always wake up early to write, just brainstorming any idea I could think of. I always try to push the boundaries of my mind because I believe originality is what sets me apart. The video I am probably the most proud of is a music video I made in high school. It was for an incredible indie/rock song called “She’s the Only One” by King Guru. We shot it over a single weekend, and it received a National Student Production award from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. I also got to try a lot of cool water effects and animations. As for right now, I am working on a yearlong “second-a-day” style short film: taking one second of video from everyday of the year. I always thought the second-a-day videos were interesting, and that it would be fun to make a short film in that style. I also saw this project as the perfect opportunity to practice consistency. My goal for the year is to become more consistent in creating, and to put out short films more frequently. So far, this second-a-day project has taught me how to stop enabling perfectionism, and how to just get out there and create everyday. Clint has been an inspiration to me for a long time, and I was eager to join the challenge. This has been my first time doing anything like this, but so far I’d say it’s going pretty good. I always love trying new things like this. It has been a few late nights and early mornings at the computer, but I hope the end result will be worth it.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’m from the New Bedford, MA area, so there’s a lot of beautiful places to catch the sunset and hang out. Fort Phoenix, Ned’s Point, West Island, etc. However, one of my favorite spots to go for a sunset is the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Rhode Island. It’s a little bit of a drive, but the view is unbeatable. Climbing that rock with the boys and hanging out is always a fun time. The Pasta House is a great place to eat (highly recommend the Tips Gorgonzola or Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese). Acushnet Creamery is a must for ice-cream. And of course Downtown New Bedford is a fantastic place to immerse yourself in the art and culture of the area.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Huge shoutout to Fairhaven High School for everything they did for me. Mr. Furtado (my Media Arts teacher) and my entire class believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. They all gave me confidence and trust in my vision, and for that I am forever in debt. Thank you to Alyssa Botelho for everything you do to help and inspire me. I cannot imagine being where I am today without you. Thanks to Alex Sarkis, Isabelle Pacheco, Evan Pina, Will Benoit, Adam Leidhold, Ryan Hartman, Sean Brown, Ben Davignon, Garrett Brunette, Gabe Monroe, Jake Ozcan, Aline Sarkis, Nina Medeiros, Cassie Lavigne, and Matt Cadieux for all your help with my videos. Thanks to all my friends from home. Miss you guys a lot, and I hope college/life is going good. Shoutout to URI for welcoming me into the amazing film program. Thanks to Luke Rotella for being the perfect roommate and friend. Thanks to Kaitlyn Haseltine for being the perfect honorary third roommate and friend. Thanks to Lilli Barresi, Alora Gonzalves, Justin Peters, Owen Tierney, Christian Owen, Emily Lanzarone, Ellie Balestriere, and the whole FLM 110 gang. Love you all; thanks for everything.