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Ciro Ayala Talks About 'Deeper Than Your Skin'

Please tell us about your background. What made you fall in love with cinema? How did you become interested in filmmaking?

I grew up in Buenos Aires (Argentina), and started doing 3D perspective drawings at age 4. Those were my first steps in the Arts.

When I was 7 years old, my mother bought me a science magazine featuring Steven Spielberg's work on the “E.T.” movie set. I was so amazed by Steven Spielberg's perspective on art and films, his success, the movie magic and behind the scenes of “E.T.” film, that I decided to become a filmmaker since such a young age.

Which filmmakers or music video directors influenced you? What are some of the films and music videos that affected you the most?

Some of the filmmaker that influenced my career are Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, Andrei Tarkovsky, Mark Romanek, Alex Proyas, David Fincher, PT Anderson, Tarsem Singh, and the list continues...

2001: A Space Odyssey and all of Mark Romanek's directed music videos have influenced me the most.

What are the visual themes/issues you try to reflect in your work? What, in your opinion, is the most important quality of a music video?

I mostly try to reflect in my work existential and spiritual themes. For me, the most important quality of a music video is to deliver a good message to the audience in an original and unique visual way.

What is your creative process when making music videos? Do you share your ideas with the singer/songwriter or do you do things solo?

I try to find out what inspired the musician to create the song. In some cases, I get the answer by listening to the song hundred of times, until the inspiration comes out from the melody and gives birth to the visual concepts required for the track.

Please tell us about the production and your experiences of making DEEPER THAN YOUR SKIN. What are some of the challenges and difficulties one faces when making music videos?

This is my 5th collaboration with the Grammy nominated singer-songwriter/producer Ajay Mathur to create a music video for one of his songs. I

Director Ciro Ayala

love the lyrics and messages in all of his albums, which helps me to find the right visual concept that he is looking for.

Every collaboration with Ajay, has been a great personal spiritual journey of music and images.

Some of the challenges that I face when making music videos are related to the timing and rhythm of the visuals during the editing process: trying to create a piece that is visually appealing, that respects the soul and rhythm of the song, and that still delivers a good -and understandable- message to the audience, are not so easy to get and match.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working with smaller budgets and being independent? Does it liberate the director or limit his or her freedom?

I think that being independent has the advantage of having more freedom on how to visually portrait a concept or idea during the final cut of the project.

The main disadvantage of smaller budgets is that -in most cases- you need to do it all alone -by yourself- during production and post-production. However, it's a good way to learn the process from all perspectives.

What you do think about the current state of music videos? Has it become better or worse compared to the past?

The 90's were the Golden Age of music videos. Most famous filmmakers nowadays, started as music video directors during the MTV era.

However, with the arrival of new filming and editing tools accessible to everyone, it has devaluated the role of professional filmmakers and auteurs worldwide.

Tell us about your festival run. Have film festivals provided you with the experience and exposure you needed? What is your opinion about how festivals can help filmmakers with their career?

Yes, I think that film festivals are a good way to expose and test your work to a broad audience, and to compare the state of your art with other fellow filmmakers.

Also, film festivals are a great opportunity for networking in the entertainment industry.

What was the reaction of those who watched your work? Was the feedback what you hoped for?

I received great feedback from “Deeper Than Your Skin” music video. Most people felt emotionally hopeful and motivated with the song’s theme of self-esteem that we visualized in the video: we characterized it by using examples of real people from different cultures who pioneered and changed the course of humanity, based on love, belief, intelligence, and courage, even against all social odds, disapproval, even rejection and discrimination. The video is a homage to the real heroes, innovators and leaders in human history, without race or gender distinction.

Are you planning to make more music videos or will you be making short or feature films? Please tell us about your future project(s).

After directing more than 150 music videos for the past 14 year, I am slowly transitioning to Art House Cinema and Feature Films.

After winning some awards abroad in fine arts, I'm currently producing a 6 minutes CGI Art Film called “Tonal/Nagual”, and in pre-production of a feature film about Universal Infinite Love.


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