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April 07, 2013 | posted in Filmmakers
For most, Pablo Ferro is not a household name. Director Richard Goldgewicht was fascinated with the story—Ferro came to America from Cuba with no shoes. Ferro’s story is “kind of an upside-down American Dream,” says Goldgewicht.
Goldgewicht first met Ferro, the title designer for more than 90 films, 10 years ago when working on a TV show that included a segment on Ferro. The program did not get picked up, but Goldgewicht was able to salvage enough material to make a seven-minute short about this “unknown artist who was behind so much pop art for 50 years,” says Goldgewicht. “He specialized in something that was so unique.”
Ferro made his mark in the film industry with Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove,” using what would become the Ferro trademark—elongated hand-drawn lettering in the title sequence.
The artist always positioned himself in a private way. He was lucid and mysterious, notes Goldgewicht, so much so that after 40 interviews of Ferro’s friends, family and ex-lovers he still didn’t know that much about his subject. After every interview, he realized that he “would always meet a different man.” Depending on who he was talking to, their stories of Ferro would vary widely.
One thousand pages of transcript later, Goldgewicht finally set to work on his biopic.
It was a difficult story to tell, but Goldgewicht decided to use animation to tie it together. He worked from Los Angeles with an artist from New York that he never met. Through Skype, emails and electronic file transfers the project was completed on budget. The animation just fit with the 1960s drug-fueled culture. As a Brazilian, Goldgewicht notes, the ’60s in New York “would be pretty cool. I was attracted to the music and the culture. Pablo very much represents the ’60s.”
After working on this feature, Goldgewicht hopes that the audience will share his enthusiasm for the subject and the film. “It’s a long process … that wasn’t financially feasible or sensible,” he admits. “But it was a labor of love.”
—Anne M. DiTeodoro
Photo by Tim Safranik
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