Interview by Anyana Jana
Rodrigo Ferrat is the producer known for “Oh My God!” — his brilliant web series has screened in almost every part of the world and received many awards —
A huge congratulations to Ferrat for his successful creation. We asked the producer a few questions to find out more about him and his web series, “Oh My God!”
What, in your experience, is the most important quality in an Executive Producer?
I think an executive producer should have trust in his cast & crew to pull off the vision of the show. But also be held accountable to make this show being seen, and to make it prosper as long as possible. It’s a two-sided coin you have to trust your team, and your team has to trust you to make something out of their result.
“OH My God!” — How do you operate?
We’re interested to know how you operate. Please describe how you would ensure that a production is on schedule. What steps would you take?
I heavily really on my 1st AD. In this case, both my 1st AD Athulya Radhakrishnan and my 2nd AC, Christian Robinson kept me focused on pulling off both episodes, two weekends in a row. They’re amazing, with bright futures ahead of them.
The way I operate is just like a videogame because pretty much I have a checklist, with objectives. As I accomplish those mentioned, I unlock other missions or objectives. At least that’s my way of seeing producing and makes it easier and more fun than a lot of people look at it.
Will you tell us about some of the challenges that you’ve faced while making and releasing “Oh My God!”
Pretty much it was getting the hang of the paperwork needed on pre-production because there was some of it that I’ve never seen in my life.
Location, location, location
Securing the locations was a total struggle, but I was lucky on meeting Jamie Henry — PixlWorks and Draft On-Site. He lent us his location for the office. Also, a hardy thanks to the amazing Max Chen for lending us his apartment to shoot.
Beyond searching for locations, production was really smooth, and we had a great time shooting these two episodes.
Post-production was challenging because there were too many hands in the oven, but that also helped the project improvement at the end of the day.
“OH My God!” — The devil’s in the details
Please tells us a bit about the components needed to make a web series.
I think pretty much what’s needed is good people and that’s what we got all across from the cast to the crew.
But in detail, you need smart writers to pull off good content in such a little amount of pages, a reliable location to have coherence between episodes, and you need an amazingly charismatic cast that can capture the attention of the viewers in a span of minutes before the episode’s over.
Why a web series?
“Oh, My God!” focuses on using new media — We’re curious to know what made you pick this medium. Is it the first time that you’ve created a web series and what inspired the choice?
The decision was part of Vancouver Film School because it’s part of the curriculum. Before this experience, I didn’t know any about this format.
It is my first time, but I want to think it will not be my last one because it’s a benefitting format for new filmmakers. A web series also works for viewers. They get a break from the epic one-hour series.
Don’t get me wrong, I love longer episodes, and I watch them. But there’s sometimes when I just want to see something in a rush and have fun with it.
I think we accomplish some of that with “Oh My God!”.
“Oh My God!” — the banter
Some great comedic moments take place between God and his assistant — Please explain how you developed the dialogue for these characters. Do you think the banter makes your series more appealing to the audience? In what ways?
The credit for that goes to our writers Antonio Barron Toro and Andrea Gobera Fajer. They took their time in the writer’s room to fully developed these characters.
About the banter I think is one of the amazing things of “OMG!” We set up this dynamic of an immortal sarcastic being in the form of Helliot, who is trying to let Toni (a mortal) do the job he is supposed to be doing, but we also have Dolores (Toni’s mom) that is overly religious.
I like that contrast. It shows that in this world we all have different beliefs. And it’s okay to have that because we can learn from each other.
I think it makes the series better in a way, where it’s not just a goofy dark dramedy. But also one that has a subtle message such as global warming, fanatism, disbelief, and many more. If you pay attention to the dialogue of both episodes, you’ll find these ideas.
It’s a responsibility as creators to say something beyond the laughter and that’s the content I want to produce.
“Oh My God!” is a resounding success
How does it feel to win awards all over the world? What, in your opinion makes this web series so successful?
It’s amazing. But more satisfying to see talented people such as Sara Dunn (as Toni) and Phil Trasolini (as Helliot) get the recognition for their incredible performances.
The success comes from the love we put into doing this series. Also, having a strong female lead, giving originality to this story that dwells between the ordinary office jobs and world crisis that is supposed to be fixed by gods.
Most importantly I think success comes from the fact that we know our content and we don’t take ourselves too seriously.
We take making the movie seriously, but we joked around and had fun doing this. I think that is reflected in the screen.
Wrapping It Up
Tell us about your plans. Is “Oh My God” available to the public? If not, do you know when you will release the first episode?
Thanks for asking because right now “Oh My God!” is not available in any platform due to the festival route. Some of the festivals ask us not to put it online just yet.
Release of the episodes online is unsure right now because we have lined up a good chunk of festivals, from now through February 2020. Also, our entries could increase with the third episode.
It’s weird having this festival route with content that is meant to be online. But right now I think it is the best course of action since the festivals are giving a good response. The festival circuit benefits cast, the crew and the show in general by demonstrating it’s good content that you’ll be watching when it’s available.
Right now the plan for “Oh My God is to produce the third episode in a couple of months. If it’s up to me, I would like to keep it going as much as possible either by self-funding, crowdfunding or by pitching it to Storyhive, YouTube Red, or any service that shows interest in further developing this amazing show.
You can follow Rodrigo Ferrat on Instagram
Ananya Jana finished her master degree in Journalism and mass communication. She is the event coordinator. She loves to explore different genres of movie. Ananya is a passionate writer and believes that real writing equals authentical writing without the veneer and excuses in order to reach the audience at a heart level. She believes that when she writes she comes alive and the energy zaps. Her passion for writing focuses on character-driven plotlines.