Q&A with Adrian Prospero, director of ISA award-winning “Once Were Heroes”

Australian Adrian Prospero is the director of the film “Once Were Heroes“, awarded Bronze Best Sci-Fi Short in the round of September. A film that tells the story of a couple who make use of their son to carry out a robbery. A funny, creative and competent work.

Once Were Heroes
Once Were Heroes

ISA: What made you decide to make this film?

Adrian Prospero: We decided to make “Once Were Heroes” because we had some success with our last two short films. We felt we wanted to tackle science fiction and we had a strong theme and message we wanted to develop into a story.

ISA: What budget did you have and how did it affect the production?

AP: We had a very low budget to make this film as all independent films. We were lucky to have a team of professionals with experience in filmmaking. This helped move quickly and think creatively when we didn’t have the money.

ISA: How long was the shooting and which were the main challenges on the set?

AP: We filmed over four days. Majority of our scenes were exteriors and on all four days, it poured rain non-stop. This caused delays in filming, difficulty in matching color grades and production design had a nightmare trying to fill water puddles.

ISA: How difficult is to make the audience believe in the characters and feel emotionally linked with a short film?

AP: With a short film it is very difficult, you are trying to make the audience connect within minutes, even seconds. I think the best way is to make your characters have traits that are realistic and put them in situations that feel authentic to the viewer. Definitely easier said than done.

Once Were Heroes
Once Were Heroes

ISA: What does your film want to express?

AP: “Once Were Heroes” looks at relationships and in particular families. The thematic question we posed when developing the idea is would you stay in a relationship that is toxic instead of being alone? A lot of times we put up with things we don’t agree with just because we believe we are receiving love from someone else. This film looks at, what if you had the power to leave?

ISA: Are you happy with the final result or would you change something?

AP: I think every filmmaker wishes that they could change certain aspects but that is hindsight. Overall, I am very proud of the film we made and you never really know what you have until you finish because the idea always expands and grows over the process.

ISA: What is next?

AP: Currently we are in pre-production for our next short film “Monster Under the Bed” and developing our feature film, “The Clairvoyant”, a thriller set in the United States.

ISA: What does it mean for you to be awarded in Independent Shorts Awards?

AP: Being part of the Independent Shorts Awards is an honor for the team. Filmmaking is difficult and requires a lot of time and hard work, and our team worked tirelessly and collaborated to make a film we are all proud of.

Adriano Prospero on the set of "Once Were Heroes"
Adriano Prospero on the set of “Once Were Heroes”

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