An interview with Rodrigo Ferrat | Oh My God! | VMA19 Multi-Award Winner | May Edition
Rodrigo Ferrat is one of the most promising producers to keep an eye on.
Mexican of origin, Canadian by adoption, he is known for the hilarious web series Oh My God!, which he produced, wrote, and in which we can see him also acting in the role of an angel.
Oh My God! has won 9 Awards in the May edition of the Vegas Movie Awards, including Best Web/Tv Pilot, Best Producer, and Best Ensemble.
Meet a talented and humble producer/writer who believes that cast is what makes Oh My God! so successful.
• Rodrigo, congratulations to you and your team on winning so many accolades at the Vegas Movie Awards! How do you feel about all these incredible achievements, after so much hard work from all the people involved in the making of Oh My God!?
First of all, we’re really honored to have received all these achievements on behalf of the Vegas Movie Awards. For me, it’s an incredibly humbling experience and just a reassurance that audiences want to see new formats, characters, and stories.
But also is incredible for me to give something back to a part of our cast Sara Dunn, Phil Trasolini, Tamara Thorsen. Hopefully, this project getting all these awards and exposure can open bigger doors for them because they damn sure deserve it. And in the technical aspect is also giving recognition and reassurance to the editors, to Walter (our composer) and to me that we are doing something right in our path within filmmaking.
• We had a lot of fun watching and evaluating both your pilot and the second episode. The ease with which you have dealt with such a serious topic is remarkable, and the subtle irony in highlighting the ordinary, and sometimes sad, human condition, is truly brilliant. Who got the idea, and where did your inspiration come from?
It was pretty much made up in the writer’s room that included vital members of the latter production team such as Ezgi Gundogdu, Farsina Prithwi, Arthur Alencar, Andrea Gobera, Antonio Barron, myself and many more haha.
With just two episodes up to date, there’s still a lot to be told not only about the overarching story but also about our characters. We really put a lot of thought into who are these people and what is this world so I cannot wait for us to show it.
With just two episodes up to date, there’s still a lot to be told not only about the overarching story but also about our characters.
• The incredible synergy between the main actors Helliot (Phil Trasolini) and Toni (Sara Dunn) keeps the audience totally hooked. Do you want to talk about their performance and what was your casting process like?
For me it’s truly an honor just to be on set with them and seeing their performance first handed, they’re incredibly talented, and if you ask me, they’re already big stars.
They create this fantastic environment on set, joke around and play with the material that makes it feel more authentic, for real the big shows are missing out on these two.
During casting it was really complicated to cast Toni but once we started having the chemistry reading, we started noticing that we wanted to see so much of Sara and that every time she brought not a new Toni to life but a different face of Toni.
Phil was always on our top, and since the beginning, he told us “I’m going to make the greatest Helliot ever if you give me the opportunity” so we decided on give it a try, and I’m so thankful we chose him.
• You and the directors Ezgi Gündoğdu and Farsina Kabir Prithwi have been able to put together a very successful ensemble, that ended up winning an important Award of Prestige at our Festival. It seems like you guys had a lot of fun during the filming of the episodes...isn't it?
Hahaha, I’m guessing you’re talking about the angels. That was an idea that I had one week before shooting because we were going over the shot list and there’s the big moment of “I’m a god” and we were having such a struggle emphasizing that moment without making it too dramatic. So originally our PA’s were going to play the angels with a robe, but due to scheduling, it ended up being Francis and me hahaha.
But we are very aware that we are just comedic relief and just an extra spice to the show, the whole focus and talent are entirely on our amazing cast with Sara, Phil, Adamina, and Tamara. They bring the charisma, comedy, and emotion to “Oh My God!”
• These first two episodes suggest that there will be many more funny disputes between Gods, Demi-gods, angels and who knows who else…Have they always been among us and we never realized it? Or are they simply hiding from us mortals? And why did they choose Vancouver?
Yeah, there’s a ton more to explore in the world of Oh My God! that we are looking to expand in episode 3 and further on episode 4.
They’ve always been here, and we have realized it in the past, but it’s similar to the movie Ted one day you’re a miracle, but in a span of a couple days/months/years/centuries, you become a distant memory. The gods do hide nowadays just imagine all the request they would get daily to please one person and believe me that pleasing everybody on the 21st Century is impossible.
Because Vancouver is a city with people that come from tons of different backgrounds, is a quiet city compared to most and is a city with not that much social interaction outside of your social group. So it’s perfect for this beings to be in hiding but at the same time to be as weird as they are without someone pointing the finger at them.
• Helliot is totally addicted to whiskey, and JC to wine. Is alcohol a prerogative of the gods or are we just facing the worst representatives of the category? And, as humanity, how much do we have to worry about Helliot's sneezes?
I think gods are like people as weird as it sounds, but there’s an explanation on Helliot’s alcohol addiction that we want to tell before wrapping this season that fully explores the series at its core. It also must be tiring to live millennials watching/doing atrocities in a cycle, so I think that’s an escape for a lot of the gods to forget their past mistakes or just to elude them as much as possible.
A ton, since he was formerly the god of chaos and now he is in this opposite position, people should be worrying. Thankfully we have Toni, and she will make sure the world doesn’t end...but just to be assured for anyone reading start praying for your own good haha.
• Your series is being developed on behalf of the Vancouver Film School, which is renowned to always promoting new talent and fresh ideas. It seems clear that you had enough creative freedom to develop the series without censorship of any kind, which is always a great thing when it comes to film art. Who believed in this project, and helped you make it happen?
I’m eternally grateful to Jayme Pfahl and Arun Fryer (my producing mentors) in allowing me to produce both episodes and also believing in me to make a third one.
There’s a ton of people/staff that push me harder and are always able to help me out even if I’m just an annoying guy, so If I may I would love to thank Andrew McEvoy, Drew Sarian, Kenedi Grierson, Brooke Goble, Daniel Younger, Jonny DiVito, Jordan Vazquez, Skye Dyken, Fernanda Lopez, Alex Butler & Will Meadows. They’ve made me a better producer, but most importantly they helped improve as a human being for that and their patience I’m eternally grateful.
• Oh my God! has all the ingredients and the potential to be a more extensive product. How many other episodes are you planning to develop? And what other projects are you pursuing at the moment?
For sure. I’m thrilled to give you guys the exclusive that we are shooting episode 3 on May 25th and 26th with new characters, story and even more fun.
My plan as of now is after getting the third episode complete take a couple of months to shoot episode 4 and from there before finishing the year, shoot the whole season in a single push that we think it will consist on 8 episodes. After the initial release to the public and the reaction it gets I would to keep it alive as further as I can take it, so I’m thinking on approaching Rooster Teeth, Youtube RED or Storyhive to pursue a second season and more.
Between other projects we are in the final process to release our new short film Filum we are prepping for an experimental/dance short film alongside Tamara Thorsen (H’eden) called Expires 2/11. We are also re-editing our newest short film New Season starring part of the new cast Harumy Tanajara & Patrick Gaudet.
Long term I’m developing my first feature film alongside my friend/writer Liam Sullivan and also an animation series with my good friend Christian Robinson.
The gods do hide nowadays just imagine all the request they would get daily to please one person and believe me that pleasing everybody on the 21st Century is impossible.
• Right now Oh My God! can't still be available to the public, due to several restrictions imposed by the festival circuit. Where can people follow your work and when do you plan to finally release the series?
I swear I’m working on doing a website/Facebook page to compile all this information, but I just hadn’t had the time to do it. Meanwhile, you can follow me on Instagram at @readyatzero that as of now is the easiest way to see the development of the projects I’m involved.
It’s really tricky to answer the second question, but I’ll do my best. So if everything goes according to plan we will shoot the third episode next week, after that episode four should be around August and the whole season could be shot around October/November. As of now, we have a festival route that goes all the way to February 2020, so I’m going to be really brave, and I will say that MAYBE we should be releasing the season around April 2020.
• Thanks for this interview Rodrigo, and good luck to you and your team for your future endeavors!
Thank you so much. We’re really honored by you, and I hope that I can consistently bring more good content to you guys.
WATCH THE TRAILER: