Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was born in Toronto Canada. I always had an interest in the arts. My father was a photographer and growing up photography and films were always around me. At the age of 12, inspired by Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films and Steven Spielbergs movies like “Jurassic Park”. I got the courage to write my first screenplay and since then I haven’t stopped. I went on to direct my first short film at 16 and to direct a feature film at the age of 20. The feature film was a particularly big deal for me as it beat one of my career goals which were to direct a feature by the age of 30. I beat it by 10 years and to top it all off the film was in the USA. I have gone on to work on several films since.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started doing this?
Hmm. Well since I began my writing and directing career many things have happened. The most surprising and interesting was getting hired to direct the feature film called “The Rush Chairman.” It was filmed in South Carolina and a week before shooting I got a call from Producer, Brett Kanea from FALLS PARK ENTERTAINMENT. He and I met on the set of another film just a few weeks prior. It was a long conversation where he told me the plot of the film and questioned whether or not I would like to be a part of it. I was offered the role of the cinematographer. I gladly accepted it. It was not long after where I was offered an additional position. Originally as I recall the writer was going to direct the picture, but for a variety of reasons he decided that he would like to bring someone else on board for the position. That’s when I was hired to be not only the Cinematographer but now the Director as well. I was happy to take on the responsibility of both positions and it was the toughest job I ever had in the industry. But with the support of the writer, Rich Coleman along with the two producers, Brett Kanea and Helena Flaugher-Sullivan I felt confident in my ability. In hindsight, I’m happy I accepted the offer and that they were all so kind enough to trust me with all that responsibility. It was a big turning point for me as it brought me out of my own bubble of doing my own shorts in Canada into a feature film in the USA.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I find the most important thing to do as a filmmaker is to show what you’re capable of. By that, I mean creating your own work. Whether that’s a short film in which you write/direct and actor in a mini-series. It not only helps you develop your skills, but it helps get your work out there into the world and it could lead to your first big project. If I never did my own short films I know without a doubt that I wouldn’t have been hired to direct a feature film.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
The first people I would like to thank are my parents, Angelo and Angela. They helped me get started by not only giving me the confidence to purse as a teen what I love but in helping me create my first short films (in which I used my father’s cameras & lights). I would also like to send out a big thank you to FALLS PARK ENTERTAINMENTs Brett Kanea and Helena Flaugher-Sullivan. Without those two I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to direct a feature film at the age of 20. They trusted me with a lot of responsibility and I’ll forever be grateful for that. Lastly, I would like to thank my frequent writing collaborator, Gilbert Laberge. We worked together in film school and we have continued to do so since, without him our latest short film “Decades Apart” wouldn’t be as strong as it is.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I find that films can send inspirational messages out into the world and that’s what I feel I have been able to do with my films. One, in particular, stands out and that is the message sent in “Decades Apart.” That short film shows you how valuable time can be and why we shouldn’t waste the moments we have, because one day they can all be gone.
Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share a story of how that was relevant to you in your life?
One comes to mind. “You can look back on something and say. Wow, that was amazing! But you have to move on, things change and you have to accept that or you’ll be a sad person really.” That’s a quote from Simon Le Bon who is the lead singer of Duran Duran. This quote really hit home with me as there were collaborations that I had in the past that came to an abrupt end unexpectedly… Frankly, I was lost creatively for a little while, until I heard what Simon said here. It gave me the confidence to keep going and not dwell on things that didn’t go as expected because, in reality, that’s life. Things don’t always go as anticipated and that is ok. You got to just keep moving and thanks to this quote I did that and found a new voice within myself and my new collaborations.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
My Instagram is @andrew_dipardo and the url to my FB page is Facebook.com/dipardofilms and my website is andrewdipardofilms.com