IFH 491: Inside the Soulful Sundance Hit Nine Days with Edson Oda

Inside the Soulful Sundance Hit Nine Days with Edson Oda

I had the pleasure of watching acclaimed director, Edson Oda’s knockout feature directorial debut, Nine Days. And I absolutely loved it. With the COVID shock, the world has experienced and still going through, this film centers the conversation of existentialism and depicts it quite distinctly. 

Oda’s supernatural drama film, Nine Days was shot at the peak of the Pandemic in isolated Utah, starred Black Panther’s star, Winston Duke, Zazie Beetz, Benedict Wong, Tony Hale, Bill Skarsgård, David Rysdahl, and Arianna Ortiz.

The film is about an interviewer named Will, who spends his days in a remote outpost watching the live POV on TVs of people going about their lives. He interviews five unborn souls to determine which one can be given life on Earth, until one subject perishes, leaving a vacancy for a new life on earth. Soon, several candidates – unborn souls – arrive at Will’s to undergo tests determining their fitness, facing oblivion when they are deemed unsuitable. But Will soon faces his own existential challenge in the form of free-spirited Emma, a candidate who is not like the others, forcing him to turn within and reckon with his own tumultuous past. Fueled by unexpected power, he discovers a bold new path forward in his own life.

Oda who is a Sundance Screenwriters Lab Alumni took the film home (to Sundance) and premiered Nine Days there in January 2020. It went on to win the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award in February of 2020 and earned two Independent Spirits Awards nominations.

The Japanese-Brazilian director and writer made his start in São Paulo advertising scene and later completed his master’s at USC in Film and Production. Oda has produced and directed several films, commercials, and music videos. 

In 2013, he directed and wrote a short film, Malaria which is about a young mercenary who is hired to kill Death. Malaria combines Origami, Kirigami, Timelapse, nankin illustration, Comic Books and Western Cinema.

Besides top-notch commercials for companies like Philips, Movistar, InBev, Whirlpool, Johnson & Johnson, Honda, Nokia, he’s also a Latin Grammy-nominated director for best music video Tempos de Maracujá.

Nine Days was released in the US on July 30th, 2021 and I am excited to see how well-received it is about to become. I am predicting it may even win an Academy Award. Yes. It is that fantastic!

Enjoy my conversation with Edson Oda.

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EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Alex Ferrari 0:02
I like to welcome to the show Edson Oda. How you doing?

Edson Oda 0:16
Good. Good, man. How's it going?

Alex Ferrari 0:17
Thank you. Thank you for doing well, man, I'm so happy to have you on the show man. Like I was telling you before we got on, I had the pleasure of watching nine days. And I have absolutely loved it. I think it's, it's a film that we need in this world now just kind of starts that conversation and starts that conversation about deeper conversation about what we're doing. And I think the pandemic has really made us think about our lives in general. But before we go down the rabbit hole on your film, how did you get into business?

Edson Oda 0:50
Yeah, I was, you know, born and raised in Brazil, and then I start working in advertising, like, straight out of college and then work never that's for like 10 years as a copywriter. And then after that, I moved here to the west, I went to film school, grad film, school. And yeah, and then I just start writing stuff. And there's some point it just real nine days and got to the Sundance labs. And then for the Sundance labs, I got, like, introduce some producers. And then from from there on, we just like started sending out into, like, we got finance and everything. So

Alex Ferrari 1:24
that's pretty That's awesome. So so when you weren't in Brazil, you were working in the commercial world.

Edson Oda 1:29
I was Yeah. I used to work in advertising agency.

Alex Ferrari 1:32
I, oh, very much. So I, commercial director for 20 years. So I yeah, but I've been a commercial director for over 25 years, between music videos and commercials and stuff. So I and before that I was editing in editing commercials as well. So I'm very well aware of the the agency side of the agency side of the business. Now, you know, coming from a commercial background and a music video background, how do you how did that prepare you to jump into your first feature?

Edson Oda 2:06
It prepared a lot actually no, and what was interesting, because when a migrate, you know, I said like, Oh, yeah, not gonna, it's just gonna start from you know, from beginning, you know, but but then, I think as it was just when it was the wrap, and it was feel me, I saw that it was he prepared quite a bit actually, like specially writing because it was a copywriter. It was interesting, because in terms of I think commercials are a very high concept, you know, in, you always try to grab people's attention in like a short span of time. And there's something that even like, 90, if you pitch someone there, there's a kind of element like, Oh, this is, this is weird, this is different. And I think, even when it was coming up with a concept that was trying to go with something that felt kind of unique, somehow it felt it same time, when you in advertise, we always push to just like have the best execution to one single scene. That's usually like 30 seconds, you know, so I think every, every single scene somehow I saw more or less like a, you know, a commercial in a way that I need, you know, tons of execution, just find the one that I feel like all this, this fits well to the story, what it wants to achieve. So it was it was very helpful, to be honest.

Alex Ferrari 3:27
Yeah. I mean, when you're writing when you're writing you, ideally, you're supposed to have a beginning, middle and end in every scene. And with commercial, you are trained to do that every 30 seconds. Yeah, it helps you with your writing a lot, I'm sure. Now, how did nine days come to life? No pun intended?

Edson Oda 3:45
Yeah, no, it's been purgatory. someone's like, it was it was such a, you know, I started writing it. It was like 2015, I think, yes, it was. So it was pretty quick, actually. And then they were like this first draft. And I wanted to ride this kind of, you know, micro budget movie, because I felt like even if people don't, you know, invest money in it. Worst case scenario, just like I do Kickstarter, or something, it just making myself so it felt like, yeah, I'm going to write something that I can produce, we'd like to interact, we'd like 100k or something like that. in a rural, it took me like, I think, one month or something after I figure out what I want to write about one month, just structure all the thoughts in my head. And then after that took me like, three, four months just to you know, write the pages in. So it was more like four months into I had like, a rough first draft. And then I got to the Sundance labs, and after the labs, it just said working on that script for like a year and a half, two years or something like that. And then from then I just liked Just like being producers and and in from from that on it was like it was something that was just wasn't just me, but it was like other people some

Alex Ferrari 5:09
something something took something took over the project at that point.

Edson Oda 5:13
Yeah, yeah. Mostly was me because it was oh the the the person just doing like most of the, you know, trying to sell and try to Yeah, give him money and stuff. But it wasn't. And then people are just like be on my side. Yeah, yeah, give it to him. Yeah, he's,

Alex Ferrari 5:29
he's a good he's a good fella, it's okay, give him some money give us he's gonna do he's not gonna lose it all, it'll be fine. It's always I always I love, I love talking to filmmakers about getting the money for their projects, because I don't care who you are, everyone's got to hustle. Everyone's got to hustle to get there to get their financing. There's very few directors who don't hustle to get their finances, especially for your first film. But when watching that film, but watching the movie, I can see that it could have easily been done for $100,000. You know, it was you know, control locations. I mean, obviously, not as grand of scale, but you could have your push come to shove made an independent version of that without question. We're talking too much about the film, let's Can you tell this to the audience what this film is about?

Edson Oda 6:12
Yeah, this is such a weird movie to pitch, but I practice a lot. So this movies about this interviewer it happens in this, this distant reality, I don't call like, you know, it's a, it's a I load Bible. In them in the same vein of movies like Eternal Sunshine, a Spotless Mind or her. And then there's this like reality, which is kind of pre life reality as a call, it's a before life reality. And there's like this interviewer whose name is Will, in his interview songs to choose one soul for the privilege of being born. And the process, you know, takes like nine days to be concluded into this nine days, it's just gonna, you know, talk to the souls know them better. And then by the end of process, just pick one to be born to be where we all at now.

Alex Ferrari 7:05
So what is your definition of a soul? And that's,

Edson Oda 7:10
that's an interesting question. You know, I think it's, it's everything that's not created through the environment, you know, I think it's, it's things that are innately there, you know, part of us before we interact with one another, but somehow they tell how the interactions in our or how the environment will shape us, but it's kind of, you know, I think, same typically would be our DNA. But it's interesting, but it's not the DNA because, as you can see, you know, there's so many variables, variables, yeah, there's

Alex Ferrari 7:49
variables. Yeah. But on a, but on a spiritual level. What do you think your definition of a soul is? If I may ask,

Edson Oda 7:56
I think I think it'd be more like a DNA of your personality, I think it would be the DNA of your view as not nothing related to a body but it

Alex Ferrari 8:07
as a being as a being as a being Yeah, is it being Is it because I love a lot. First of all, I love the casting and I loved the variety of ages, the ages, the the, the colors, it was like a rainbows fantastic to watch. But I love that, you know, some of the souls that came in for the interviews were older, some were younger, and they were all different personalities. And I found it so interesting that the concept that you know, a freshly, arguably a freshly born soul, which is what I took from the film, that is a is a freshly born soul comes in and goes, Okay, I'm here, I'm going to interview but if I don't make it, I just go back into the mix. And then hopefully, I'll get born again some other time and maybe get another opportunity. But I just love that they all came in with some with attitude. Some were very pleasing, some wanted to please others were very standoffish. It was it was a really interesting character study, I think it was almost socio almost a sociology experiment. Would you agree? Yeah. 100%

Edson Oda 9:14
You know, it was interesting before I chose to become like, advertiser was like in between, like psychology and sociology. Then I felt like always want to somehow understand you know, society or even give something back to society or do something for them. But then but the same time I felt like I was had this kind of selfish desire of creating thing, you know, and just like having the fun of creating that at the time, it was just, you know, when with advertising and in anything later in my life, we just felt like yeah, it was so interesting to do something that was more like a connecting connected to more people. You know, how I feel about the environment. Everyone knows. It's almost like a sociological study. And if there's only nine days is more or less like that. It's like how what happens For something and why we are the way, in always, it's not. It's not about like I feel, trying to just answer anything, but it's more about like just raising the questions and like start discussions which I, for me, it was just very, very interesting.

Alex Ferrari 10:13
Ya know, the film definitely starts questions and it's it asks questions, and definitely we'll start discussions. I have to ask you, how was it to workshop this at the Sundance writers lab? Well, the writer Yeah, it was you broke up a little bit. Yeah. So yeah, well, how was it? How was it to workshop the film in other scripts at the, at the screen at the Sundance writers lab, which is, you know, it was amazing. Yeah, it was, it was just amazing. It was just,

Edson Oda 10:41
I think, since you know, when I got to, I got here and your West, I think I didn't know so much about the Sundance labs, but then when I got to know, I just felt like this is this kind of my dream, you know, I wanted to be in the selected to, to just workshop this group, we'd like the amazing mentors, and they give you feedback in something interesting is not just about the feedback, and how, you know, you meet them, and they, they give you like, notes, but it's more about the environment, you know, it's more about, it's interesting, because, like, my, like my movie, you know, the whole process is very, almost like spiritual, it's, it's like a bunch of people who are there, you know, isolated. And rule number one is just like, let's not here, listen to the industry. Now we are here, we want to do something that that's human, you know, something that makes a difference, something that, you know, it's you are you you, you know, and, and let's just forget what other people you know, are saying, and just find the reason for why you're telling your stories and why it's important. And, and then we After finish this, we just go in and start just like you know, teaching so it was interesting, because the whole place the whole environment and process so much about learning how to be vulnerable, current learning how to be personal learning how to, you know, do our own stories, but not just by you know, telling story for the sake of telling stories, because it has also to do with the How can we help you with the craft, in order to you to tell the story. So it was, it was just like a perfect environment for me like personal but also very technical, too.

Alex Ferrari 12:19
It's like going to Tibet with a monk. It sounds like yeah, it's like it's your, you're completely walled off from the rest of the world. It's a whole bunch of other monks they're teaching you how to meditate in the in the craft of storytelling.

Edson Oda 12:34
Like you know, I don't know if you watch like Cobra Kai, or of course, this guy. That's more like the Miyagi dough. You know, when and in Hollywood is more or less a cup of coffee. You can just after you go to mega though, you can go to you know, Cobra Kai and see like, Oh, this is the script that I brought from Yeah, I did.

Alex Ferrari 12:55
such an amazing analogy of Miyagi doe versus Cobra Kai.

Edson Oda 12:59
And I think like, we know, I'm doing advertising for the Cobra caca. And now that the new season, we're going to learn that both of them that need each other,

Alex Ferrari 13:08
which, at the end of the day is true, because Hollywood does need the independent story. And the independent story needs the infrastructure of Hollywood because all of our great at all of our great directors and writers, they all they all start somewhere, you know, they all start with their independent films, generally speaking, before, they don't just generally come out the gate with $100 million. Striking striking first parking hard, right? Yeah, strike first strike. While we're going right, we're going deep down the Cobra Kai. back. So funny. Are you still can you tell if you can tell us to kind of take a step by step. So you you're done at the at the Sundance lab, you finish the script, you meet a few producers, and then you basically just go out into the world and just start looking for financing and money to try to put this project together. Well, how long did that what was that project? Like? What was the process like? And how long did it take you to do?

Edson Oda 14:05
Oh, yeah, it was so it was interesting, right after the so the the Sundance labs, I just went back to you know, at my desk and you just start writing writing, right, so yeah, okay, now we're ready to just go out. So my managers, you know, my team just like starting to send email to producers and Sundance as well. It's interesting because I was done at Sundance, but Sundance never you know, done with you, they always support you. So and then like for the next like months, that we just started saying script and just start carrying like producer so I think during the one year I started just like working with for this for one year, but it's more trying to you know, find investors and people who would be interested at same time it's just hard for you as you know, first time director to get like money because the way they want to do it, they want to do like you know, more of with more resources and when it when it wanted to do when you really care I do like under K, but they wanted to do with more, more than 100k. So, so when you started like asking investors, they were very interested, but as well, but they were also like, you know, yeah, we'd like his vision, you know, all this stuff, but who would play you know, this character is always that always? Yeah, so there was a time when we just started going, introducing the script to to actors in having meetings. And, you know, from I think that was like, during one year, and then a couple months later, just having conversations the cast when we have like, a amazing cast directors were ready, like, in the beginning of the process with us, Kate gallery, and, and, and just, and Jessica killer, oh,my God, I,I we have to be editors, which are what part ours are cast cast directors, just cast casting directors, and we just like, we just, we just started just saying all this good to everyone. And, and then the actors were so you know, receptive to this crap. And from that, we just, you know, when when people say, Oh, yeah, I want to, you know, play this, this role and everything. We we just, like went back to the investors and they say, like, yeah, we wer just gonna, you know,

Alex Ferrari 16:27
Oh, yes. Yeah, I mean, after that cast, I would invest too. I mean, it was a heck of a cast that you got put together there. I mean, it's an actor's dream this this script is an actor's dream, all the parts, even the small parts have so much meat in them, that most actors would love to play that part. And then the I forgot his name, the will who plays the lead? Well, we can do Yes, he is. He's gonna get he better get a nomination for Best Actor. I mean, he he was a tour de force. performance. I was just I was in I was enchanted and thronged with him. He's just, he has such a presence. Generally, he's a very large man from Black Panther. And, and from us. He's a very large man, but his presence because he wasn't. I mean, he was a little bit there was there was moments where he showed his physicality in the movie, but he was normally just very quiet, very gentle. And he still just had such presence. And and when you start mixing in all these other actors, I mean, what was it like for you? As a first time filmmaker, if not first time filmmaker, but first time feature filmmaker to have a cast like this? What did you feel like going on the set for the first day? Or the table read the first day? Like, what are the nerves? What are like, how did you approach this process?

Edson Oda 17:50
Yeah, that was amazing. Just not not not remember the name? Jessica? Yeah, the both my both guests. Rex is Jessica Kelly and big Gala. Got it? Like,

Alex Ferrari 18:00
they did an amazing job. They did an amazing job deliver that. Yeah,

Edson Oda 18:03
they did a really good job. So yeah, it was it was it was amazing process just like, you know, since day one we were just talking to it was very surreal, because it was my first feature and just having does know, a list actors with you. And, and I remember, like being having all those, you know, actors in the table read, and they just read in your lines and adding like so much in there to, to the work they put in the page. And it was interesting, because I think in the beginning, because there's so much like a collaborative process. And for me, it was like, Okay, I read the those those lines and those pages, but it was interesting that every, you know, person in the team, they just like brought, like different interpretations for who, who the characters were, you know, and even, for example, Winston, he didn't want to play the character was the depressive guy, you know, like, who is always like, one thing? No. And so he was always trying to find, you know, what's what's the what's the happiness behind Well, what's what's what's going on in him and not in a way that he's just like this one little person, but just try and find more of his humanity and, and like, some other characters, like the souls, we had, like deep discussions in a way like how, so how they're going to, you know, interact with one another how they're going to, they're going to like, interact with the world surrounding them. And because since they're all souls one couldn't just like, you know, look at water, say like, Oh, my God, this water does I never tasted before. And the other ones just be like, let's say about waters, there's all cold water, but they do need you to some kind of, you know, same, you know, same kind of energy towards things around and so we have like deep discussions about how would they, you know, act, and everyone had like, really great ideas in a way because it was pretty much like experimental work, if you think of it people who don't have even backgrounds Fast and when you have just find what, you know how they would react to the workouts, you know, outside.

Alex Ferrari 20:07
What was the hardest day on set for you? Where you were just like, Oh my God, because we all have it. Like when we're on set, there's that day, there's that something that happens. We're just like, how are we going to make it through this? There's always something. So what was the hard day for you? I think was we hadn't,

Edson Oda 20:24
we didn't have a lot of days to shoot. So it was like, we had 23 days to shoot everything for photography. Yeah. And remember, and especially like, the less wishes the bicycle, you know, stuff is so beautiful, because it's just one page and scraper. But it's kind of, they take like, a day. But we didn't have a lot of days. So I remember, we we just shot like the bicycle, you know, the beach scene. Everyone says, Now this is great is amazing that the bicycle as well. But then I had this conversation with the producers, as ag producers, and who was you know, doing all the scheduling and say, we're not going to finish this movie, you know? And

Alex Ferrari 21:10
we're behind, we're behind, we can't make it happen.

Edson Oda 21:12
And it was interesting, because we wouldn't, because later we've got some more days, but it was kind of tough to just like we were filming something that we've felt really special, but we kind of got it. We can't, we can make it you know, and it was a day that we everything kind of went really didn't go by, you know, when the projections or stuff. It was just like a different, very difficult, you know, thing to handle. So it was kind of I always had this feeling like, oh, we're doing something special here. But I'm not going to be able to finish. So in that day was the representation of that fear.

Alex Ferrari 21:51
Yeah, listen, I mean, for me, I'm sure Francis Ford Coppola felt the same way through Apocalypse Now. I mean, I read look two and a half years in the jungle, I mean, but we all have many days. I think I don't doesn't matter what what level you are as an as a filmmaker, there are those days that you want to have your vision put up there. But the realities of filmmaking, it's not easy. And when I saw those scenes with the second you said all the scenes with the wishes, I was like, Oh, yeah, I looked at those scenes and like, those don't look easy to shoot. There's a lot of stuff going on the projection, the light the water, there's a it didn't seem easy, but yeah, that was, those are so beautifully shot to the music, the music, the music was wonderful. How did you how did you find the sound for this film? Yeah.

Edson Oda 22:46
I've always been like a huge fan of Antonio Antonio Pinto. I don't know if you're familiar with his work, but he he worked on Central Station seat of God, he worked on all those, you know, amazing, Brazilian, you know, movies, and in the remote his fan of, you know, he was working with a friend of mine, and they got introduced to him. And it was amazing on tour is pretty much like the representation of genius. You know, his bag is very cool guy who just feels like he's just like, not, you know, concerned about things here. And then just all of a sudden, Jesus come with something that, you know, it's amazing. It was working with him during, you know, pre production, and most of the songs he composed before we start preach photography, because he knew the songs before we shooting the girl playing the violin, right, which, like, before he started bass photography, and it was in first was just like, yeah, let's just cap something like stamp, you know, you compose. And then later, we just compose something, you know, more elaborate for the rest of the movie, but the songs are so good that they would just cap capital songs and start just composing. You know, songs based on that, that that main main song, and it was just like, you know, having Skype meetings with him, like the same way we're having now. He was just like, yeah, let me play something to you, you know? And it was just like, yeah, you're his instrument or something. And just like, uh, yeah, and then if I say, I don't know about that, it was just like, play something else and was just like, Oh, yeah, that's exactly that. So it was just like a amazing work anniversary. You

Alex Ferrari 24:15
know, I love the aesthetic of what you did with the film, the production design, with the vintage everything being vintage, which was such a lovely touch. It wasn't super sci fi or, or, or anything like that. It was all vintage and all those vintage TVs representing souls lives. But I have to ask you, how the hell did you shoot all the footage for all the souls that are constantly running? Like how did you shoot was that during production or was that after production production?

Edson Oda 24:49
Yeah, pre production. Almost everything for widows was kind of named here because it was, it was planning you know, the shoot and all this stuff and doing everything prep. And then Later that day, it would just like the picture locking, you know, the the stuff and any we would shoot like, during nine days like the main thing that would go into TVs. And then after that we're just like started like the heavy pre production for Prince photography, but it would still be adding picture locking and stuff that would go into TVs during like baseball tigers. So it was it was crazy. And we shot in Utah. Most of the stuff but also we just found out like with like a show me in Brazil in LA. So most of the stuff that you that you saw, there are all primarily shot, it was all practical on set to Oh, most of them were practical to set. But then there's some you know, feelers, some TVs were not like the hero TVs is call that they then they were like, Great come, yeah, come

Alex Ferrari 25:52
they will come in afterwards. No, it was it was beautiful. I just love the analog aspect of everything that we'll have is writing constantly in the filing cabinet and all that stuff. It was what made by the way, what made you come up with that idea of vintage, as opposed to the, because something like this, you could easily have gone sci fi much more sci fi esque. So what made you do the whole vintage vibe?

Edson Oda 26:15
I think that there's so much about the word. And the feeling that I want people to have is it was more someone's connected to, you know, the nostalgic feeling past and it's, it's hard for me like a word represents my past and represents like my, you know, my, you know, years ago would be like the 80s, you know, there were there was one my childhood happening. And so I knew that would need something like that. And I knew we wouldn't have to be like technological like, you know, x mark, you know, or in just one way, it would be nice to have like this kind of very, this texture of like, whoo, this texture of like glass and not like you know, iPads or iPods or anything like that. And then it creates this kind of cost of that imagine that we'll get in prison during the time period when he died. So like he wouldn't see anything in his house, there's kind of a goal that comes after so he would be leaving this as, you know, time period for the recipes, his existence, because like,

Alex Ferrari 27:20
stuck into it will will will ever become alive again. I don't know. I wish that's the sequel, that'd be 10 days. No, so Okay, so you've, you've made this beautiful film. And you, you put it all together have great cast grades, and then you send it out to the festivals. And you get the phone call that every filmmaker independent filmmaker wants to get, which is the call from Sundance. What was that phone call? like for you?

Edson Oda 27:57
It was amazing. You know, it was such a weird with so working such a tight, that was very short, you know, amount of time to reschedule because we we shot in September, we finished shooting in September. And we just had to add it and finish everything like a cut to Sundance to get into the you know, to screen the festival like January so it was like very, very rushed. And I remember there's so much in terms of pressure in the sense of Yeah, it comes from the lads with not, you know, not some films, you know, from the labs, the screens and that's fast way and, and I remember was just so stressed like how am I gonna make here and I was just in the gym. And you know, someone who actually was someone who went to USC with me, who called me to give me good news and yeah, yeah, she she started working on Sundays and stuff and it was even joke when to start working on Sunday necessarily. Yeah, maybe one day you just gonna give me a call or that my film was accepted or do the q&a and everything and you just let me know and give me a call and just like start yelling and screaming is am I gonna believe it? It is interesting, because during the festival, she was one of the the the organizer who will who did my q&a, which was very cool. So it was almost like a full circle. Yeah. So it was very, very, very special. And it was it was just like, my connection with Sundance in our It was my dream, you know, becoming alumni and then a dream going into the festival and even in now we you know, they're they always so supportive. They love the movie, you know, and I really feel like they're, they're kind of my family. So it was it was great just to be there like in this very, you know, Dave's space and just been screening with other people. So very, very special.

Alex Ferrari 29:56
We're in Where did you screen at the Eccles

Edson Oda 30:00
Trina echoes what was that was nerve racking. He was it was terrible. Like it was, I just couldn't, you know, my stomach was just not doing well. And there was none of my actors watched the movie before the screen. So and everyone was so pumped, there are so much hype, and there's gonna be great. There's gonna beI don't know.No one watched it. So we didn't know what would be the reaction is such a different movie, right? So we don't know. And it was interesting. I remember I remember going to the bathroom and super nervous. And then I met Tony Hale there and he just said, Yeah, just don't, don't don't. Don't let what happens, you know, out there, define who you are, you know, that that was very nice. No, there was something that I think you're gonna carry for the rest of my career, in a sense, like, Yeah, he was, yeah. Because for him, like, we did something special, we did something that were and what they say is just like, you know, can control whatever and just go there and, and but luckily, you know, people, we had like an assailant standing ovation for like, I don't know how many minutes, people were just crying and people who just came to talk to us and it was it was was very special.

Alex Ferrari 31:15
I'm not gonna give the ending away. But I teared up, I teared up, when I watched it, I was just like, cuz I didn't see it coming. I didn't see it coming until maybe until probably probably about four or five minutes before it happened. I was like, wait a minute, could that like, Oh my God, that's the thing. So it I didn't catch it right away. So that's always something fun. Because I've seen so many movies in my life, it's hard to get one past the goalie, in many ways with plots. And that was a really nice touch. But oh, yeah, I definitely teared up after I watched it. It was It was great. The one thing I love about the whole story in the concept is that we as human beings are always defining our happiness, by the goals that we set, like, you know, we're gonna get married, I'll be happy, when I'm married, I'll be happy when I get that job, I'll be happy when I get to Sundance, I'll be happy. When I heard that, and, and your story is like, well, the goal is just to get here. Which is, which is an interesting way of looking at it. Because so many of us are born into this world. And we think that in many ways, your film says you won, you're here. Now what are you going to do with it? Is the question. Yeah,

Edson Oda 32:31
yeah, no, 100% is interesting, because it comes from, you know, the genesis of this word, more or less coming from like, going through, like some hard times and, and feeling like it, you know, this, this, I'm, I'm kind of hating what I'm going through. But what what if this is something just by being here, something that's a privilege, you know, and then be so much about, like, the trying to aim at some goals and say, like, when, when this happens, I will, you know, and for me, it was the same because I remember being in advertising and working in advertising was just like, when i when i when the gold buyer, you know, when can I will you know, and I remember like exactly the feeling of winning it. And I remember like being in the stage and saying, hey, great, and people like revelations, and when they step down, just when I when I went back home, I just felt like, what does it mean is mean anything, or something? And it wasn't? It wasn't one of the moments that I felt like, yeah, maybe I should do something else. Which really interesting.

Alex Ferrari 33:35
Yeah, there's so many times that we put so much emphasis on a goal. And when you get that goal, there's depression afterwards, because you worked all your life. So people are like, I want the Oscar, I want the Oscar. And I've spoken to people who've won the Oscar who's just like after the Oscar, I'm like, I was depressed. Like, where do you? Where do when you get to the top of the mountain? Where do you go, because if your goal of life is to get to the top of the mountain, but the goal of life should be enjoying the ride up to the top of the mountain, and also walking back down and going back off to another mountain and all that kind of stuff. So that's a that's a really, yeah, I'm glad that you had that experience, because I just had the Golden Lion. Look, I got it. What do I do? What do I do now? Um, I'm not at five. So my life is not over yet. What do I do now?

Edson Oda 34:23
It's crazy. I mean, after Sundance, you know, I went back to Brazil. And it felt like what do I do now? Because it was pretty much like, this is my I want to make my first feature. And then I made my first feature, you know, and then it would go to theaters and all this stuff. And I said yeah, and what's what's the what's the point now? What's the purpose? Next? Yeah, what's that really when you when you put all the energy in like goals because then if they you know happen or don't happen, it's just like so much about about it. And if they it's very interesting you brought up about the baby we read achieve the goal, but you can see it

Alex Ferrari 34:59
right? Exactly, we're just so caught up in, in this physical reality that we don't understand that we're like, it's a pleasure. It's an honor just to be here. It's kind of like I'm, I'm honored just to be nominated. It's, it's nice to win, but I'm honored just to be nominated. You know? No one says that, like, I'm honored. I'm honored to be alive. Yeah, exactly. But most people The thing is that right now, as we're speaking, certain, there's there's people right now as we're speaking, leaving this earth. And as we're speaking, new souls are coming in. So I promise you, the people who are leaving many of wish that they continue to have the honor of living out of their affair there. So it should be something that people you know, hopefully take away from this film that this is a it really is an honor just to be nominated. till it's time until security escort you out. Now, you know, you've written this amazing movie about the souls journey. Why do you think we are here? As or? Why do you I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Because after this movie, I would love to hear what you think.

Edson Oda 36:17
I have no idea. Yeah, it's interesting. I I don't know. Yeah. Sometimes I sometimes I know, I'm pretty sure you know, right has a meaning, you know, because I'm pretty much like, half of wheel and Emma. You know, at some moments, I feel like yeah, some some moments, I just feel again, this doesn't make any sense.I think it's justfor me, it's just like this, I think it's gonna be for the rest of my life. Like there's meaning or not meaning there's meaning Are there many, there's some purpose or not purpose. And so it's hard for me just, it's interesting, because people come to me and say, like, Oh, you wrote a movie about, you know, enjoying the word. And then there's this day was just someone was telling me like, oh, how the sunset is amazing. It's not right. It's it's,

Alex Ferrari 37:10
it's not the it's not the Avengers. not joking. Yeah.

Edson Oda 37:18
It's interesting, because there are some moments I feel like, yeah, there's, there's that there is pressure, this kind of energy and there is like, meaning in there. There's some some moments, I just feel very, you know, cynical, you know, bought things out what things happen. So

Alex Ferrari 37:36
that's the upside. That's the up and down. But isn't that the up and down of life, though? I mean, there's days that you like, you're on top of the world and other days, you're like, Oh, God, I forgot to pay that bill. Now my car got repossessed, or something. And you're just like, ah,

Edson Oda 37:50
and you pay the bills? That is you're being very optimistic, because usually, really worth

Alex Ferrari 37:56
being very kind. Yeah, it's, yeah, it could be Yeah, it could be like a million different things that could happen. It is. But that is this crazy thing that we call life. Now, I'd love to, I'd love to ask this one question of you. What do you think your soul's purpose is on this on this journey? What you think you're here to do for, you know, for years, not only for yourself, but for other people? Because this film is for other people, no question about it, not only just for yourself,

Edson Oda 38:23
I think I remember. There is a moment in my life, I felt like very, you know,

lonely in a way that I was, like, I think there's no isolating the way that I was, I felt like it was all by myself, you know, there's no one with it. And it felt terrible. It was in a way that I felt like this. It's so disconnected from everyone and everything, you know, and I remember, I came up with this is a writing thing. And it was interesting, because especially after Ryan nine days, I put a lot of those feelings on the page and how isolated fail how desperate I fell, how, you know, out of hope, I fell in, in then now, people who felt the same at coming to me and telling, like, I felt the same way, you know, this is something that I almost went through, you know, and, and somehow, I felt like so powerful like, I I by showing that, you know, I felt that way it can make people not feel alone, you know, because it's kind of share the same feeling like so it was it was interesting that I think if I can do anything, you know, value here is so much about putting out and, and letting people like me know that they're not alone. And then we're also going to figure it out there. Not Alone. You know? So I think that's, that's something that, that they want to keep doing. That's,

Alex Ferrari 40:05
that's a great, great answer. Because there's so many souls or people in this world that feel alone, whether it be in their professional lives in their personal lives. And I think that's what that's the magic of movies, when you watch a character going through something, and you go, Oh, I'm not alone. And that's the brilliance of what we do as filmmakers. And I think you definitely nailed it with nine days, my friend. Now I'm gonna ask your membership. And I'm gonna ask you a few questions. I asked all my guests, what advice would you give a filmmaker trying to break into the business today?

Edson Oda 40:39
Don't try to bake into business things just don't think of it. I think the same thing that we were were discussing here about the goal. And I just I think it would just tell a story wants to tell in something that's not there, you want to see and then things will happen to the consequences, you know, and just, you know, keep keep doing your stuff. And in also don't put your or your, you know, hopes in other people. So maybe if you write something that's very personal, just write in a way that you can do yourself. So you don't, don't live your dreams in the hands of other people who just Okay, so no one does. I just do my things. And

Alex Ferrari 41:20
right and so, so writing, so writing a script that could be done for $100,000. Or it could be done for 10 million. Yeah, that's the idea. Because if you'll be waiting for 10 years for that 10 million if that doesn't work

Edson Oda 41:32
out and just name dropping, that actually was a advice that a Quentin Tarantino gave to me. I met him because they won a competition like a while ago, it was before coming to West 2012. I do like a short and then I had chance to sit with him for like, 30 minutes. Yeah, it was amazing. And then I asked him for advice. And you say like, Yeah, it's pretty much like he was telling me to do the same that he did with Reservoir Dogs. Because he he would make Reservoir Dogs with like, I think $40,000 Yeah. And you could have and you could have, yeah, so in the same way, I wrote nine days, I couldn't make 10 days with like, 100k or something, you know, and I think 100k now is the new version of $4,000. But, uh, right, it was all this inflation and stuff. But, but then I was lucky. Like him, you know, to find people to invest. But if even if, you know, I didn't find people truly investing my dream, I would say, okay, screw it out. I just got to make the movie anyway. So I think that was that was a great advice there just passing forward. Trying to look cool. But I have to admit it's not.

Alex Ferrari 42:35
It's not bad advice to pass for from, from a little from a little known director like winter. Yeah. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film industry or in life,

Edson Oda 42:49
it's still a lesson I haven't learned yet. I think it's to live more in the moment, in the same way that Emma lives in the moment and just enjoy the ride. And the way that, you know, I think nine days is a movie to remind me of that as well. Because there's a part of me that yes, can can enjoy them. But there's so much more so many. You know, it's it moments, there's hard to you know, put that into practice. And I feel like that's the happiness is pretty much that, you know, I think that for me, is just being able to just be accept things as they come and be, you know, good with What's life has given you. And not always I can do that. I think I'm getting better. But that's something that I'm still learning that I've learned. I've learned so

Alex Ferrari 43:41
you what you're talking about is almost becoming a spiritual master. Because that's what spiritual like, Yogi's do that, like, whatever comes to them, they just kind of like, life is good. And that's what we all try to get. Yeah, not even that is good, but they just accepted. Yeah, there's an acceptance left sucks sometimes, but he's just like, accepted. Yeah. Like, a lot of times life sucks. I think that's, yeah. Don't use that as your marketing for the film. Sometimes life just sucks.

Edson Oda 44:12
Sometimes, it's just amazing. And I think the combination is right. And it's Yeah, and it wouldn't be amazing if it didn't suck before. So there's almost like, yeah, so it needs to stop.

Alex Ferrari 44:22
I mean, if you if you if you were if you just kept hitting home runs all the time, it would be boring.

Edson Oda 44:29
And now the movies are like that. Yeah, someone is like struggling and stuff and then ecstasy, and Oh, cool. It's great. But you need to struggle, but you need this.

Alex Ferrari 44:36
You need to struggle or also it's a horrible story. If it were three Yeah. If Luke knew the force at the beginning, what's the point? And what are three of your favorite films of all time?

Edson Oda 44:50
Oh, my God. It was raining list right now. So it I have to put the matrix on my top three as well, sir. Yeah, I love this movie. A lot a lot of city lights

Alex Ferrari 45:05
are the shopping will be I love that movie too. He's

Edson Oda 45:07
a good man the other one I want to put it like yeah, seven Sue and have to put earrings are bizarre but yeah I am so American man and including all this. I had to Back to the Future.

Alex Ferrari 45:24
There's nothing wrong with that

Edson Oda 45:26
we're not talking about movies that influenced me as a director, but more as movies that you know, reflect my childhood. I think those movies are movies that are Yeah, I have to go back to

Alex Ferrari 45:37
Texas features one of the most perfect films of all time. Now. I just wanted to, you know, sound a little more artsy. You know, don't I know that people were like, I don't know, Citizen Kane and Seven Samurai Really? Like

Edson Oda 45:47
I had a friend who every time he would tell my movies back to free though he would just kind of, you know, be a little more snobby?

Alex Ferrari 45:55
He would be snobby. Yeah. Of course they love you know, love and seven. Sue I love you. No, no, I mean, look, I love Seven Samurai. I love high low. I love a lot of Kubrick's you know films. Yeah. But yeah, you know, but back to futures on watching it, you know, as the matrix on Hulu, and I'm watching feature two, I think more than 20 times. You like the second one the best when it was a kid and love the video? Oh my god. The future? The Oh god. Yeah. We can geek out. We can geek out about that. And when is the movie coming out? And where can people see it? It's out.

Edson Oda 46:39
Yeah, it's already late. No, actually, it's already in LA in New York. But now it's coming out to nationwide. This Friday. This Friday. Yeah.

Alex Ferrari 46:51
That's, that's awesome. Listen, I congratulations on the film. And I wish you nothing but continued success on your journey, my friend. You're, you're doing good work here. And I appreciate and I really do help. I really do hope it It not only entertains people but makes people think a little bit about being just honored to be nominated.

Edson Oda 47:13
Yeah, what if you're not even nominated?

Alex Ferrari 47:15
Well, if you're not ever nominated, then you go out and what happens to the souls happens to the souls You know, I'm not going to ruin it. But that's when that's what happens when you're not nominated. My friend, thank you so much for being on the show.

Edson Oda 47:27
Thank you so much, man. Appreciate okay.


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