Filmmaker Roberto Minervini at the FSC

Image by Felix Sanchez

Filmmaker Roberto Minervini visited the Film Study Center and AFVS’s Sensory Ethnography class in early March to share his recent film, What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? and discuss his filmmaking process. Minervini spent almost a year finding his subjects for this film and another getting to know them.

He expressed the importance of intertwining his own life with the filmmaking process, letting the film’s possibility rise out of the organic process of forming these relationships. It is clear his process is highly personal and rooted in trust between him and the film’s subjects.

Minervini’s process of filming is unique. He works closely with his cinematographer Diego Romero passing the camera back and forth while filming. He never shoots for less than a minute, and often he will allow scenes to continue uninterrupted for over an hour–switching out memory cards and catching all the in-between moments of lulls in conversation and silences. He never reviews his footage while filming because he fears it will influence him in shaping the story, and at the end of the shoot, he hands over the material to his editor, Marie-Hélène Dozo.

We are grateful to Roberto Minervini for visiting us and sharing in a candid conversation about his work and the filmmaking process.