How I made a SciFi Epic Film on a shoestring… Making KIDDO

I recently saw a staggering short teaser for a sci-fi epic called KIDDO and made on a shoestring with tons of love.

I asked the filmmaker Tito Fernandes more about why and how he went about it.

Q – Why did you choose to make this epic sci-fi short? 

Tito – First of all I did to get it out of my system. It was a project that I conceived along side my brother 6 years ago that recurrently kept coming up and poking us around. So much so that something had to be done. First we attempted to make the feature into a short film but soon realised we couldn’t afford it. Therefore we compressed the same idea further and, although the reality was that it was still out of our means, it was more tangible. It took me 3 years to get the courage to jump head first and after 5 months of pre-prod I secured 2 days in a London studio. Once that was done it took another 2 years to process all of the material needed to get to the current result. A great crew was key on the shoot as well as the scattered team that did the post all over the world.

Q – What was your main ambition for the film?

Tito – The ambition is to get exposure and perhaps get noticed. I want to evolve my career into directing full time and this is one of my stepping stones. The dream would be to get someone interested and get the idea optioned for further development.

Q – What was your process? Particularly with such accomplished visual effects?

Tito – As I described above, the process was a very traditional one, pre-production and production was standard within the green-screen way of shooting film and post was slightly off key in the way it all come together. The nature of having a team remotely linked and cooperating with the latest technology, was both humbling and super exciting. It was a nightmare to produce and keep track of everything but it’s also something I would have struggled to do even 5 years ago. In all we had artists in 25 cities from 15 countries and plenty of people in London for final assembly. KIDDO is a labour of love, dedication, persistence and courage. Hope the images evoke those feelings.

Q – What are the biggest lessons you have learned making KIDDO? 

Tito – What I learned the most is that there’s still people out there that are in the game for the passion of creating good imagery. Out of 10 responses to my invitation 9 were NOs, but one was a YES or a MAYBE. This was reflected throughout the whole process and allowed for my spirit to sustain the hope it needed to persist.

Resilience became my biggest asset and continuing to reach out became an escape. Eventually all pieces fell into place and it all happened. A lot of it had to be done by myself including all stages of VFX because when you lack the funds, and even though artist are tremendously generous with their time, you can only count on yourself to do the tasks that no one else wants to do. But that drive and leadership by example kept everyone believing how serious this project is and how serious you are in wanting to complete the project, which in the end is the hardest and biggest accomplishment of all.

On a personal level, that quickly became my main objective as morally and ethically I owed it to every single person that had invested their time and talent into this piece of work. I just hope they’re are proud to have been part of the ride.

You can read more about KIDDO and follow / like their social media channels with the links below.

Onwards and upwards!

Chris Jones
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