This Director Made A Comedy Out Of A Tragic Event And It Went Viral


Snow feature image

Set in the 90s, ‘Snow’, the Viddsee February 2020 Shortee winner is a hilarious short film that revolves around three young boys battling it out to impress a girl. Their goal? To be chosen as her ‘eternal boyfriend’!

While this light-hearted tale of puppy love may seem the work of fantasy, it was actually inspired by a real-life traumatic event that happened to Carlo Aragones, the film’s director. We spoke to Carlo to learn how a national tragedy inspired this viral comedy.

Group photo at MIFF
Carlo (middle) and Insel Culla (left) received the MIFF award, together with the cast of ‘Snow’!

Turning a devastating national moment into a magical comedy for all

Carlo was inspired to make this short film after coming across a Facebook post announcing a short film competition for the Makata Indie Film Festival. The rules of the competition dictated that the film had to be shot in a day and set in the 90s. It turned out Carlo had all the right inspiration.

“I was 5 years old when Mt. Pinatubo erupted… It was the most devastating eruption that happened here in the Philippines. Many Filipinos from the provinces died,” Carlo recalled.

The scene of the eruption was very surreal and left behind a landscape that was coated with ashes, it was “beautiful, sort of magical” in the eyes of the 5-year-old Carlo. “It was our version of snow!”

In planning ‘Snow’, he began backward, deciding that the volcano eruption would be the ending of this film. He wanted the story to be painted in a comedic light as he believes that there’s always much to learn and derive from looking at the funny side of things.

'Snow' crew group photo on set
This group photo captures the cheery vibes of the ‘Snow’ cast and crew

“We are very insignificant compared to the power of Mother Nature. Whatever achievements we amass on this earth, it means nothing when a volcano erupts!” exclaimed Carlo.

Watch ‘Snow’ by Carlo Aragones (Philippines) on Viddsee now:

Snow’ marks the first time Carlo has ever worked with child actors. All the young cast members were friends and while they had prior performing experience, their natural chemistry was what made the film!

Snow crew and its shooting equipment
All the equipment used for ‘Snow’ was provided for free by sponsors for participants of MIFF

In helping to bring the film to life, Carlo reached out to Insel Culla, his partner (both romantically and professionally!) to be the cinematographer. The duo complimented each other very well having produced numerous digital video content for brands.

Behind the scene of the making of 'Snow'
Carlo and Culla working together behind the scene of ‘Snow

What makes a film successful?

This film’s popularity across platforms speaks for its relatability. It has garnered more than 6.7 million views and tens of thousands of likes and shares. Not only has it earned the viewers’ love given its virality and generous comments, but it also bagged the prize of the Luzon Leg winner at the 1st Makata Indie Film Festival (MIFF).

When asked about what makes a film successful, Carlo Aragones reflects: “You must have something to say. Be it good or bad, do it with the largest effort.”

The director of 'Snow' Carlo Aragones
“Giving it your all” is Carlo’s mantra in making each of his films

“When your film gets done, then the film is already successful.”

Let the sky be the limit in filmmaking

When it comes to the harsh truths of filmmaking, Carlo says, “My advice is, if you are developing your story, do not think of the cost. Just write it, then look for producers who will believe and back-up your script.”

Carlo believes anyone who has a story to tell can pick up a phone and make one as filmmaking isn’t rocket science. He does advise in investing in a good mic for quality audio. To upgrade their professional skills, they can also learn editing and colour grading.

“Of course, having a lot of people can make things easier, but it does not mean that it will be a better film.” Carlo cautions that choosing the right people for the job is more important than getting a big team.

On how to battle being creatively-drained—“try sleep and guided meditation!” shared Carlo.

Snow crew and cast
“Working with the right people is crucial!” – director of ‘Snow’, Carlo Aragones

The future? More comedy films of course!

Coming from a news production background including CNN Philippines, taught Carlo to get straight to the point in his films. The wittiness and on-point editing are definitely what made ‘Snow’ so memorable!

He is prepping for his next comedy film about a teenager mistakenly accused of being a drug addict.

Will this next film of Carlo’s be hilarious and viral again? We can’t wait to see!

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