New Light Pictures works to «have a say in national fiction»

Algarve production company has already won awards for both fiction films and promotional videos

Photos: Nuno Costa|Sul Informação

New Light Pictures was born in 2013 to make fiction, and soon caught on with the short film “Comando”, awarded at various festivals. However, cinema hardly pays the bills and the Algarve production company has become one of the references in the South of the country in the production of promotional videos. A necessary detour on a path that has its destiny outlined: «having a say in national fiction».

«The project was created to make fiction. This is the aim and main objective of the producer. Some projects were made at the start, between 2013 and 2015, such as “Comando”, which won several national awards for international short films», recalls João Viegas, one of the company's partners, in a conversation with the Sul Informação.

However, the project ended up taking a different direction when «there was a merger between New Light Pictures and Margem Filmes. Then, we started to dedicate ourselves more to promotional films, because making fiction films is very cute, very fun, interesting and challenging, but it's very difficult to make a living doing it, especially in the Algarve», he explains.


João Viegas – Photo: Nuno Costa|Sul Informação


The bet was successful and the work began to arrive: «we have had a lot of work in the area of ​​promotional films, whether institutional, informative or documentary. And these are also interesting, different and challenging projects».

These projects include, for example, the most recent campaigns by Algarve Tourist Region or from Alentejo Tourism, which leave anyone wanting to get to know these regions better.

“Our presence continues to be more regional than national. Even so, the projects we did for Alentejo destroyed a little this trend. Our aim is to work at the national level, at least. We have also started to have some international projects. Last year, we already had an interesting project with PGA Catalonia. It was more than a movie, it was a campaign with several associated themes», says João Viegas.

This year, it promised to be another good year for New Light Pictures, but… came the pandemic. «We already had very interesting customers, who were going to give us that national dimension. We had a project across the entire territory, with a hotel group. But, with all this situation, the project was postponed».


Photo: New Light Pictures


Before Covid-19, “we had almost everything closed for this year. By the end of the summer, it was more than closed. We had very little room for anything else. Neither one nor two was canceled, it was all the projects. Now we have started to recover and minimize losses. We already have some projects, but they will hardly be enough to cover the entire year».

This after a year of 2019 that was «very interesting. We had a film awarded at six or seven festivals in Japan, Greece, Croatia, Turkey, Portugal… It was a film made for the Alentejo Tourism Region, about wine tourism».

Usually, in this type of promotional videos, “we start by studying the client and the objective they have with the film. Based on this, we created the concept that we understand will be effective in achieving these goals. It is based on this that we arrive at a proposal and, if all goes well, the film».

However, in the last film produced for the Algarv Tourism Regionand, the process was even slightly different. «There was an intention of the client to work with these influencers, the “explorersaurus_“. Then, we weren't going to mess with their image. We had to do something that fit that theme, with a more contemplative and emotional dimension».


Photo: New Light Pictures


For João Viegas, «one of the reasons for our success is that we don't make the typical promotional or institutional film. We always try to give it a poetic dimension, a certain flavor, create a sensorial environment, where the experience is usually the main highlight».

Each project “is a new challenge and we try to take a technical approach that creates complexity. We can draw a plan and spend a whole morning making a crane plan or a plan cart. Sometimes, to make a plan like this, in a place that is a kilometer from the road, we have to take everything there. In the end, it's maybe two seconds that appear in a movie. For a spectator, this is trivial. We see this every time we turn on the TV or go to the movies and we try to recreate it with our limitations. Our goal is to have the same kind of image, photography, color correction and audio post production as a Hollywood movie».

In addition to promotional videos, New Light Pictures has also produced documentaries commissioned by clients. «We made some documentaries about gastronomy, one about octopus and about historical episodes, such as the 1755 earthquake and Nossa Senhora de Faro», says João Viegas.

But, let's go to fiction because, he continues, «our main objective remains to be cinematographic production, not only of short films, but also of feature films, and all this work ends up being a means to that end. The fact that we are more focused on institutional promotional films allows us to continue the necessary investment so that, one day later, we can start our great adventure and great desire to make cinema that is always present».

However, to move forward with a fiction project, «we have to take it as a loss. First, it's difficult at the schedule level for us to be able to match the jobs requested by clients with a project of our own. If we are a month in a project of ours, it is a month that we cannot invoice».

Even so, reveals João Viegas, “it may be that, next year, we will be able to do a project of our own. We have some projects already written, ready to go. If not this year, it will be next year».

For his part, Patrício Faísca, who is also a partner at New Light Pictures and director of the fiction projects launched so far, explains that a work of fiction “is a goal, but not a priority. It is an objective in the near future, but we have to gather the conditions and create a solid structure to advance in this direction».


Patricio Spark - Photo: Nuno Costa|Sul Informação


After short films such as “Payload”, which brought together Diogo Amaral and Vera Kolodzig, and “Presa”, with Diogo Morgado – which will be released online soon, «with a campaign, which can give us a boost», the next project may be something different.

«There is still nothing concrete, there are things that are in the drawer. But we have to be aware that the series is “on the go”. Therefore, the fiction project can be for cinema, television or for new platforms», says Patrício Faísca.

“Our DNA is cinema and fiction. Our work ended up taking us to the advertising side, but we don't want to lose that spark».

New Light Pictures doesn't want to work “to pay bills. We want to make films one day, that is our fuel», concludes Patrício Faísca.


Photos: Nuno Costa | Sul Informação


Help us to do the Sul Informação!
Contribute your donation so that we can continue to make your journal!

Click here to support us (Paypal)
Or use our IBAN PT50 0018 0003 38929600020 44