Entering the film world from a Music and History academic background was a fortunate accident that led on to seven years as an Assistant Director. On set, I watched “auteurs” like Manoel de Oliveira and blockbuster directors like Mathew Vaughn craft their films while, at home, I would be trying to organize the myriad of
different pieces constantly dancing in my head into my first script.
The way North Atlantic came around was no different.
All that morning I had been working on a script about the end of a love affair. I took a breather to watch Miyazaki's animation "Porco Rosso" for the second time and one of the shots- a small plane against a sea of clouds - struck a chord. The scale of the helpless plane against the massive natural elements brought back a real
story I'd read in a Portuguese newspaper about a pilot flying solo across the Atlantic without enough fuel to reach an airstrip. His last hours were on the radio with an air traffic controller on an island only airwaves could reach. They spent them reciting poetry, a love shared by both.
This story was still lingering in my head later that night when, trying a very simple guitar version of the famous Brazilian tune "Insensatez", I thought of how improvising with other musicians had to be one of the strongest sharing experiences one can have. Visceral not intellectual, physical more than cultural: Music, instead of poetry.
That was it: I wrote North Atlantic overnight and one year later it became my first film. Now it's yours.