Backstage: see the children's routine in the Brazilian film 'Papa is Pop'
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Backstage: see the children’s routine in the Brazilian film ‘Papa is Pop’

In dark times like the pandemic caused by the coronavirus, art has reinforced its importance. It was listening to a song, watching a new drawing or looking for a different film in the catalogs of the streaming platforms, that parents and children made subtle combinations and managed to build a more harmonious routine.

Only on the other side, whoever enters the scene and hears “take 1!”, “1, 2, 3 recording!” and so until we reach the result that we see on our screens, the challenge also knocked on the door. It was necessary to rethink how to make art and even pause projects for almost a year so that, with the arrival of 2021 and more awareness of what covid-19 is, they could happen again. Even for children who start to trace their artistic career from an early age.

This is the case of the four-year-old child actress Malu Aloise in the film “Daddy is Pop”, from Galeria Distribuidora in co-production with Prode Films and the Telefilms Group, which started to be recorded during the pandemic. In the comedy loosely inspired by the book of the same name by author Marcos Piangers, she will play Tom’s daughter, starring Lázaro Ramos, who will discover among the challenges and daily delights what it is like to live active parenting alongside your wife Elisa, played by Paolla Oliveira.

  • The decision to be part of the film

    Like other children who lived a roller coaster of emotions due to the restrictions brought by the pandemic, Cilly Aloise, Malu’s mother, says that the little girl was distressed when she realized that acting was not an option at the moment. “Many times, she was crying, asking us not to give up on her career”, he recalls.

    Along with the emotional appeal of the daughter, the pandemic scenario proved to be safer for the parents to decide for the participation of the child in the feature film. Residents of Santos, Cilly recalls that the city’s flag was green when the film’s cast began to be assembled and even officially selected. With Malu chosen, the mother chose to take her daughter to the pediatrician who accompanies her before hitting the decision hammer.

    With the conclusion of the specialist that everything was fine with the little girl and checking the security protocols followed during the recordings, Cilly agreed that Malu should be part of the cast of “Daddy is Pop”. The same concern with hygiene measures was what led Richard Cardoso’s parents, also four years old, to accept that their son would join the plot. In the story, he will build one of the most important bonds of early childhood, with the character Laura: that of friendship.

  • Recordings? Only with the necessary care!

    To prevent transmission of the coronavirus in the set of filmmaking, Deborah Nikaido, content manager at Galeria Distribuidora, explains that restrictive measures needed to be taken. Among them, there are some that we know well, such as social distance, constant cleaning of living areas and the uninterrupted use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

    Except that, in addition, the repetitive testing whenever there is recording is indisputable in this case. Along with the exams of those who are part of the production and of the adult cast, the children’s direct relatives also need to perform the test for covid-19. As studies point out, minors tend to be less prone to the disease, but when infected, the chances are greater that this has happened through a sick family member than through other routes.

    Due to the indisputable care for the recording to be safe, Deborah also pointed out that the time of production of the film was rethought in the face of the pandemic. “We are working with a filming plan with one week more than the average of recordings, ensuring that Caito Ortiz, the director of the comedy, can comply with both the plans and the protection measures”, reinforced the content manager.

    Concerns at home …

    If the famous phrase “go to the shower now!” it was part of the context of mothers who warned that it was time to stop playing and prepare for sleep, now the command is part of the precautions against the covid-19. This is because, in addition to the care during the recording, the little ones also had to adopt a different routine for the film to be possible.

    “We use a mask rigidly throughout the transfer and when it is necessary to be away from home. In addition to washing your hands properly with soap and water, and cleaning bags, suitcases, toys and objects whenever necessary. I also change Malu’s clothes as soon as she arrives from the recording, ”says Cilly.

    And more than that, Michelle Cardoso, Richard’s mother, remembers that such measures are effective when accompanied by the most important care at this moment: social isolation. “We are avoiding going out, being in crowded places and also receiving visitors at our home. We only go to the recordings and the rest of the time we prefer to stay right here ”, he emphasizes.

  • Child is still… child!

    Indoors, Malu and Richard continue to be involved in games so that the routine does not weigh and the performance in front of the cameras does not become the work of great people ahead of time. “On the days of recording, we did everything with a lot of fun, from preparing the bag and choosing the clothes, as if we were going on a vacation trip or seeing friends again”, details Cilly.

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    In order to decorate the texts, the mother of the little one explains that the way is always to go through the ludic so that she memorizes both the lines and the gestures. “We try to use clapping, music and dancing to make memorizing happy and generating positive emotion. We study these texts every day, at least once ”, he points out.

    The school of the child actress is also on the side. With the possibility of distance education, as many parents had to live during the pandemic, Malu has been following online classes. But with a more flexible schedule for the delivery of activities due to the recordings of the film.

    As for Richard, who Michelle plays as a child connected to 220V, the care so that the little one is not overloaded and his childhood is preserved is that books and games are always present in the routine even though the family remains at home in most of the time.

    And when they get tired and don’t want to record anymore?

    With the need to continue with social isolation so that the film’s participation is feasible, both Cilly and Michelle report that the recording days for their children are pure party. After all, it is the escape from routine and the feeling of getting back together, even for hours, with different faces than the ones you see daily.

    “At no time did I see the children not wanting to record. On the contrary, they wanted more and more. They played a lot and had fun all the time. The team, in general, was wonderful: from cast, direction, producers, drivers, hairdressers, gallery, to the children’s preparers, who left them free to be free throughout the filming process. This meant that we had days when they didn’t want to leave ”, recalls Malu’s mother.

    Stella Carvalho / Disclosure

    Michelle adds: “Richard is so small, but he already loves what he does. He has such affection for his work, that whenever he has a recording he wakes up with a disposition that even I am surprised. He never gets bored and loves the affection of the cast! ”.

    However, all of this is only possible because when we think about the performance of children, especially during the pandemic, it traces a different path from that experienced by adult actors.

    THE set needs to be practical but still welcoming

    Lázaro Ramos, responsible for the role of father Tom, explains that child tiredness is not seen because the process of children on the scene is faster than we imagine. “We rehearsed before, the set and light are prepared and only then do they arrive on the scene and we don’t have many rehearsals with them. In addition, we adult actors are prepared to adapt the text to the changes that the children bring. In fact, the film is also very much about it, their spontaneity ”, details the actor.

    The same freedom is remembered by Paolla Oliveira, interpreter of her mother Elisa. “The children were a pleasant surprise! Super intelligent, spontaneous, affectionate … But it is always a challenge to understand time and how exhausting it can be for them. But I believe that what made all the difference was the support and structure we had before and during the shoot, with rehearsals and meetings, and the spontaneous way in which they could be on the scene: being children“, Reinforces.

    So, once again, art remembers what was most talked about the little ones during the pandemic: it is through playfulness, fun, that they manage to continue experiencing early childhood even with the emotional problems caused by covid-19 pointed out by different studies.

    “During the rehearsal period, we were confined and found ourselves in a room with open windows, masks and cleaning our hands all the time. But the truth is, we had an immediate connection! From the first day, the children gave themselves up and were delighted to be there. Thus, our coexistence was fed in this place, in a playful and fun experience of this game of acting ”, concludes Lázaro.

    Making-off-the-movie-Daddy-is-Pop
    Stella Carvalho / Disclosure

    The surprise of director Caito Ortiz was that, analyzing the process of what it would be like to record the film in a non-pandemic scenario, the final product was imagined in a different way. But today, with the result that has been forming in your hands, the surprise has been even greater.

    “The distance and the masks are obstacles to reach worthwhile outcomes. But, at the same time, they make us have to work harder, and this often leads to different results than we would have achieved before. I have won several “gifts” on the scene, I am very happy with the film ”, he concludes.

    Are you interested in the plot? So already write it down: the film’s premiere is scheduled for the second half of this year!

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