We had the good fortune of connecting with Adelin Gasana and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adelin, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Time management, organization, and hard work are the most important factors to my success thus far. As a documentary filmmaker taking on long-term projects, time management on a daily and weekly trajectory is fundamental in accomplishing the goal at hand. It is about taking one important step at a time in order to climb the mountain in front of you. Organization is key in working with clients, colleagues, and collaborators at various stages of development on a given project. Organization includes processes in workflow, deliverables, and communication. Organization is a time-saver as well as a money-saver. Finally, hard work goes without saying. Rolling up your sleeves getting into the grind is what it takes to evolve a concept of an idea to a finished, completed project. Hard work includes patience, diligence, determination, and focus–among other things. Documentary filmmaking has three key stages in the journey to complete a short-form or long-form film–pre-production, production, and post-production. In all these stages time management, organization, and hard work helps a person as well as a team achieve.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a Rwandan-American independent filmmaker who fell in love with the genre of documentary halfway through high school and began producing documentaries since his freshman year in college. For the past decade my professional experience in the TV and film industries afforded me the talent and ability to work in all aspects of production from concept to completion–directing, writing, researching, logging, producing, shooting, editing, and marketing. Most of the documentary film projects I have worked on have focused on current social, political, historical and cultural issues. The film topics range from the Cuban Diaspora of Miami, black megachurches, feminism, Existentialism, high heels, and how history is taught. My artistic style is more of the fly-on-the-wall approach to documentary filmmaking where the subjects themselves tell the story. Rather than the popular approach in documentaries you rarely hear or see me, as the director, in my films.
I got to where I am at with a lot of hard work, vision, focus, and patience. Like any pursuit in seeking success in a given industry or accomplishing that beloved dream the road is not smooth. It’s filled with curves, roadblocks and obstacles along the way. In fact, for me and the progress I have made thus far the struggle continues. Most of the challenges I endured over the years are really a matter of patience–in waiting for my turn. When you don’t frequently get the phone calls for gigs or email replies back it gets discouraging. This includes facing a lot of rejections on proposals, pitches, and job listings. I have overcame it with a positive attitude and staying honed in on my talent and vision. More or less small and big opportunities presents itself. My goal is to be ready when there’s a knock on the door. The lessons I learned in my journey is the proper ways of communicating with people at all levels, the vital importance of having a good team, and the necessary sacrifice of hard work and determination.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Atlanta is filled with great food, entertainment, and site-seeing spots. For me I would take them down niche areas like Kirkwood and Vinings neighborhoods–where great nature trails and places to eat are. Le Petit March in Kirkwood and First Watch in Vinings are my favorite brunch spots. I would take visitors on walks down different parts of the Beltline that has great coffeeshops and eateries along its path like PARISH and Boxcar. For the music enthusiasts I would show them nice lounges for live music like St. James Live, Cafe 290, and Kat’s Cafe. The Shops at Buckhead got great views of the city for hanging out for drinks and outdoor dining. Popular site-seeing areas for first timers in the city include World of Coca-Cola, Delta Flight Museum, Georgia Seaquarium, and the CNN Center. For the art and history lovers coming to Atlanta top museums are a nice place to check out–like the High Museum of Art, SCAD FASH Museum, Atlanta History Center and National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Adventure-seeking friends would enjoy biking down Silver Comet Trail, hiking up Stone Mountain, and canoeing/tubing down the Chattahoochee River.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I like to dedicate my story to people who have believed in me since day one. Both my parents have been encouraging in my journey as an artrepreneur and never doubted my path to success and making a difference. Organizations like Swirl Films, Moguldom Films, Local Now and Katz Broadcasting has helped me grow as an artist in various phases with the right kinds of opportunties. I like to include mentors like Todd Williams and Scott Tufts who have bestowed their seasoned knowledge on me about the film/TV industry and it’s evolving nature in this digital era. I also don’t want to forget the inspiring organizations and the people behind it who have helped shaped my creative vision and pursuits–Books For Africa, Mental Dialogue, and The Gathering Spot. These organizations not only exhibited to me the importance of community but also making a difference in that community.