Constantin Pilavios was born in Greece in 1984 to a French mother and a Greek television producer father; the camera is an extension of himself from an early age. He completed his film studies at Brockwood Park School in Englant before directing at the age of 18 his first short film: The Monkey’s Paw (2002).
In 2007, he filmed What is that? (Τι είναι αυτό;) which he published on Youtube in 2008; the video reached over 4.9 million views.
His career was launched.
At 37, Constantin has directed more than 13 short films as well as numerous documentaries and commercials.
- Do you remember the first movie you made?
I do actually yes, but, before making my, let’s say “first edited short film” I made lots of attempts with childhood friends to make home movies. I think my first attempt was a pretty long film that I even remember writing the screenplay for with my friend Nikos. We started making the movie and then my little camera came in contact with some seawater and stopped working. Going back to my “first edited short film”, I made it in 1999 while at school in England. It was a great experience which I still remember dearly. It’s called A Staff’s Nightmare.
- What’s it like to be a filmmaker based in Athens during a pandemic?
To be honest I’ve been one of the lucky ones to have been working full time throughout this pandemic and for me, it hasn’t felt any different than before. The only difference might be that most of the pre-productions take place inside a video conference done at home.
But, most of my fellow colleagues really had a hard time in the first 4 months of the lockdown here in Greece. There were no laws for filmmaking and we didn’t really know where all this is going… not that we do now but some have accepted it.
Now, most of my colleagues film Theatre Plays, which have no other way than video to reach their audiences. A lot of foreign productions are currently produced in Greece right now and the government is trying (badly) to support art workers.
Actors and performers in general are the ones taking the big hit.
- Your latest project is a series of people in your life called Those Who Are. Is this a tribute to the people you love?
It started in December 2017 as I following my friend George around Amsterdam and Antwerp. When my fiancée and I went to Istanbul in November 2019 for the second time, instead of taking photos I chose to shoot a video. Then the idea of giving it a similar title really brought about a kind of series. I had lots of ideas to follow other people around, like couriers, chefs, etc, but the pandemic kind of put these plans on hold. So, it started as a tribute to people I love and kind of went to a tribute to people who just… are.
ep1 The Boy Who Lives Under The Sea (2018) from Constantin Pilavios on Vimeo.
- What inspires you?
I draw most of my inspiration from stories that involve people and their coexistence. I started with stories about families and now I think it’s time to move to stories about humans living. I can’t really say I get inspired by other directors or producers, but I do get jealous, in a good way, when they create amazing films.
- How do we make a 4.9 million views video?
Funny story there… I never wanted to make a film to receive views. I just wanted to tell a story about a father and a son. I don’t think there is a recipe for views. Views don’t matter. You could make a video about a cat riding a robotic vacuum cleaner while dressed as a shark, receive millions of views, offer millions of laughs but, what good does that do? How does it bring about change?
If one creates something that surfaces from his inside, is viewed by 10 people and it speaks to the insides of just 1 person, causing them to change or evolve, I think that is worth more than 1 million views.