Matt Sclarandis and Ricardo Bianco, TheTaleBrothers, in conversation with KörperMagazine
interview 25 of June 2020
Two good friends, with shared passions, struggling for making a better world giving support to local communities with limited resources for their own development.
KM (KörperMagazine): Let’s begin with the basics, what do you do and How did you decide to start this job together?
TTB (TheTaleBrothers): We are Matt Sclarandis and Riccardo Bianco, two friends from Turin, Italy. We have known each other for many years and have a common passion for travel, adventure,
photojournalism and we love to make documentaries. In September 2019 we moved to Sri Lanka for about 6 months and started this new project together. The idea behind
it is to create travel documentaries not only with the aim of documenting places, stories and characters but also with the aim of helping people and organizations
that we showcase in each documentary by selling it on Vimeo onDemand.
50% of the proceeds are donated to the cause showcased in each short documentary.
the remaining 50% is reinvested to make the next documentary, helping a new cause, thus the tagline
"Watch it, Change it."
KM: Which is your purpose? Do you have any daily dream?
TTB: Our daily dreams are always connected to exploration, to travel to far-away places and experience as much as possible what this world has to offer.
We are lucky that we are both driven by the same passion and we have the same direction. Interestingly, both our dads worked as reporters and documentarists
and we both grew up in an environment of travel books, National Geographic magazines and documentaries and we share the same passion and have the same goals in
life which makes our friendship so strong and unique.
KM: Which are the main topics you guys are focused on reporting?
TTB: Mainly we focus on reporting stories and situation that needs particular attention. Whether is a story about a terroristic attack and how it affected the families
involved (our latest documentary The Sky Was Grey - Available now on Vimeo onDemand) or making documentaries about sustainable local businesses trying to make an
impact, or unfolding stories that make a particular point on an issue that needs to be addressed. The idea is to make a trilogy in every country we visit thus giving
a broad overview on three different topics within the same country appealing to local tourism boards or local politician who are more likely to endorse our project.
KM: How do you get the fundings for such a huge adventures? Any sponsors?
TTB: As of now everything comes from our own pockets. We don’t have much money as we don’t have secure jobs but all the money we get from our clients we spend in traveling
and making our documentaries. We are lucky to be very skilled in the work we are doing on many aspects from video production to storytelling, to photography,
marketing, graphic design, etc and to have already the equipment needed to build a professional documentary from concept to a final 4k output. We are looking to
partner with brands in order to get sponsored but we are waiting to open a company as a registered charity in order to get these commissions from big brands that is
attractive to them from a tax deduction standpoint as well. Now more than ever, more companies give back a percentage of their profits to charity projects around
the world. By partnering with our project, brands can show their customers how everyone made an impact with a documentary. In this way this project has a much bigger
scope to make a huge impact in the future.
KM: What are you working on these days?
TTB: At the moment we are editing our third documentary that we shot in Sri Lanka. We are planning on releasing it sometimes this summer. Due to the pandemic we had to
put our project on hold for now so we will start again once international travel restrictions are lifted.
We are both particularly interested in creating a format where we can help launch small businesses that help communities in development. For example: “Period.
End Of Sentence.” Oscar winner in the short documentary section in 2019. The documentary follows a group of women in Hapur, India, as they learn to operate machines
that produce low-cost biodegradable sanitary pads, which they sell to other women at fair prices. Here we have the perfect example of what we want to achieve with
our project. Find stories that need a small funding to kick-start a small and local business that changes their community and at the same time creates jobs, new
perspectives and supports the local economy. We want to follow the Chinese proverb: "Give a man a fish and you will feed him one day, teach him to fish and feed him
for a lifetime". In this way we can make a much bigger impact starting with a small help.
KM: Are you always travelling? How’s your daily life?
TTB: Almost, yes. Our way of traveling consist in finding a location that has the potential for us to unfold stories that can have an impact and where we can also try
and live the local daily life for an extended amount of time. We don’t like the approach of just going to a place to make a documentary and leave as soon as the
footage is shot. We want to experience the local culture, get to know the people and spend time with the people we are making the documentary with. We are planning
a maximum of three months per country making three documentaries per country for a total of 12 documentaries a year.
KM: Have you ever get in trouble while filming?
TTB: Yes Riccardo had some major stories, especially in Syria and the Amazon forest where the boat that was taking him to the location to shoot a documentary about the
Yanomami tribe capsized and they lost a lot of equipment and drinkable water finding themselves in the middle of the jungle for several days with very little water
to drink before another boat came to their rescue. For what concerns permits etc we haven’t had major problems in Asia as the people are usually ok to let us film
KM: Do you have a team behind you? Or are you working by yourselves at all?
TTB: Our project is all done in four hands. We have a narrator in the Uk who helps us with the narration and local fixers and contacts that help us to get around and to
find stories locally.
KM: Are you guys welcome by the people you are documenting?
TTB: Mostly yes, since our project gives back to the local communities we are always more than welcome to film and to spend time with the people we are interviewing/making
the documentary about. Sometimes it’s hard to explain our concept to local people, especially if they don’t speak English, in that case our local fixer-translator
comes in handy to explain our project to them.
KM: What would you say to people that doesn’t know you?
TTB: By taking part in our mission not only you are watching an informative documentary on a particular subject but you are also making an impact by directly helping the
cause we are supporting in each film. What else, watch our documentaries and follow our journey on our Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Vimeo Channel
You won’t be disappointed. :)
KM: Which are the platforms whereby we can watch your work?
TTB: As of now, we are only on Vimeo where we sell the documentaries but also on Youtube where we push our project with small clips, trailers and other content to send
our viewers to Vimeo where they can purchase the content that makes a difference. We are looking at Amazon Prime or other channels but that will happen in a couple
of years time once we have at least a dozen short documentaries to pitch to a channel.
KM: Do you help the cause you are supporting at any way?
TTB: As mentioned earlier we are always giving 50% of our profits to the cause we are supporting. We are always reinvesting the other 50% into making our next
documentaries thus helping new causes. We both work as freelancers in the advertising and fashion industry where we work one to two months a year and get paid
enough to sustain this life and this project at the moment.