AN INTERVIEW WITH Leonidas Gioldasis, Director

As a filmmaker, please introduce yourself.

My name is Leonidas Gioldasis and I’m the Owner/Director of the Melbourne based Independent Production Company, Underline Cinema. 

I earned my Screen and Media diploma at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment and have more than 12 years of experience in the creative arts. 

I always look for projects and ideas that I can put my own bit of flair into. My projects cover a wide variety of topics and genres, as well as formats. 

As a filmmaker I have taken it upon myself to realize the dreams of not only my clients, but also myself.


Why did you become a filmmaker, a director and producer?

I guess it was my overwhelming passion to tell my own stories and create the worlds and characters I've been dreaming about and imagining for years. 

I started off in the VFX industry, and as much fun as it was, I quickly realized that I'm not a 9-5 person, or a person who wants to spend 

his time slaving away to make a CEO of another company wealthy or successful. If I wanted to reach my goals, I needed to take action. 

I tried many different combinations of creative work before I settled onto starting my own production company. I've loved every minute of it and haven't looked back.


Give some more information about yourself and the films you have made so far, about your experience?

While studying VFX I was lucky enough to work on three shorts films entitled IUVO, The Last Stand, and The 30 Second Initiative respectively. 

The 30 Second Initiative was my real first taste at how fun films can be during development. I jumped aboard as a Simulation Artist and made some Atmospheric Fog 

for the opening shot. It was an invaluable experience to work alongside other artists whilst managing deadlines for other projects. That was back in 2018.

Flash forward to 2022 and I am now a multi award winning Producer and Director. I currently have two projects doing the festival rounds. 

One was lucky enough to be invited to screen on Apple TV, Android TV, and Amazon TV, while the other has already won several awards!

My company, my studying, and all the other creative arts I partake in continue to provide me with opportunities to constantly learn and create to my hearts content.

What are the films or people that had impacts on you and deeply inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I enjoy very specific genres of film and television. Although I appreciate a fantastic or emotionally moving picture, I tend to lean more towards the topics 

or genres of Super heroes, Science Fiction, and Medieval/Old World/Ancient. These topics hold a huge place in my heart and 

I am extremely passionate about them. I remember sitting in the cinemas watching Avengers: Age of Ultron thinking to myself, "I'd love to be in those credits." 

But that almost wasn't enough. What really drove me forward was my passion for telling stories and the thought, the dream, and now the reality, 

of not being credited somewhere down the bottom just before the logos, but to have my name at the start, to see a poster and have it say 

"Underline Cinema presents a Leonidas Gioldasis Film." In terms of my inspirations, I've been inspired more by certain films and television shows 

than by specific people. Projects such as Robin Hood (2010), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017), Outlaw King (2018), Game of Thrones (2011-2019), 

Vikings (2013-2020), and The Last Kingdom (2015-2022) have really fueled my passion and desire for Medieval/Viking/Ancient types of projects.

My love for cinematography and the art of making films beautiful has come from amazing projects like Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017), 

The Mandolorian (2019-), Dunkirk (2017), Tombstone (1993), and 300 (2006). Lastly, my passion for great stories, for developing scripts and 

characters that draw the audience in and evoke deep emotions within them, come from storytelling masterpieces such as Marvel: 

The Infinity Saga (2008-2019), The Blacklist (2013-), Notting Hill (1999), M*A*S*H (1972-1983), and Logan (2017).


You have made your film "A Broken Man" which we watch its trailer in the 

"American Golden Picture International Film Festival".

As a filmmaker, why did you decide to make this film?

A Broken Man was made almost as a tribute to those revenge, one man vs a thousand, type of films. The project was heavily influenced by Liam Neeson 

classics such as Taken (2008), Run All Night (2015), and A Walk Among The Tombstones (2014).

The aim of this project was really to gain more experience and knowledge working within this genre of film. 

This project was a test to see how far we could push ourselves in pursuing something completely different to what we normally have in pre-production. 

I also wanted to submit this project worldwide and give the festivals a taste of it, and with this project being so well received (multi award winning), 

it satisfies a little of my appetite and cements the fact that we are capable of making a film in this genre.

What were some of the challenges you faced in making this specific film?

A lot of our challenges were brought down to funding. This project was entirely self-funded, no crowd sourcing or investors. 

With that in mind a lot of stages in the pipeline took a lot longer to get too. That was our main challenge. It was a little bit annoying at times being so eager

 to progress but not being able to due to lack of funding. Apart from finance which was the biggest of our challenges, we also faced time constraints. As with any project, deadlines are not meant to be moved and nearly always set in stone. That meant a lot of extra time working and less time sleeping.


Tell us more about your experience making this film?

The overall experience was extremely positive. The only negative aspect was, as I said earlier, the lack of funding which usually stagnated the project

 more than I would have liked. The major positive coming out of this film was the continued learning and knowledge I have gained. Unlike most owners of a company, 

I simply don't sit at the top of the chain and have others do the work for me. I'm heavily involved in all aspects behind the camera right down to tasks

such as poster design and sound engineering.  A Broken Man was a small dip in the deep end of the Action/Thriller genre. 

It taught me a lot of things and continues to do so to this day.


The cinematography, acting and editing is nice and interesting. What was it like to work with them?

The cast and crew of this project were some of the best people I have worked with so far. My crew always goes above and beyond the call, 

they really nail every little bit of instruction or criticism I give them, which reflects on the screen. They're not afraid to share their thoughts and 

give me their advice which is something I encourage with all the people I work with. Just because I'm the boss, doesn't mean

 I don't want to hear your feedback. Most often the best feedback comes from your cast and crew, rather than the executives. 

I remember watching an interview with the legendary Rowan Atkinson talking about how while shooting Do It Yourself Mr Bean (1994), there was a scene 

where he crashes his Mini into a pillow and mattress truck. The next scene involves him walking into his apartment and a crew member suggested he cough 

some feathers up. It was a brilliant suggestion and made the final cut. It's always so important to have a proper working relationship with your cast and crew, 

especially your regulars, because without them working at their happiest and to their greatest potential, you won't make a good film.


What was the biggest lesson your learnt making this film?

I think the most important thing I learnt while working on this project was the value of patience. It's very easy to be impatient. It can be frustrating 

when money starts to dry up or your time is needed elsewhere. Having more patience is still something I'm working towards. 

It's important not to rush things no matter how badly you want them to happen for you or be completed right there and then. 

A little patience goes a long way into creating a quality project.

What keeps you inspired to continue filmmaking?

There are two things that drive me as a filmmaker, my passion for telling my own stories and my obsessive need to be successful and wealthy. 

Both drive very different aspects of my everyday life. To see the stories and the characters that I've had dancing around my head for years come to life is 

undeniably an amazing feeling. I have so many stories in my head, the best ones often pop in while I'm doing everyday tasks like brushing my teeth. 

It's these stories which I then spend hours and hours fleshing out in the Research and Development phase of my pipeline, before sending it out to Pre-Production, 

Production, Post Production, and lastly Marketing and Distribution. Working on these stories, creating projects, and fleshing out ideas for genres 

and characters I'm so emotionally invested in, is arguably one of the only times I think my soul is at its purest form of peace.

On the other end of the spectrum, I am ridiculously motivated to be wealthy and successful. This does not necessarily relate to being in the entertainment industry, 

it tends to overtake nearly everything I do in my life, all my other side businesses and hobbies. It's an unbelievable force within me. 

I don't think I've ever experienced a feeling more powerful than my drive to be successful. I was never a 9-5 person, a 1 job, 1 income, live for the weekend type of man. 

I never have been. I've wanted to elevate my status for years, every aspect of it, from my income to the amount of people who know my name. 

I started off life poor. We had second hand furniture that others bought for us. My parents would work extra hours just to make sure I'd be able to buy a toy every now and again. 

They worked and worked until they elevated us to a working - middle class family. Now it's my turn. There is no obstacle that can stop me from elevating my family

 (and the future generations of family) to the highest possible level of life.


The most important part is distributing the film. What did you do for distributing your feature film "A Broken Man"?

At the present time our project is making its way through the film festivals with no set in stone release date.

We'll assess and discuss that stage a little closer to it but the key in distribution is good relationships and networking, as well as engaging marketing. 

Everything from how you post on social media to how you approach television network executives.


What are your filmmaking goals?

I have various filmmaking goals that I'd like to achieve and many projects I'd like to be a part of. My main goal is to own the most successful 

and largest film production house in Australia. My dream is to have Australia and my company up there as a top 3 choice amongst executives, 

streaming services, and networks, when deciding where they want to make their project. I want to create thousands of Australian jobs and utilize our amazing 

locations, crews, facilities, and post production houses. This is what I strive towards every single day and every hour I put into this company.

I also have many other filmmaking goals including my own feature film, television show, and if all continues well, a couple of subsidiary companies or internal 

divisions within my main company.


What is your next project?

At the time of this interview, my current project is another short film that will be bolder, louder, and more action packed than anything I've made before. 

I can't say too much about it, but what I can say is it's one of my favorite genres and it's something I've wanted to make for a long time.


Good Luck Leonidas