Former Pima Community College students Vasco and Rosie de Sousa are now in
pre-production of their first feature film: ‘Dara Says’.
Vasco studied screenwriting, film production, cinematography acting
and history classes at Pima, but scriptwriting was his favorite. While
the class only called for a seventeen page script, he turned this into
the first 17 pages of a feature length screenplay. When starting a
bank account, they always asked for an address. Yet, at the time,
there was a homeless student studying at Pima. Vasco was inspired by
the plight of homeless people and wrote his script about the
challenges involved when a homeless man looks for work in Tucson.
Vasco would stay in the Pima computer room each night until closing
time or until the last bus came, writing his story.
Rosie, who studied art at Pima, began creating a storyboard for the
film, and the two of them took test shots. Vasco and Rosie founded
Verasumo Productions in Tucson at the time, with the hope of producing
this and other films in Tucson.
Vasco and Rosie also studied acting at Pima. While there they saw a
variety of stage productions. One was Romeo and Juliet, only this
time Juliet combated in the duels and Romeo sat watching. It didn’t
seem to work for some critics, but the experiment was interesting to
watch. There were also one woman productions, original plays written
by staff and students (one involving an insurance fraud), and other
memorable productions being carried out. Watching this inspired Vasco
to take a classic and turn it into a film, while twisting around who
This contributed to the beginnings of the idea for ‘Dara Says’. At
first, he considered The Importance of Being Ernest, as he thought it
would work on a low budget with a manageable number of characters.
Later he created the story of ‘Dara Says’, which has similarities to
Tartuffe, but with some of the gender role jokes used in Shakespeare,
Laurel and Hardy, and British Pantomime.
The Film Production class Vasco took at Pima started the budget for
the film mentioned above, which is now called ‘Darren Freeman’, and
considered the costs needed to pay for crew, equipment, props and
costumes, and everything that’s needed to produce a film properly.
Vasco aimed to produce his film about the homeless man for $50,000,
but the lecturer there advised him that $500,000 was a more realistic
Vasco was accepted into the film program at University of Arizona, but
instead he followed Rosie to Wales, where he studied film at
Aberystwyth University. When he spoke to the film commission there,
one of the people was more impressed with what he studied at Pima than
Vasco and Rosie have been able to draw on their knowledge and
experiences gained at Pima, to write, storyboard, breakdown, schedule,
budget and produce a trailer for ‘Dara Says’. It’s ready to make into
a 62 minute movie, now all that remains is to raise the funds to cover
the costs mentioned above.
So they are financing this film through a crowdfunding platform called
Backers from around the world have already pledged their support for
the film, and in return for their support they will receive rewards
ranging from a mention on the film’s website, to the DVD pack sent to
promote the film at festivals, to a costume used in the film, or could
even become part of the project itself as an executive producer.
If the combined pledges reach the funding target, the production of
Dara Says will start shooting in the first half of 2013. If not, all
backers will be refunded and the filmmakers will have to start from
The campaign ends on 21st February 2013.
If you’d like to find out more about ‘Dara Says’ and it’s crowdfunding
campaign, please visit the ‘Dara Says’ website at http://darasays.com
Meanwhile, Vasco has written a new draft of ‘Darren Freeman’ and plans
to bring it into production when it’s ready.
Ptara Ltd is a media production company based in Mid Wales. Ptara is currently in pre-production of a feature film called Dara Says.