Co-Founders of Cartreel Films, LLC.
Atlanta Film and TV was fortunate to sit down and have a conversation with actress, writer and director, Maria Liatis, and filmmaker, cinematographer, and editor, Michael Gorgolione. Maria and Michael are co-owners of Cartreel Films, LLC. which is a company that creates custom-made demo reels since 2014.
How Cartreel Films LLC., came to be:
"I met up with Michael in 2014, and asked him if he wanted to start Cartreel Films with me so that it would give me the opportunity to write and direct, and for him to film and edit. And, to be able to work with actors in Georgia and help them to create reels for their acting reel. "
- Maria Liatis
Atlanta Film Can you share with us how you collaborated to form Cartreel Films, LLC, and your journey from how you all started to where you are now?
"I originally used Cartreel Films as my film school, because I just wanted to film. And, I was like, ‘what’s a way I can make money and film, and practice?’ And, Maria had that idea and I thought, wow. That’s perfect! I can get paid to learn! And, over time we became better and better at it. So, we just stuck with it, and then we were like ‘oh, wow! we actually have a business going.’ There was a lot of trial and error about how we do it, but I think we just learned over time. But, it wasn’t an overnight thing, it was a long period of time."
- Michael Gorgolione
Maria Liatis: It was growth from where we started, to where we are now. Our footage looks different, from the more recent stuff to some of the past things. Micahel and I are both growing as writers, cinematographers, and as a business. Now, we have a couple of writers who are contracted and who can provide their own writing skills, and we’re doing different kinds of projects.
Atlanta Film and TV: COVID has brought about a paradigm shift over the past year, and technology is being used in the entertainment industry in ways we hadn’t imagined before. Due to how content is now being created, produced, and distributed, in your opinion, how is this advantageous for creatives, and has Cartreel Films had to pivot in any way?
Michael Gorgoline: The internet has opened the doors for so many content creators to create stuff and for companies to use the internet. It’s created a huge demand, and I think it’s more accessible.
Maria Liatis: It hasn’t affected Cartreel Films too much, where it’s affected us negatively. As far as changing the dynamic, a lot more people are looking to create reels because so much is dependent on virtual submissions because it’s important to have your footage. We have been getting a lot of actors who are ready to shoot their demo reels because they are ready to get back out there. For us as a company, it’s been good. We've been blessed because there have been a lot of people that took a heavy hit. But, thankfully how we’ve been doing things has worked.
They also talk about their collaboration with Robert Mello Studios and forming a non-profit with John D. Babcock,
"We’re focused on spreading the word on the performing arts in Georgia and how local actors are making it work, without having to leave Georgia. And, the different avenues that actors and performers can go into like, writing, directing, and voiceovers. We just want people to realize the talent here is just as good and we want to be able to contribute back to the education of the artist to make sure we are always up to par with Chicago and New York. "
Atlanta Film and TV: Looking ahead, what can we expect next from Cartreel Films?
Michael Gorgolione: We want to just keep growing the company with the reels, and we also want to start working with other nonprofits. We also want to move into documentary work and continue making films.
Maria Liatis: We’re going to continue providing the services that we are with actors. Hopefully, after our collaboration with Rob Mello, we’ll have a better idea of how we’re going to be incorporating the actual acting school with what Cartreel provides where we’ll mesh the Cartreel footage stuff with an acting class.
Click here to watch our entire conversation.
You can get in touch with both Maria and Michael below.