Divya D’Souza began her illustrious career in filmmaking as an assistant director, simply looking to get her foot in the door and get exposure to as many projects as she could. Divya D’souza wanted to work closely with directors and see all aspects of making a film to know what field she would want to pursue. It was in this role that she began working closely with producers, which sparked an interest that ultimately became her passion.
D’Souza is known in her home of Canada and the world as a diverse and talented female producer, breaking barriers in the industry by creating her own company, Matchbox Productions, and for her work on hit films like Total Recall, Resident Evil: Afterlife, The Vow, and beyond. Her impressive resume has every genre imaginable, from concert DVDs, to comedy films, to blockbuster action hits such as the 2015 flick Pixels.
Pixels tells the story of Sam, one of the best arcade gamers of his time. Once in an international tournament, NASA sent the video recording of all the games to space for intelligent beings to find and know more about humans. However, the aliens interpreted the games as a challenge and began attacking Earth using the video game data. It’s now up to Sam and other old time arcade game champions to save the Earth from the video game alien invasion.
“I liked the action comedy of the project. I also liked how the group were childhood friends who then came together. And the whole idea of video games coming to life is fantastic, especially being a big fan of video / arcade games myself. I think this film was a great family movie that had a new premise I hadn’t seen before and also was just some great entertainment,” she said.
Directed by Chris Columbus (The Help, Harry Potter) and starring Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems, Saturday Night Live), D’Souza loved working on such a prolific project. She is a big fan of both the director and the film’s star, with an admiration for Sandler’s company Happy Madison and Columbus’ 1492 Pictures.
“The cast was fantastic along with the director Chris Columbus. I also really loved working with the producers from Happy Madison and from 1492. They are very knowledgeable producers who have worked in the industry for numerous years successfully,” said D’Souza. “It was great to work with such heavy weights in film. I also got a job working at Happy Madison through this project as a technical writer for the company in Los Angeles. They appreciated my knowledge, attitude and hard work.”
Working on Pixels truly was hard work for D’Souza. It was a jam-packed shoot with lots of different guest roles from accomplished actors. She had to make sure the scheduling with these many actors getting ready and to set was accurate and on time. She also liaised with Sandler and Columbus to make sure they were up to date on what was going on. She looked at all timesheets, call sheets, other technical film documentation, and completed the daily production report for the whole film set.
“With my expertise in time management, scheduling and also problem solving quickly on the spot I was able to make sure that things kept moving along. When filming went over in one area, I would adjust what was needed from crew and cast to make sure there were no hiccups for what we had to film later on,” she described.
Pixels premiered on July 24, 2015, and grossed almost USD$245 million worldwide, a stunning achievement for D’Souza who worked so hard to make the film a success.
Pixels is currently available to stream on Netflix, and it’s definitely one to put on your watch list.