As a film producer in film and television, Divya D’Souza gets to explore and learn with every new project she takes. Every production explores a different subject and storyline along with different equipment and techniques; one day she could be on set shooting a zombie horror film and learning about true-to-life prosthetics, and the next day she might be filming a comedy and studying where to best insert a joke so it isn’t cut in the edit, or how to get multiple jokes into the same moment so they can be switched out if one doesn’t resonate in the editorial. In an action film, she can take in how a stunt is filmed vs. seen in the final cut, using visual effects and wires and then manipulated later. Such variety in her work is what fuels her passion and in turn has made her the sought-after producer she is today.
“I love that all my different experiences at work or in my personal life are valuable. Whether I’m traveling or being with family and friends or even just grabbing a meal, all the observations of what is around me and people’s mannerisms or ideas can all be potentially something I use in a project,” she said.
D’Souza is best known for her work on hit films such as Pixels, Total Recall, The Vow, Robocop and Miskate, to name a few. She has worked with countless other A-listers, spreading across genres and continents. As a Canadian resident, she currently is working in Australia on the upcoming Netflix original series God’s Favorite Idiot.
Starring Melissa McCarthy, Ben Falcone, Usman Ally, Leslie Bibb, Kevin Dunn and more, God’s Favorite Idiot centers on a tech-support employee who becomes the unwitting messenger of God. Through their company On the Day, McCarthy and husband Falcone are executive producers on the series, alongside Director Michael McDonald. “I liked the heart-warming message of the story but also the inclusivity in it as well. I think in this day and age it is even more important to have stories that show that everyone is important and belongs,” said D’Souza.
McCarthy and Falcone invited D’Souza onto the project personally after hearing of her dedication and talent from a former boss that they also worked with. She had previously worked with them as a technical writer, and they saw how her hard work, skills and attitude could be better served as a producer.
On set, D’Souza was the only creative producer that was not also doing double duty as a writer, actor or director. This made her vital to the production team with her sole focus on ensuring a smooth shoot. She was working with every department to make sure filming continued without any hiccups while also watching the creative and giving notes.
D’Souza’s top priority while working on God’s Favorite Idiot was to create an environment where the cast would feel comfortable to create the most endearing and hilarious content possible. She also made sure the project was fiscally responsible and looked at how to best serve the content and creative within a reasonable budget.
“I loved just watching the cast and how funny it was. Watching the monitors, I got goosebumps from the performances and sometimes was almost peeing my pants. We also filmed in Australia, and it was great to work somewhere different and work with the amazing Australian crew,” she concluded.