Can we try to define the profession, or rather the professions, of the filmmaker?
It is definitely diverse, as there are numerous professional fields in which video is used, from social media to generalist television, from cinema to platforms. The filmmaker is that figure who uses video communication in a professional manner to achieve set goals.
Can you tell us what the main types of profession are in the film world?
Excluding actors, the ‘behind the scenes’ really encompasses many roles: there are those who take care of the organisation and production, those who direct, those who are in charge of set design and costumes, those who are in charge of photography, editing, and last but not least, and very important, writing.
How can one be introduced to film during high school, e.g. magazines, events, websites, books, courses and workshops, school-to-work alternation, internships…?
A bit of all these things. Of course it is important to watch many films, many dramas, many documentaries, short films, TV programmes and web series. Being curious about everything in the world of video is definitely the first step. I would add that it would be good to try to share this passion with classmates, friends, acquaintances. Making films is always a team effort, and the process of sharing is fundamental to its method.
What course of study can one take after high school to become a filmmaker?
There are several specialised schools, some of them very good. Although my advice is to gain as much experience as possible on set.
Studying video in Italy or abroad? Can you tell us the pros and cons of the two choices?
I’m honestly, I wouldn’t know what to answer.
What does a filmmaker do exactly?
Where does a filmmaker find work?
There are many options: you can work in television, film or a post-production studio, in a youtuber company, in a commercial or documentary production company or in the communications department of a large brand.
What professional skills does the market require from a young filmmaker?
Depending on their role, both technical and artistic or organisational skills are required. And then one needs to develop a special sensitivity in applying them effectively in work contexts.
What soft skills will a good filmmaker need?
It depends a lot on the specific role. Basically, I think leveraging one’s personality helps in every role, although unfortunately not everyone is suited to work in the video industry.
How do you find work as a filmmaker after university?
As always, the more avenues you try, the more possibilities you have. You have to take into account that today there is a lot of competition, but you absolutely must not lose heart at the first difficulties.
To be a filmmaker you need talent, technological skills, elbow grease and culture. Can you tell us what percentages make up the perfect cocktail, and why?
I don’t think there is a one-size-fits-all mix. There are those who can make up for a lack of talent with a lot of technological skill, and those who have a vast cultural heritage that allows them to be decisive in certain choices, even without being particularly well prepared on a technical level. In fact, I believe that the winning mix is the one that corresponds and adheres most closely to who you really are or can become.
Who were your filmmaker reference figures when you were young?
There were many, depending on the environment in which I am working, in advertising, in music videos, or in cinema. For me the the the great directors of italian comedies like Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi, Dino Risi, Ettore Scola and Luigi Comencini have definitely been important.
And who were they when you were young?
Probably Paolo Sorrentino, Matteo Garrone, Giorgio Diritti and on an international level, Christopher Nolan, Damien Chazelle and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Can you recommend any good books for those who want to be introduced into the film world?
For me, the handbook of Rodolfo Tritapepe on the language of cinematography has been incredibly useful and an essay by Ennio Flaiano on writing has been very useful, I think it was called Writing a Film. And then I would read the book in which François Truffaut interviews Alfred Hitchcock.
And an essential film?
Perhaps Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, because it revolutionised cinema and brought it into the contemporary era.
Luca Lucini, born in Milan in 1967, graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Milan. From 2004 to 2022, he directed nine feature films. He started his career as a director with small self-produced experimental productions, music videos for artists such as Laura Pausini, Edoardo Bennato and Ligabue, and commercials. In 2004 came success with Tre metri sopra il cielo, produced by Cattleya and Warner Bros, starring a newcomer Riccardo Scamarcio, a multi-award-winning film and Italy's best-selling home video release ever. In 2010 he founded a company with Raffello Pianigiani and Mauro Belloni Maremosso, which produces quality documentaries and with which he made the films Teatro alla Scala, Il Tempio delle Meraviglie and Leonardo il genio a Milano distributed by Nexo Digital worldwide. In 2017, he received an honorary degree from the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Milan.
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