Thispast weekend, I was fortunate enough to help out on an Italian reggae music Video. The group was Quartiere Coffee, out of Grosseto, Italy. On Thursday night, I was picked up outside my host parent’s apartment. In the car was the director (Stefano Lodovichi), set dresser (Ginevra De Carolis), sound mixer (Iacopo Pineschi), and the assistant director a.k.a my Italian cinema professor (Carlo Tozzi ). It was an hour drive until I found myself cruising around downtown Grosseto listening to a TV on the Radio CD, getting my own private tour from Stefano. Afterwards, we grabbed some pizza over a meet and greet with the reggae group. From the pizzeria, we followed them into an underground cement storage unit (or what looked liked). After feeling pretty sketched out, one of the members pops open the door to their unit, it’s filled with couches, a recording setup, Bob Marley paintings and posters, etc. They had certainly managed to pack this cement box to the ceiling… it was great! We talked through wardrobe, the day of shooting, and I’m sure a whole lot of other logistics that seeing I don’t speak Italian, I didn’t quite catch. After several hours, we headed back to Stefano’s place. But of course, the night wouldn’t be complete without sweets, so we stopped at “Dolce Notte” bakery (Sweet Night).
6hours of sleep, an espresso and Italian pastry later – time to clock in. The location was an old slaughter compound that was abandoned over 20 years ago. It’s pretty much what it sounds like… prefect for a reggae music video right? After meeting the DP (Andrea Arnone) and camera assistant (Andrea Issich), we were shooting by 9am. As Carlo had brought me in as a 2nd assistant director (AD), I shortly found myself playing other roles. In small crews, this is one of the perks. After a few hours of calling out “acione”, which was awesome btw (feeling pretty Italian at that point), we had some issues with the camera. Seeing that we were shooting with the same camera I was snapping behind the scenes photos with, we quickly swapped out to make sure we didn’t fall behind schedule. The rest of the day consisted of Tommaso (lead vocals) trying to teach me Italian sayings (failing miserable), guiding the DP through broken beer bottles and rusty nails while he operated the stedicam, clearing memory cards/backing up footage, and snapping behind the scene pics. After 12 hours of shooting, the video was a wrap!
Wepacked up, and headed back to Stefano’s house to transfer footage and get ready for dinner. We met with the group at a restaurant, and celebrated the day of shooting. 30 min later the 20-person table was full of pizza, beer, vino, and grappa (an Italian alcohol). After an extensive dinner, I said my goodbyes, and filled the contact’s book.
Ps: I should probably mention that Stefano’s place (family owned) is in a 200-year-old building located in downtown Grosseto (inside the barricaded walls). This place was amazing. Walls cluttered with paintings, royal furniture and woodwork. Not a bad place to crash for two nights.
To see more photos:http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2139805&id=43808999