WELTANSCHAUUNG

From Germany to Italy. From Italy to Germany. Alessandro is a young freelance video-maker. He is creative, keen on his job field and convinced that practice is the better way to learn.

We had an interesting conversation with him about his life; some of his main works; about technical methods and worldview of current social themes.



I watched some horror movies, and in order not to be too afraid, I imagined where the cameraman and the rest of the team were during the shooting. I think my interest in cinema began at that time.


Tell us a little bit about yourself, please.


I was raised in Italy, Senigallia, the eldest of two siblings. I associate my earliest memories with the movie theater. Since it’s common in many families in Italy to watch tv at dinner, after the news when I was with my father we used to watch the detective series. My mother, on the other hand, didn't watch much television and I was free to watch what I wanted. So, when I felt brave I watched some horror movies, and in order not to be too afraid, I would imagine where the cameraman and the rest of the team were during the shooting. I think my interest in cinema began at that time. I started High School studying math but changed to psychology after a few years. I wasn’t very good at math, science, latin…in anything really. But I started developing interest in psychology and human behaviors, and this made the role of an actor immensely interesting. Spending many hours in front of the PC, but at the same time I loved being outdoors, not so much at the sea where I lived as in the mountains, and this passion comes from my family. My grandfather was an expert climber and he took my mother and his brothers to climb with him already as children, then passing this passion on to his grandchildren. So, my favorite place was my grandparents' house in the mountains, where I started skiing and making the first excursion, even in summer. Sooner or later I will make a film about it.




Have you studied specific subjects for your job or would you like to attend some courses in the future?


I started as an amateur and I am self-taught, but my aim has always been to attend university to study directing. When I moved to Munich, however, I decided to first attend the media academy in Nuremberg for three years, to have adequate technical skills to allow me to start working. I remember someone looking at my first works, filmed with a GoPro of my friend skiing. He said that I had a creative eye, but what I really needed to do, if I wanted to be successful, was to become technical. He said that just about anyone can become technical, but not everyone can be creative. And there are a lot of creative people who never get anywhere because they don’t have technical skills. Part of what makes a person creative is his lack of emphasis on things technical. If you are someone who is already creative and then enhances their technical skills, then you are unstoppable.








How or when did you know that you wanted to be a video maker?


I started filming and editing videos with my friends since I was about 16 and the cinema has always interested me, but it never occurred to me to make a film on my own until I was hired later on in a film studio. At the age of 20, I graduated from high school. At that time, studying wasn't my focus and I ended up losing a few years.

During the last year of high school a lot of things changed, I became more focused about my future and graduated easily. I moved to Munich where I was born and where part of my family lived, and I started working at a small production house that filmed commercials for the airport and the airline companies. That same year, I was hired in a larger film studio where I applied, while filming at their studio with my teammates.


"When planning your first movie, the idea should be so compelling for you that you are willing to sacrifice comfort and stability to make it."


What’s your style?


I don't think I've developed my style yet, I'm in the process of discovering. Certainly, my way of working has been influenced by the films I have seen. When I started going to the cinema or downloading movies on my PC I wanted to see almost everything. It was the bad quality films that spurred me to do something of my own. I kept watching bad films and saying to myself: I don't know much about cinema, but I certainly wouldn't do worse than that.


I would advise any novice director to try making their film. The best film formation is to make a film. Making a movie isn't easy. When planning your first movie, the idea should be so compelling for you that you are willing to sacrifice comfort and stability to make it. There are many specialized trades in filmmaking, such as writing, editing, cinematography, sound design, and fundraising. To be a director you have to wear all these hats and more. It also helped me a lot to study the works of Ken Burns, Werner Herzog, Micheal Moore, and Ron Howard, how they work with the actors and also the excellent book by Blake Snyder, "Save the Cat" with a lot of very interesting material on screenwriting.

Of course, studying at the Nuremberg Media Academy was also very helpful.




In human relationships, we make friends with people we want to know for the rest of our lives. The same sincere commitment is necessary when choosing a film project that can take from months to a year or more to complete.


Let’s talk about Munich. You currently live there, right? How is life in Munich? Does it influence your style of working? Do you work just there or in any other cities too?


I believe Munich has great unexpressed potential. Since I moved here I have had a great time, despite being essentially a quiet city, it offers many opportunities to have fun and certainly, there is no shortage of work. But for cultural and creative activities they could do much more. From this point of view, I see other cities like Berlin much further ahead, also thanks to a multi-ethnic and younger environment, which is positive. From a personal point of view, I have always been fascinated by American, Italian, and Japanese film history, especially the American one which is essentially the industry's lead. I always thought that such a favorable environment could never be with us: we have Homer and Shakespeare, they have Kubrick and Spielberg, this is their story. But on the other hand, I am sure that European cinema will be able to return to the glories of the past, sooner or later.



"As soon as a society stops guaranteeing security, the population ends up becoming restless and risks making extremely irrational choices, tending more towards a severe authority. I don't think people can infinitely tolerate the emotional uncertainty generated by not feeling confident."




What kind of subject do you research for your video?


The first sign that I found the right story is when the idea comes down from inside your head and into your heart. In human relationships, we make friends with people we want to know for the rest of our lives. The same sincere commitment is necessary when choosing a film project that can take from months to a year or more to complete.


If I think about a documentary project I think of recurrent and actual social issues. While in the fictional film the first thing you think of is its quality as a work of art, for a documentary it is different, even if the topics covered may be the same. Let’s think, for example, about the theme of racism and social disorder in America or of public health issues such as during these last months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Public order is not a false problem, it is not just an excuse for the right to move further and further to the right. Obviously, it's a problem in big cities where people feel very insecure. One of the things that are expected of society when you give up your personal rights is safety and comfortable material life. As soon as a society stops guaranteeing security, the population ends up becoming restless and risks making extremely irrational choices, tending more towards a severe authority. I don't think people can infinitely tolerate the emotional uncertainty generated by not feeling confident. Trying to show this discomfort through a camera lens is often not easy, but allows you to see the situation even from a different point of view.

In this context, we can also talk about the accusations made towards movies, of fueling violence pushed by acts shown on the screen, accusations that I believe are without foundation. Trying to label art as the responsible for life choices seems to me to be a wrong reversal of the situation.


We are in the midst of a renaissance in documentary storytelling that has been going strong for more than three decades. In both cases, the director's job is to exercise taste: he has to decide if what he sees is interesting, if it is adequate, if it is strong enough, and if it is credible.



How do you work on post-production and editing? How long does it take?


I’ve had the opportunity to work with lots of editing programs: for video editing, the options were Final Cut, Premiere, Avid, and DaVinci. Now, working as a freelancer, I prefer to use Premiere which allows me to take advantage of the complete Adobe package in case I have to do something with after effects for example. Usually how much time it takes depends on the project: I can say that for now, if it takes a little longer than expected to do things well and maybe learn something new in the meantime, it's not a problem.

Editing in the case of a documentary or film may differ in some places but remains substantially the same. When I edit, my only concerns are if what I am using works, if it is necessary and if I can take something away. I look at the material with different eyes and try to reduce everything to the bone, I don't think about how long it took me to get it filmed. When someone is filming he wants to be sure not to miss anything and to capture every detail, as far as time and budget allow, but when he’s editing he only wants to get rid of the superfluous. In the documentary, however, one must be careful not to stray too far from the story, and to remain objective.


There are times, for instance, when the needs of your story can outweigh a strict adherence to literal facts. The tipping point for when such ‘poetic license’ comes into play is an intuitive one, and it is different for every filmmaker.

Historical documentarians piece together a combination of known facts (such as the date and time that something occurred) with subjective accounts by various witnesses of what happened. Yet descriptions of the same event can vary widely, and sometimes even contradict each other. There are always multiple truths (plural) at play in any given situation. Furthermore, objectivity must not always be synonymous with neutrality, which in turn cannot, therefore, mean a simple presentation of facts, but in my opinion, it should be rather redefined in the attention to describing reality using a code, written, spoken or filmed, which does not favor prejudices, preconceptions or stereotypes in the elaboration by the reader listener viewer.

There are times, for instance, when the needs of your story can outweigh a strict adherence to literal facts. The tipping point for when such ‘poetic license’ comes into play is an intuitive one, and it is different for every filmmaker.


On the other hand, a joke has been going on in the journalistic environment for years - the source of which remains controversial at the moment - which in English reads: if someone says it’s raining and another person says it’s dry, it’s not your job to quote them both. Your job is to look out of the fucking window and find out which is true.

Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction and often more interesting. Many filmmakers are realizing this, choosing to delve into non-fiction narratives and bringing them to both the big and small screen. We are in the midst of a renaissance in documentary storytelling that has been going strong for more than three decades.

In both cases, the director's job is to exercise taste: he has to decide if what he sees is interesting, if it is adequate, if it is strong enough, and if it is credible.

And all this reflects on the editing process at the end.





Their films may not always be great, but with their experience creating fantasies out of fabric, they show that a well-framed shot can have the same sensual appeal as a well- draped piece of couture.

Talking about your work done so far, I saw on your Vimeo profile that you have already collaborated with one of the most important brands of the Fashion industry, Mytheresa. How was it?


Collaborating with a company like MyTheresa has certainly been a fascinating experience. You’ve always in your mind the idea that your videos, posted on any of the social pages, will be viewed by hundreds of thousands of people, and that puts a certain pressure on you, but it's this thing that makes it interesting and motivates you. The most difficult part is to dose the artistic part in you that wants to try new stuff to create something cool to align with the intentions of the brand, which already has its style and way of selling the product and wants to safeguard it. Because in the end, you must also consider that your work could always influence in some way the sales of a company that in this case invoices several million every month, and you don't want to be the one they will point their finger at.

In the end, I am happy with what I have achieved, above all because I am very interested in fashion and I find that MyTheresa is an excellent company to work for.

Fashion and cinema especially in recent years have come together more and more. We can say that the soul of a film is its story, but the importance of the visual part is always important.


As the stylist Tom Ford explained in an old interview, citing Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, and Vittorio De Sica as innate aesthetic influences: “In fashion design, I catalog things, and they go into my mind in a sort of file cabinet, and when they come out again, I never realize where exactly they came from. And hopefully, they come out with a certain personal stamp. It was much the same way with the film.”

Perhaps in this case instead of directors, we should call them directors of photography, which is different, but since in everyday life they have a 360-degree view of their project, not only for their creative skills but also for their leadership, communication, and technical skills, the transition to film director should not be extremely difficult.

Their films may not always be great, but with their experience creating fantasies out of fabric, they show that a well-framed shot can have the same sensual appeal as a well- draped piece of couture.





I watched your video for Mytheresa Showreel, I liked it so much! I’ve noticed, you choose the famous Italian song “Parlami d’amore Mariù - Achille Togliani” as a music background. Why?


As Salvatori once said “Songs not only tell our past, they contain it like the lines of our hand”.

I think that this song was the best song possible to express the moment and feeling. I currently live in Germany where I was born and in the future, I could move somewhere else too, but I’ll always feel Italian.

Many know this song from the Dolce&Gabbana famous spot, but even if you’ve never heard it before, you instantly feel it the right way.

The link between fashion and film was strengthened also thanks to Italian directors such as Antonioni, Visconti, Pasolini, and Fellini, who used fashion and costumes to enrich with meaning their worldview, “Weltanschauung” as we say here in Germany.

It’s something that evolved during time and history, many of the current musical forms started in Italy, and now even when it isn’t sung, to many the Italian language sounds like music.

Far from being just a beautiful song or a stereotypical national pride, music scores do

reflect the face of Italy and its social plights, and it’s the same for fashion.

Many studies have been done on the connection between music and fashion, such as the one reported on the UKEssays article of 2018, where they explained that these studies “has given us tangible evidence on the growth of music and how it has influenced and how it has impacted on the wardrobe of their listeners “ Every fashion style, from hip-hop to punk passing through rock and many other subcultures, has had the musical style that still accompanies it and to with we associate it as soon as we hear about it.

So, this connection was natural for me to do.


"As I arrived in the destroyed town, it was like walking through a war zone. Seeing the devastation that surrounded me in that indistinguishable rubble was such an unsettling moment."


You dealt with even more current and stark topics, such as the earthquake in Visso. It was really impressive! Why did you decide to work at a project like this and how did you feel when you were there?


The documentary was shot in Visso and the nearby territory. I was the operator, director, and almost everything else, together with a colleague of mine who had decided to participate in the project. After a few months into my job at Screencraft Entertainment, the devastating earthquake happened in central Italy and the red cross contacted me through my father and asked me to shoot this documentary to help them make the history of the place known. At that time for me, it was the perfect situation to see if I was able to do it. As I arrived in the destroyed town, it was like walking through a war zone. Seeing the devastation that surrounded me in that indistinguishable rubble was such an unsettling moment.

We took the camera in hand and started filming what we had in front of us, but the most incredible footage to see was the one given to us by a local broadcaster, from the people who had filmed during the earthquake with their cellphones. I'll never forget it.

We managed to complete filming in a week and returned to Munich for the editing which took a few weeks.

Eventually, there was turmoil in the Visso red cross committee, and the mayor of Visso was accused in addition to the embezzlement of abuse of office, the project ended up in the background. However, it’s still a project I'm proud of. It still surely is an amateur documentary, and if I had to do it again now I would do it differently, but I learned a lot realizing it and that experience was a great help in the following works. The best way to learn is to do and this opportunity is not granted at all.





Are you working on something at this moment?


I have many plans in mind, some closer than others. For now, I am thinking only of the entrance exam to the university of cinema here in Munich which has lasted for months, documentary direction. Based on the outcome of this exam I will see what to do in the future. Also, I'm working on my first short film script, but it's still too early to talk about it.







Follow Alessandro's work on his Instagram and Vimeo









Interview & Article by

Giulia Ghirri


Images and Videos sourced from

Alessandro Pizzi

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