Note - Both my wife Camilla Martini and I collaborated in the making of In a Tamasic World. Camilla as director and I am the producer of the film and the composer of the song. Therefore, I will answer also on behalf of Camilla.
Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?
I am a mathematician, publisher and writer but, since I was very young I have always composed and played songs and written poetry. I directed three animated music videos in 2017, 2018 and 2020 from my songs Arabian Nights, Droplet of Stars and The Child and the White Whale with Camilla Martini as screenwriter. Camilla has a Master in screenwriting from the University of Westminster, London. She has the ability to transform my songs in fascinating visual images, in In a Tamasic World Camilla was responsible for both the screenwriting and the direction of the film.
What was your first job in the art field?
My first published job as a songwriter was the LP Né Swing, né Slow in 1989, my first job as a director and composer in a music video was Arabian Nights in 2017. Camilla worked as an actress in many movies and plays, but her first work as a screenwriter was Arabian Nights and her first experience as a director was In a Tamasic World.
What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?
We are interested in esotericism, hermeticism, Jungian psychology and generally in the relation between soul and symbols. Stories can hide precious jewels inside themselves, they can help us to face our shadows and, sometimes, stories can have the power to heal our minds. In her work Camilla follows the so-called Jungian “Active Imagination”, which is the art of listening to what your visions are saying.
Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?
Plato believed that we all have a Genius watching over us inspiring our artistic visions, (a good example is the dialogue Ion). We also believe that the best one can do in an artistic creation is to conquer the inner silence and letting the images and words emerge from the deep of oneself. When you have the first version of your song, film or script, you need to apply the Occam razor: “Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity”. Therefore the second stage of the work is to remove everything that is not essential.
Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?
We both love Fellini, Buñuel, Kieslowski, Allen and Chaplin. That is to say that we appreciate symbolism, surrealism, fantasy, and a sense of humour in films.
How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?
Filmmaking almost stopped during 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid epidemic. Now there is an urgency to express through films all the changes in our lives that have taken place due to the epidemic, to the war between Russia and Ukraine and to the perception that our environment needs more care than ever before.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?
We believe that every artist should have a Vision, and that this Vision must have a heart, roots that feed on sensitivity and humanity. He should have images that come from inside and he should follow his own path, trying to avoid intellectualism, ideology and cultural fashion, that can kill spontaneity in artistic expression.
Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?
Yes, they can. Good stories and visions work in a positive way. They can also be contagious as they affect the imagination of spectators and can awaken parts of our consciousness that have fallen asleep. Now, more than ever, the world needs to be awakened.
What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?
A big part of today’s industrial production of filmmaking seems to chase people’s worst tastes in order to make money. We hoped that the pandemic would have been an occasion to generate more awareness of ourselves and of the whole world, but for the moment there are no evident signs in that direction. Fortunately, there are still Indie filmmakers, and also famous filmmakers, that are doing a very good job from every point of view.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
We are working on project of a TV series revisiting the story of Faust and Mephistopheles.