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So What Pictures is one of the most innovative video production company in Italy. The studio, based in Rome and founded by Sara Taigher, Ippolito Simion (Rat Creatives) and Lorenzo Giordano (Plancton Studio), is responsible for video production from design to post-production, making use of the experiences in the field of motion graphics, shooting, video editing and production of its creators.

So What Pictures

Our interview with the guys at So What Pictures, one of the most innovative video production company in Italy.

So What Pictures is one of the most innovative video production company in Italy. The studio, based in Rome, is responsible for video production from design to post-production, making use of the experiences in the field of motion graphics, shooting, video editing and production of the founders Sara Taigher, Ippolito Simion (Rat Creatives) and Lorenzo Giordano (Plancton Studio). So What works closely with advertising agencies, television networks and film productions offering creative resources and technical knowledge and collaborating with professionals and young talents.

Their recent projects include Lorenzo Giordano’s documentary Life in Riva, the pilots for TV format Work in Progress and TV series Senza perdere mai un giorno, the official videos for DJ Rupture and Matt Shadetek’s Solar Life Raft and Le Cardamomò’s Valse de Meduse. Black is their upcoming short animated film that will be produced and completed in 2016, the story of a young electronic music producer, who during a blackout can’t resign himself to the idea of no longer being able to play on the computer anymore.

Hello guys, let’s star from the end: What was the origin of Black? How did you come up with the idea of making a trans-medial film? What’s the difference between creating a commercial and a bigger budgeted production?
Hi! Black was born from the need to produce something which we had not measured before with and, of course, from the desire to tell a story using the language of traditional animation. It began as a short film project, then, while we were designing the main character Matteo and conceiving his music (he’s an electronic music producer), we thought that it could be interesting trying to get him to compose an entire album to come out with the short film, making Matteo become more and more a real character.
As expected, both in terms of economic organization, it is revealing to be quite an odyssey! Unfortunately an animated film is so expensive because it takes a very long time to realize. We also got partially supported by MiBACT (Italian Ministry of Cultural Activities) but to access it we had to anticipate almost half of the budget presented, and produce so much documentation and print so much paper that our local printing shop might get very very rich from that. In fact, the process to make a short film recognized of cultural interest from MiBACT is almost identical to that to be done for a film of million euros budget.

Which is the background of the So What Pictures members?
When we founded So What the idea was to create a production company that could allow us to support our own personal work while developing the commercial ones. This is the exactly the direction we’re keeping. Our background is wide enough to cover all aspects of production and post-production. Sara studied “moving image” in London and she is a very creative mind regarding anything related to motion graphics and animation, Ippolito is an editing and post-production veteran and now he is approaching the art of directing and filming, while Lorenzo has a very long experience as a photographer and production manager having worked abroad for different big brands. He is now working for So What producing his first documentary Life in Riva.

You’ve been active for only few years, but you already have a long list of collaborations with important brands. How do you find your clients?
It mostly happens by chance. You get hired from someone like an advertising agency or a TV production and then if they’re happy with your work they just talk about you. We also think it’s important to keep ourselves productive, even when the market is low, we keep investing in our own productions so we can feed our creative side besides promoting what we do.

For filmmakers and video artists influences are both unconscious and conscious. Are there any films or filmmakers whose work has been formative for you?
Since our work is the result of a multiple of 3, it is definitely influenced by a high number of factors. In fact I guess the perfect So What movie would probably be a sci-fi mixed media film, half shot, half- animated. For what concerns myself, Sara, the first director that pops into my head is Ari Folman who made a movie exactly like that, The Congress, while his older movie Waltz with Bashir, which I think it’s one of the greatest examples of 2D animated film, has been a continuous reference during the making of Black.

What do you think about the short film form and its current potential?
When you make a short film you quickly realize that you have great chance to tell a story or a thought in a pretty immediate way and this mostly happens (not in the case of Black!), with limited resources and means. What I think is that if you have a simple and powerful concept a short movie is the perfect form of expression to choose. It’s also a great chance to deal with the dynamics of a film production and to build a team that can face greater adventures while growing up together.

Three short films that you recently loved?
Chris Marker’s La Jetée, Tim Burton’s Vincent and Blu’s MUTO.

How did you work with DJ Rupture and Matt Shadetek for Solar Life Raft video? Will they be involved in Black?
In Solar Life Raft Sara worked with the illustrator Maria Chiara Di Giorgio who created the drawings of an aquatic post-apocalyptic NY. The concept was taken from a script that Jace Clayton aka DJ Rupture sent us and then we started from that conceiving a parallel world with Maria Chiara. Unfortunately, at the moment, Maria Chiara is deeply involved in a conspicuous production of illustrations for children’s books so she couldn’t join the team, but she hopefully will in the future.

Valse de Meduse has been shot entirely with the technique of the Chinese shadows. After the shooting it’s been animated on a 2D animation platform. How did you work about it?
In Valse de Meduse we decided to shoot behind a curtain some particular objects and the four musicians while they were playing and acting, pretty much like in shadow puppetry. Then we masked the objects and the silhouettes of the musicians and we composed them into different scenarios like digital collages. Once created the universe, we made the camera movements in After FX.

What will come from So What in the upcoming future?
To finance Black, we’re planning an international crowdfunding campaign. This, for the first time in history, seems to be a excellent way to allow the people to actively contribute and get connected to the production of the movie, and a great way for independent productions to get their projects done. Stay tuned on our channels for more!

Bye bye!

www.facebook.com/blackanimatedshort
www.tumblr.com/blog/blackiesh
www.sowhatpictures.com
www.sarataigher.com

Interview by Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Alessandro Zoppo

Editor-in-Chief @ Good Short Films

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