As far as I can remember, I have always wanted to be creative in my life, although I never really had any concrete or visible talent, just lots of determination. I was bad at drawing and painting, playing instruments, and basically anything that required manual abilities. Though I was pretty good at school, rather ambitious, very motivated; enough to get into a good business school once I graduated from high school, where I spent crucial years of my youth debating on my future. Luckily I grew up in a family really passionate about photography, music, art and the world in general. It was a rewarding source of discovery. I learned basic camera principles at an early age, but it was only during my first year of college that I stepped into filmmaking. It was a blessing, at least for me. I was quite intrigued by the medium. It gave me the power to create just by observing things around me and stealing the moment. At the time I was sharing a tiny apartment in Milan with two of my best friends, who were more into photography. We were young kids from a small town, really excited about life and the scenes around us, especially at night. We would kick it at events and shoot random stuff, then editing it at home with a piece of music. Soon enough, we gave ourselves a name, and we started creating content as Flash Factory. When I graduated from college, I was 22 and way more confused than when I started. I realized that even if I liked making videos more than studying finance, I was self taught and I really didn’t know shit about the craft. I was in need of proper education. In the following months I worked hard on a portfolio that could get me into a film school. I thought to myself, if I really had to start all over again, then it’d better be a good one. That coming September I began my first class at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Nine months from now I will exit the school with a BFA in Film, ready to start whatever’s next to come.
Your short “Three Rivers”. Why did you choose to express the essence of Golden Goose Deluxe Brand with these tones? Does it fit it or you just wanted to create something completely different to re-new the brand?
There is a subtle but rather relevant bond between the film and the brand. Golden Goose takes its name from a fairy tale. Therefore the goal was to create a world that carried that kind of magical quality and eerie atmosphere, while giving it a modern twist to reflect the brand’s philosophy. “Three Rivers” is not a traditional fashion film but there is a reason for that. Culturally we have been trained and educated to absorb content in a quite direct and aggressive way. Even in communication, when supply outgrows the attention offered by the public, the general practice is to get in and out of people’s mind quickly and loudly; displaying the maximum amount of product in the minimum amount of time, and then repeat. For Golden Goose I felt that we had to take the opposite direction and bend the rules. I thought that the clothing would have stood out more if taken out of a traditional context, and that our exposure would be bigger if we didn’t do what is commonly expected for a fashion film. It was really a gamble but I think it paid off. I never had the intention or the claim to re-new the brand, my role was to interpret a collection by giving it a voice so that it could speck for itself. Weather it fits it or not depends on the people’s response.
How did you conceive this story? What is the meaning of the final loop scene? Will there be a possible sequel?
When I was approached by the brand there was no initial brief, which is really exciting but also scary at the same time. I have always wanted to shoot something in a forest and I was waiting for the right project. What better occasion than a winter collection? I guess the loop idea came from a famous Italian jingle that was always stuck in my head, “C’era una volta un re”, that goes on and on forever and never ever ends. The real brilliant idea was to put three beautiful girls in a beautiful house in the woods. All the pieces came together by discussing the concept with my friends from Art Center, who helped me create the short.
The loop has multiple meanings. The story takes place in Sequoia National Forest, within monumental trees that are among the oldest living things on the planet, something quite extraordinary to think about. My characters are stuck inside a time bubble, where they have been trapped there forever; even before the sequoias, making them eternal. The concept of looping also refers to the changing seasons, and therefore to fashion.
I would really like to work on another campaign for Golden Goose, but I doubt I would make a sequel. I want to explore something else.
The thin line between commercial concept and personal research. Where does the commercial concept end and where the personal research begins?
Directing is a personal quest, always. You need so much inspiration to create, no matter what you do. The interest should be genuine and sincere, and the commitment should be emotional. It’s more like “where does the personal research end and the commercial concept begins”, at least for me. Getting stuck in the commercial world with the wrong attitude is scary. I envy those directors that have such a strong voice, that even agencies have to bend their vision. I am really inspired by these people, it takes years of sacrifice and making the right choices.
Where do you imagine yourself in five years?
Five years is a really long time that goes by really fast. Ideally, I will still be doing what I do, but better. I will be thirty years old which kind of sucks, but I hope to be happy, and still hungry to create and achieve. My goal is to direct a feature one day, and a video for Burial. That would be great.
A Flash Factory and Virgin Soil Pictures production
Director: Marco Prestini
Script: Ryan Weatrowski & Marco Prestini
Dop: Edward Tran
Producer: Malcolm Duncan
Art Director: Ava Villafane
Editor: Aaron Bencid
Colorist: Marco Prestini
Original Music and Sound design: Guido Smider & Michele Caiati (smidernoise.com)
Gaffer: Andy Cao
1st Ac: Christian Veillet
Key Grip: Marz Miller
Grip: Derek Mitchell
Hair & Make up: Barbara Yniguez
Production sound: Justin Fraker
Vo copywriter: Niamh Grunfeld
Vo artist: Eve Rydberg
Starring: Lauryn Holmquist, River Johnson, Sarah Elizabeth
Special thanks to Catherine Opie, Julie Burleigh, and Sequoia National Park