Filmmaker Interview by Chris Olson
Talking about his latest project Come Down, filmmaker Lorenzo Nera was kind enough to answer some of my questions about his filmmaking. It was awesome to hear his thoughts on the chaos of city life, the pros and cons of crowdfunding, and noir sci-fi.
How would you describe your current project, Come Down, to a new audience?
Come Down is a very exciting film project I've been working on for overall more than a year now. It's the audiovisual proof of concept for a dystopian urban world constantly bombarded with electronic music. The idea is to follow a character through his daily life in this city that looks and sounds like a rave party, in a particular moment of his relationship with his habitat.
What was the reason you wanted to make this film and tell this story?
This was an idea that I started developing together with a close friend of mine many years ago, and it grew up and reshaped itself as I was exploring new places and social environments outside of my hometown. Moving to a big and complex city like London from Italy - I was born and bred in Rome - was an important reason of inspiration, because I found in this new chaotic environment the signs of a dynamism that means efficiency, openness and entropy at the same time. Building the audiovisual world of Come Down is an attempt to reflect on the aesthetics of the excess while creating a strongly immersive depiction of an edgy and captivating, stylised future universe.
Sounds amazing. You are currently fundraising. What is the money for and how can people help?
The film was shot months ago on a relatively small budget and with the essential help of many incredible people that supported it, filmmakers and not. Since the shoot, I've personally been working on the film's VFX and music which are two very relevant aspects of its post-production: I've been experimenting and playing around to find techniques in both CGI and sound design that could best fit the project, and we’ve started cutting the material together with my editor. We're now entering the final stages of the work on the film but we don't have funds for its completion, especially for when it will be the time to finalize its sound, color grade the image and release the final cut...That's why we're crowdfunding on Indiegogo, hoping to find someone who's interested in what we are trying to achieve and wants to participate by sharing a few pounds with us or spreading the word about it with people who might like it!
Crowdfunding has become a massive part of indie cinema. How do you feel about it?
Crowdfunding is a very powerful tool and the approach of filmmakers to it has been changing a lot in the last few years: it seems like it quickly became a diffused, democratic and potentially very "healthy" way of gathering funds for fresh projects, with the tremendous potential of creating and consolidating communities around them...It still seems that among the projects that are the most successful, many are those that explicitly show references to cultural trends and/or popular commercial franchises while not being (necessarily) the most innovative, but crowdfunding platforms are still a huge advancement in the broadening of entertainment and cultural horizons.
What's the hardest thing about making a film in 2017?
There's no doubt that the advancement and the availability of mobile technologies are placing us in the best moment of history for making movies easily. One can find every kind of obstacle from the stage of concept of a film to its distribution depending on geographic location, socioeconomic position, practical scale of the projects, interpersonal network (and luck!) but ultimately the tools are there for everyone that has good ideas on what to do with them!
Who are your inspirations when it comes to filmmaking?
My cinema tastes are positioned on a fairly various range from Andrej Tarkovskij to Bojack Horseman! Sticking to Come Down, it's mainly close to a noir sci-fi visual style with injections of gritty handheld camera closeness. Cinema is an expanded world, so I also took expressive and narrative inspiration from comic book auteurs like Moebius, formally explorative filmmakers (if in my film there's the Ridley Scott of Blade Runner, in equal measure there are strange gems like The Forbidden Room by Guy Maddin as well) and a series of more or less known designers, illustrators and video artists...Better just watch the film!
What's next for you?
Come Down is just an example of a small story that can happen in this hypothetical world, but there are much bigger plans for this all. I've got a treatment for a feature film that I conceived before writing and shooting the short, and as soon as this one will be done it will be used to demonstrate our ideas and start looking for fundings to develop them into the bigger project...In the meantime I've recently been working in VFX and motion design, and I've edited a few amazing short and feature films which are currently starting their festival runs and show very exciting perspectives for 2018!
What would you say if you were a dolphin?
Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.
To find out more about the Come Down project (AND MAKE A DONATION) visit the official page here - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/come-down-a-sci-fi-vfx-short-film
Or watch the official IndieGoGo project video below...