“It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future”. An interview with Italian film promoter Angelo D’AgostinoJuly 12th, 2012 | Posted by in Interview
Making a film, whether it’s a short or an epic feature, is a team effort. A film may be the director’s vision, but without an editor, sound and set designers, and a solid cast, even the most compelling story won’t get the attention it deserves. Even with superb talent at every level of production no film is guaranteed to succeed.
Film festivals and distribution certainly make your art available to audiences, but what audience should you target, and why? This question highlights an oft-overlooked yet crucial element of filmmaking—marketing and promotion. This week we shine our spotlight on Angelo D’Agostino, a film promoter from Metaxa Productions, [he handles the promotion behind last weeks interviewee Andrea Zamburlin and the sci-fi short film, Remember to gain some insight into the business of buzz. Mr. D’Agostino currently lives in Vienna, Austria.
AS: Ciao Angelo, what lead you to do what you do; what brought you to film?
AD: 10 years ago I met two young directors, Fabio&Fabio, during university, and started working with them on their projects. Soon after shooting their first short movie (E:D:E:N), I started looking for ways to make it visible and got involved with the festival promotion. As years passed, we moved on to produce longer and more complex short movies (THE SILVER ROPE, AFTERVILLE) and I began to work in the production of music videos and independent film projects. 10 years later, after having moved around several cities and countries, and worked on a number of short movies and indie projects while developing scripts with talented film makers and setting up independent productions, I am now working with a visual effects company and am developing the first feature film project with my production company.
Filmmakers Fabio & Fabio
I have a technical background, as I graduated in Mechanical Engineering and worked in a Research Lab near Los Angeles for some months in 2002. I moved on to work in the car industry, and then consultancy, where I acquired the analytical skills needed to tackle production and have a good overview on financial matters. My creativity developed over the years, but surely part of it is related individually to the ability of looking at the world and finding new ways to tell what one sees. Surely, I've always had a strong connection with writing and a natural inclination to communication.
AS: Tell me about Metaxa Productions?
AD: Metaxa Productions used to be a team of independent filmmakers which joined partnership with other young realities in Europe to produce short movies, soundtracks and music albums. As time developed, the members walked on individually to join other established companies or found their own, and Metaxa is now just a brand connected namely to promotion.
AS: What makes an engaging film?
AD: A great idea is what starts off the spark of change. Our world revolves around this. And so, also for movies, from a great idea talented writers need to produce a great script which is the starting point of any good project in cinema. Finding the right actors, finding the right chemistry between them, and setting up the right team lead by the right conductor (the director!) is then a good part of the recipe. Making a memorable movie, however, requires some magic which not all of us common mortals can have access to in one single lifetime I guess… Today's technology certainly helps us, as we can experiment and materialize our vision with less money (and risk) than in the past. But this doesn't mean that it has become easier to achieve such a result: making a memorable movie still is one of the greatest tasks that only few special people can achieve… and this can't be certain until you sit in the cinema and realize that what you've done actually goes beyond expectation. A very rare moment that, just like the "perfect wave" surfers always look for, is the "perfect moment" producers and directors probably look for, all their life.
AS: That's true for almost all the arts! I have already asked him, but how did you and Andrea begin working together?
AD: I met Andrea through Fabio and Fabio. Andrea is a young and talented film-maker with a great energy and many ideas and he is gradually building his way, with all the time ahead to realize his vision. I helped Andrea promoting his short movie, REMEMBER, and we worked together on Fabio&Fabio's first feature film "TRUE LOVE", but living in two different countries we don't have many chances to work together these days. As with Andrea, I work with a number of talented film-makers, like Michael Rittmannsberger [whose latest short movie recently attended Palm Springs and Tokyo Short Shorts Film Festivals], Alex K. Lee (my working partner, with whom I am now working on his first feature film) and Giorgio Borgazzi, a dear friend and experienced director (he was the first Italian to go to Sundance with a short movie, “Elvis is Dead at 58″) who just won “Les Prix des Femmes” in Paris (sponsored by the Coopération Monègasque in Monaco which works for the achievement of the Millennium Goals with a major focus on the rights of women, represented by Princess Stèphanie of Monaco).
AS: Michael Rittmannsberger’s short drama Sister, is also on Indieflix. Besides the filmmakers you’re working with, who are some of your favorite filmmakers or films?
AD: I like the work of young directors whom I’ve met or seen movies of at International Film Festivals like Runar Runarsson or Denis Villeneuve, Piotr Lewandowski and Rodrigo Gudino for example, and many more that may not be known yet. But if I were to mention famous directors who also meant something to me, I would recall for sure Sergio Leone, Clint Eastwood, Cameron Crowe, Alfonso Cuaròn, Richard Linklater, Kevin Costner… the list is long, there are many directors and many movies that, whether or not have been commercially appreciated in the years, that meant much to me at one point.
AS: Do you have any last words?
AD: I will use one of my favourite writer’s words, Paulo Coelho: “It’s what you do in the present that will redeem the past and thereby change the future”. This is a good ambition to lead a successful and rewarding life. Cinema is dream, life the inspiration.
– Andre Sanabria