How did you get on with the ALEXA Mini in different shooting situations?
I don’t think I’m the best person to talk about the ALEXA because every time I work with it I try to destroy it! The camera is a masterpiece of engineering and electronics, but I always push it to its limits, using “imperfect” lenses and exposing the image in an extreme way. I’m always curious to see what the sensor can capture. There’s a scene in the film that explains this well: Ligabue is in his room at night and can’t find peace. A candle is lit, he is enveloped in darkness, he can’t stand still, he paces back and forth in front of a newly painted picture. You could hardly see anything with the naked eye on the set, and it was precisely this atmosphere that allowed our actor, Elio Germano, to feel alone, even though he was not. In purely technical terms it is an imperfect picture: there is noise, there is dirt, but the scene works very well on an emotional level.
The choice and use of lenses had a strong expressive impact.
I rely on the rental company D-Vision, with whom I have built up a strong relationship over the last few years. They know my desire to explore older, less-used lenses that are often found at the back of the warehouse. I’m interested in getting to know the extremes. I did tests with Elio Germano, trying out different lens sets, some of them very modern. When I mounted an old Leitz series on the camera, I fell in love! The 15 mm of that series has an aberration that on the ALEXA sensor creates a strong blurring at the edges of the image. This is clearly a defect, but both Giorgio and I were delighted with it. That 15 mm was used a lot in the film, and determined its visual character. Of course, working like this is complicated because lenses of this type perform unpredictably and this brings a margin of risk, but my assistant Eugenio Cinti Luciani made sure everything went smoothly!
How did you manage the lights?
In this film I used light to create accents, to elevate the film from realism. I played with a mix of natural and artificial light. The film is shot entirely with incandescent lights. There are no LEDs or HMIs, nothing contemporary or modern.