Today Discovermarche’s such a great pleasure to talk about the director Paolo Doppieri and his amazing promo video “Civitanova Marche – Wonderful Life”. This video is a tribute to the city of Civitanova Marche and through the landscapes and the eyes of local people,it tells about this beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea. So let’s find out more about the creative mind behind this…’wonderful video!’
Hello Paolo! Welcome to our blog and thank you for having accepted the invitation. The first question arises naturally: who is Paolo Doppieri and when did you start being passionate for cinema and choose to become a director?
Hello and thanks for inviting. I consider myself a storyteller with a natural inclination for the film language. My passion for this job was born in the darkness of a room when I was still a kid and my grandfather took me to watch any movie, even the banned ones. In the darkness of the room I laughed, cried, and I was afraid, sometimes excited. Growing up I cultivated the ambition to leading in others those same emotions I experienced myself. And to me, telling my stories by filming is the most attractive way.
How were you able to reach your dream?
I was only twenty when I took two important but apperantly conflicting choices: I started a family and I left school to devote myself to writing and directing. After a some experiences in independent movies, I started focusing on documentaries, promos and commercials. The latter has become my main work and thanks to it I can experiment and travel, even if it sometimes keep me away from my private life. At the same time, I never stopped writing and cultivating personal projects.
How would you define your style and which are your most significant influences?
My apparent detachement hides a very direct and passionate approach to things. No coincidence the first authors I was interested in were Carpenter, Cronenberg and Lynch: directors formally very strict, but able to shape the reality to a vision almost anarchic. My style has been influenced by authors as bizarre as Gilliam, Żuławski or Miike, along with other more traditional ones like Leone, Scorsese and Spielberg. But I would avoid the essence of this question if I stop atmovies, sicne I’ve always been fascinated by different media fields as pop literature (Dick and King in the lead), comics as Metal Hurlant as well as Ramones music and the Konami video games.
“Wonderful Life” is a tourism promo commissioned by the Tourism Department of Civitanova Marche, that wanted a ‘signature’ commercial, with a modern and exciting style in order to promote the city’s image. So, the video was born primarly as a business project but you also got involved personally, as you are from the city of Civitanova Marche yourself: how did you bring to life the idea of the video?
The idea of a movie about Civitanova has a long history. Together with some friends I had written a short film that, trough stories of different characters, revealed at the same time the main features of the city. A too ambitious project never made. Years later I was asked to carry out this promo. Something dynamic and emotional was needed, so they decided to rely on me. I was happy to accept the challenge since they gave me complete freedom to develop my idea and also because although I’m often away from home on business, I truly love my city. The result is Wonderful Life.
Have you been inspired by any movie in particular for the production of the promo?
I wanted to tell Civitanova through the eyes of people, both residents or visitors. I wanted to do a promo which, as such, could highlight the strenghts of the city and reduced its weaknesses. But especially, I wanted to make a simple and pop movie. The idea of alternating landscapes to candid photos, is the natural evolution of my aim, and has not been inspired by the works of others. However, it is a very popular narrative device that I myself have been using for years and in this occasion seems to have worked particoularly good.
What was the most “easy” and the most “difficult” time during the filming?
The easiest was to find and catch interesting faces among Civitanova people, especially young ones. Wonderful Life is full of young people not just for an attractive issue, but above all because it’s in the eyes of many young people that you can see the vitality, the ambition and the audacity that in my opinion are the historical strengths of the inhabitants of Civitanova. There were also many difficulties, as when we tried to sneak in the harbor area at night. Seamen are not fascinated by television and indeed, they consider your presence as uncomfortable and as a restrainer to their activities. The few, beautiful fishing shots that you see in the movie are the result of a work of diplomacy that lasted several weeks.
How long did the shooting take? Do you have any good story to tell?
The work lasted about thirty non-consecutive days from August to October 2014, with the crew that at times was divided for strategic needs, as in the case of shooting the motorboat, where some of us were working on board and others from the pier. Actually, one of the most embarrassing anecdote happened while on the motorboat: while filming in super slow-motion I asked the pilot board operator to increase the speed to see more water sprays, which are very nice but difficult to control. So in the meantime I was looking for the perfect shot, we were splashed and risked to seriously damage all our shooting equipment.
How did you manage to find all the people shooted in the movie?
My concept involved a part of improvisation during filming. For this reason, the crew spent most of the time wandering in the most relevant areas, chasing faces. When I could see people able to catch my attention, I stopped them and explained what I was doing. If I was busy filming, my staff went on doing that. All people were involved friendly and with their own permission.
How did you choose the combination of your promo with the music “Wonderful Life” by the singer Zucchero?
Thanks for asking, since it gives me the opportunity to clear up some misunderstandings. First, we are talking of a turism promo which is different from a documentary or a short film. The official promo lasts two and a half minutes and has a very dynamic style combined to a music by Naylor and Stern. I opted for an instrumental song rather than a specific one for reasons of time and budget. The result is a perfect combo of sound-image that has earned praise even from the owners of music rights. There is also a second version of Wonderful Life, I made my own way. It is the 5 minutes version, born from my desire to highlighten the human side of the promo and making it more personal and creative. Which brings me back to the question. I was looking for the right music when I heard the song of Zucchero on the radio. I immediately thought that could be a suitable song and after combining it with the images, I thought it was the perfect match. Wonderful Life has also given the title to the project, a very simple title that implies a positive attitude towards the city.
On March 12 there was the official launch and the video went viral in a matter of hours and hit various social networks. After just three months the views on Youtube came to almost 50,000. What a great result! Did you expect such a success in such a short time?
We displayed both versions in a movie theater in Civitanova during an evening event attended by many local artists very well-known, each of them with a personal tribute to their city. The cinema was packed with some of the audience standing. The showing was accompanied by signs of enthusiasm, and at the end I could finally hear the applause – probabaly one of the longest ever bestowed on one of my works. I was very pleased by the welcome of local people but I was aware that Wonderful Life was designed to appeal internationally. Of course I could not imagine that in a few days we would have reached that number of views and shares worldwide.
The showing of the promo is also scheduled during Expo 2015. Do you think this event will bring more visibility to your work and to the city of Civitanova Marche?
I am thrilled the promo will be screened in the Italian Pavilion, counting on about 20,000 visits during the six-month event. I devoted much time to this project, driven not by financial gain but by a genuine attachment to my land. It was a very difficult but also very funny experience. It was also “educational” since I found out features of Civitanova I myself didn’t know. Now I hope the movie reaches a wider and wider audience and that helps to bring luck and tourists to my city.
At this point we invite you to watch the full version of this wonderful video by clicking here!
He studied cinema and American literature with Franco La Polla, history of theater and entertainment with Franco De Marinis (University of Languages, Bologna). He started first as an independent documentary filmmaker and won numerous awards at italian and internationa movie festivals. He was claimed later as director and author of music videos (on MTV), films for TV (Italian channels like: RAI / Mediaset) and commercials for well-known international brands (shown on Mediaset and on major world-networks). In the last three years he has benne the mind and the direction behind more than one hundred Italian and international commercials, even for agencies such as Young & Rubicam USA or Carrots Barcelona. Among his clients, also the US toy largest companies like Disney, Mattel and Fisher Price. Within the fashion he worked for Brosway, Fabiani and Fornarina. Paolo’s thoughtful and emotional style combines a passion for the classic cinema with the testing of the latest technologies and new languages. He is currently working on his directorial debut film projects.