October 1, 2022

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“In Los Angeles I’m the director of photography: here it is possible to start making films from scratch”

Julia government39 years old, from Turin moved to Los AngelesWhere she works as a director of photography. “My job is to create the look of the film: identifying lighting patterns and camera movements.” I left nine years ago to study at New York Film Academy From Los Angeles, then realized that if she returned it would be impossible to even start a career. “In the US – says the government – there are more low-level projects for those who want to get started: so you start introducing yourself, gain experience with the directors who grow with you and so they will contact you when they have the opportunity to do a bigger project.”

The government says the Italian system is more restrictive. This, he continues, makes him Not easily accessible, also because of less money and few people who can’t compete with it. “We make less films than in other countries – explains the director of photography – and the basis is always the same people who make them. In America the loans are private, while in Italy they are mostly public and always go to the same people, so new professionals are not supported Well “. In Los Angeles, the capital is not a problem. When it comes to social equality, according to the government, things get more complicated and it’s not easy to settle down. Although its sector is among the most funded, the fact that you are a foreigner puts it in a precarious position: “I am at risk with visas: I have to renew my residence permit every three years and I suspect that my application will be rejected. There is always this possibility.” The evaluation of the application is the one who decides mainly on the basis of the syllabus, which is not trivial for those who are self-employed in the cinema: “Think about how many festivals you have won, how much media interest you have in your work, and then all the letters of recommendation and promises of work that you have: you have to Proof that you have jobs coming and they allow you to live there. But the verdict on visa renewal is always someone who knows nothing about entertainment. And then it depends on the president.” During the nine years of her life in Los Angeles, Julia saw the rule of Barack Obama, Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Trump’s influence was felt in the social climate: “Before Trump, he explains, not all white supremacists and extremists felt free to express their opinions.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: “There’s always been a big problem in America: racism. Trump has, in a sense, opened the doors to another debate.”

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Because of her profession, Julia fears stereotypes especially in regards to sexuality, which is one of the reasons why she has more difficulty in Italy. “last year, It was God’s hand From Paolo Sorrentino It was the first major Italian film with a female director of photography. It’s a good point, but it’s rare.” Female directors of photography in Italy are few and hardly making a career: “The weight of the equipment was the most used excuse to hide. Now the cameras are smaller and lighter, so no problem.” But the gender bias remains, and is based in part on the nature of the work: “Even if it has a strong artistic side, being a photography director is a technical job and there is still a stereotype that That men are more talented. For these things, as in information technology.” According to the government, Italy, slow in cinema, is light years behind in equal roles. Part of the solution might be to rethink production standards: “The mentality must change – Giulia’s government explains – it must We are back to making high quality, committed films. We live on the laurels of works shot from the post-war period to the 1960s, but now there are few Italian films, often comedies or imitations of the USA: there is no longer any composed cinema. We return to the style that made Italian cinema famous: “When I introduce myself, I always say that I am an Italian director of photography, because it automatically puts me on another level. You should be proud of being Italian.” Giulia would like to go home, but at the moment it feels like a mirage: “I don’t have any connections in Italian cinema: it means starting from scratch.”

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