My Film People Project was born in February 2019. It’s a series of portraits where each person is photographed with the title of his/her favorite film, or what he/she consider the film of his/her heart. Since often the people portrayed (and not only) ask me many questions about this project, I decided to collect the questions on this page to fully satisfy your curiosity. So far I realized 168 photos and I can’t wait for the next!
Why did you choose to do this project?
There are so many influences that have then flowed into this project. First of all, I studied cinema, which is perhaps my greatest passion, and I liked the idea of combining two things that I love very much: cinema and photography. This was definitely the spark. Then, also influenced by the beautiful Humans of New York project, I thought it would be interesting to discover, through the choice of the favorite film, the stories behind this choice, why a person wrote the title of a film rather than another. I believe that the choice of the favorite film can reveal a lot about the person portrayed: an intimate corner of his person, somehow a piece of his soul, so I liked this idea of discovering which film was behind the people I meet. Normally I realize urban photography and street photography, but I have always been fascinated by portraits, a photographic genre that I really desired to experiment: I am quite a shy person and I knew that this project would also be a challenge for me with myself, to improve an aspect of me that, with the work I do, I definitely need to develop.
What will you do with these photos?
Million dollar question. I honestly don’t know, I have some ideas but I don’t have a real goal. I have ambitions, of course, like a large exhibition with over 100 images (perhaps in a Film Festival) or a photo book. I would like to be able to make this series viral, even if it is a word that I don’t like very much, but it would be nice to reach many people and be able to photograph hundreds of different individuals. Luckily the bulk of my work is on my Urban Melodies and Raindrop Blues projects (which you can find on my website), so I can work on Film People without any particular rush or anxiety and this is something I am really appreciating.
When will the project end?
There is no expiration date. As I said before I’m working on it without haste or anxiety and for this reason I am having a lot of fun: I’d like to carry on Film People for many more years, until I am bored or until I am fully satisfied. My goal, although very difficult, is to get at least 1000 portraits.
Why did you open an Instagram profile just for this project instead of using the existing profile?
My work is about a different kind of photography and I didn’t want to create confusion between the projects that I carry on for work with this one that I carry out for pure passion (even if thanks to it I’m getting many new contacts). I therefore decided to open a site on wordpress to show all the photos taken and an Instagram profile that, although having to start from scratch, could generate a different type of followers from the the people that usually follows me and that, above all, could show all the images without any confusion with my other projects.
I have a lot of favorite movies, how do I choose?
This was a pretty common question among the people I photographed! The simplest thing I can tell you is: with the title of which film would you like to be photographed? It’s about choosing the film of your life, the one that best represents you, that makes you feel at home, that excites you, that gave you more emotions or maybe changed your life. I know it’s a particularly difficult choice for some of you, but try to think about which movie you really feel most connected to.
How do you go about the rights? Do you have a release to sign?
I didn’t need it, when a person agrees to write the title of a film on a blackboard and to be photographed with it, he/she implicitly accepts to be photographed. When, on the other hand, I exhibited a selection of the project during the Roma Tre Film Festival at the Palladium Theatre, I contacted the interested parties via email to ask for permission to exhibit their photos.
I don’t know what to write to explain my choice, can I only be photographed?
But it’s just a matter of taking a picture, you don’t have to write anything, I’ll take care of that. When we meet, as soon as you write the title on the blackboard, I ask you why you chose this film and you just explain to me in a few words (or many, it’s up to you) the reason that prompted you to choose a film rather than another. This is a simple and very short chat with me, you don’t have to write anything except the title of the film on the board.
Can I participate? How?
Of course yes! If you live in Rome or you pass for here and you have a moment of time, you can register on the form on this page: Film People. I’ll only steal you 10 minutes, at most. I need the form only to be able to better organize the various “appointments”, to know your favorite day for the photo and the most easy place for meeting.
Do you take photos only in Rome or in other cities as well? Does the project concern only Italians?
Yes, I live in Rome and therefore the bulk of the project is here (although every summer I move to Monopoli, Apulia, for summer holidays, so I can take photos there, as well). In the future it would be nice to take the blackboard to some other part of Italy and around the world, but that’s not something I will do soon. Obviously the project is open to everyone, regardless of origin, among the people portrayed, for example, there are also a Portuguese girl, an Argentine boy, a German boy.
Is it possible to choose a film that has already been chosen by others?
Certainly, indeed, it intrigues me a lot to see which people chose the same film, sometimes for completely different reasons. I find it interesting to see how two people who don’t know each other and who may have almost nothing in common share a passion for the same film.
Which film has been chosen more times?
So far there are some films that have been chosen several times, I should post a chart! Thanks to this project I’m discovering some movies that I had never watched but, slowly, I am making up: I didn’t expect it, but Film People is also proving to be an excellent means of spreading film culture.
Why did you call the project Film People?
I am always very careful to the titles to give to my projects, even Urban Melodies and Raindrop Blues took a long time to be chosen. In my opinion, the title is the best business card for a photographic project. As I said before, Humans of New York influenced me a lot and for this reason I was contemplating the idea of calling my series Humans of Cinema. Then, in the end, I chose Film People for the reference to the Book People of Fahrenheit 451, where each individual preserves the memory of a book of his choice. I don’t know how many took this reference, but I liked the idea a lot, Bradbury’s one is among my favorite books.
How is the project development? Have you changed anything in relation to the initial idea?
Initially I didn’t think it was necessary to add the reason for the choice, but immediately after the first shot I realized that the text would be a fundamental element of the project. Compared to the first photos I understood better what questions to ask to get more interesting, more in-depth answers. In this sense, the best story I collected is maybe the one related to photo #64, it was a truly touching story.
Which movie would you choose? Why don’t you participate in your project?
I waited a long time before participating but in the end, among the photos you find on this website, there is also my portrait. Try to find out where it is, I don’t spoiler!