With hundreds of careers and opportunities, the filmmaking industry can be a unique experience for a filmmaker. Options include pitching an idea, or a commission through screenwriting, casting, shooting, editing, and screening your project. Filmtools decided to take a deeper look into the world of a Filmmaker. This week, we had the opportunity to speak to filmmaker Fiorella Occhipinti about her work. This is what she said:
What inspires you?
Fiorella Occhipinti: A lot of my inspiration comes from my fascination for Art History and Cinema, which I feel, aren’t too far apart because they are both mediums for storytelling.
Before I knew I wanted to pursue a career in photo or film, I took an Art History class in high school, and I was intrigued by all the narrative components found in each piece. When I chose Cinematography as my focus at Art Center, I took a Modernism class and a History of Cinema class, and what I loved about both those subjects was that they had these incredible stories and unforgettable characters and people. I’ve always enjoyed seeing how we’ve developed as a society in both the art world and culture overall. Whether it’s an old black and white film or a current one playing in movie theaters, a Caravaggio painting or pop art, I find that inspiration is everywhere.
Why did you choose this field?
Fiorella Occhipinti: At home, since the day I was born, my dad always had a camera around his neck or a video camera on his shoulder. He would sometimes let me snap a few photos or videotape something I found intriguing, and that’s all it took. Like him, I was hooked for life. From there on, I gravitated to any kind of visual art.
Later, around 9, I started to write short movies and had my brother, who was 6 at the time, act in them. We had this deal that if he would act in my movies, I would then play cars with him afterward. My favorite part about making the films would be to see my parents’ reaction. I wouldn’t even watch the film, I would just be watching their reactions. There was truly nothing more inspiring to a young kid.
How does Filmtools help you?
Fiorella Occhipinti: Filmtools has always been my one-stop-shop for everything I need as a photographer and filmmaker. When I go to the store, most of the time I feel like a 5-year-old and I’m like “wow look at this thing!”, “what does that thing do?!” Sometimes it’s just fun to look around and also familiarize with new technology since our industry is always evolving.
What’s the coolest project you’ve worked on before?
Fiorella Occhipinti: The coolest project I’ve ever worked on was a personal project titled “Garden Vignettes,” which was a series of photos inspired by Monet’s paintings. It was the most rewarding project because the goal was to create photos that looked like paintings, and I feel we definitely achieved that. It was also satisfying because we made it a point to try and do everything in camera as much as possible. From the makeup, hair, location, props, wardrobe, extras, color palette, everything came together so well to give it that painting effect. Of course, there was a little bit of post but the idea was to minimize photoshop work. I would love to do more fine art/conceptual work like that.
Do you have any projects that we can help promote?
Fiorella Occhipinti: The latest project that I’m really proud of working on, was shooting a documentary film “Alpha & Omega” that premiered on AT&T’s Audience Network. The film follows MMA fighter Cat Zingano as she prepares for a comeback fight at UFC 200. Here’s a little intro to the film:
“This intimate and powerful film details her rise to fame in the UFC Women’s Bantamweight division and eventual loss to Ronda Rousey, but also the trials and tribulations she had to go through with her husband committing suicide and raising her son as a single mom who is also an MMA fighter. ‘Religion of Sports’ is produced by NFL great Tom Brady, Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and Gotham Chopra.”
You can see the trailer here:
Do you have a piece of essential gear that you don’t leave without?
Fiorella Occhipinti: It really depends on the shoot or where I’m going. But if I’m traveling, I always take my Sony A7Rii, a 50mm, my Yashica-Mat 120 film camera and a light meter. Those are definitely my essentials!
Where can people follow you on social?