There’s a reason why we didn’t post anything in the last few days, and that is because we’ve been busy working on our crowdfunding campaign. It is the main system we’ll be using for financing the project, and as non-native english speakers, we’re working hard on the application and the promotional video. We won’t reveal the platform we have chosen yet, but you’ll know really soon!
While we were looking for a story to adapt, we knew that we should use a short story. We felt that starting from scratch was too much of a responsability, so we started looking for some inspiration. That’s when I stepped into a bunch of small books at my parents’ house: they’re from a collection of short novels that the italian newspaper La Repubblica published as a bundle in the mid/late 90s. Wakefield came as a “double bill” paired to “The Minister’s Black Veil”, also by Hawthorne.
I won’t talk about where The Wakefield Variation comes from. Not yet, at least. And besides, half of the title should be pretty much obvious, by now. I* will spend some time on the name of the company behind everything, Effetto Espanso. It’s the least we can do, considering that one of the goals of this blog is to get financial help to make this project possible.
Well, Effetto Espanso comes from two parts blending together: Effetto is italian for Effect, and is part of “Effetto Notte”, which is the italian distribution title of “Day for Night”, the french movie-about-the-making-of-a-movie by François Truffaut. That (wonderful) movie is originally titled, “La nuit Americaine”, the french-slang name of the day-for-night filter. So “Effetto” stands for our “golden age of filmmaking” side, since we can’t help looking back at those times, even when we’re doing some heartless corporate video.
Espanso is italian for Expanded, and it comes from the avant-garde video artist bible Expanded Cinema, a 40-year-old yet unmissable book by Gene Youngblood. Way ahead of its times, the book explores possibilities in media crafting and distribution that sound like prophecies come true. Therefore “Espanso” stands for us looking forward, trying to be smart – staying hungry but not foolish! 😉
Our work, including The Wakefield Variation which we hope to become our flagship, is meant to be this way: something from the past, something from the future.
* You may have noticed the use of the first person: no particular reason, I could have done that since the first post, since I’m the only one writing, for now. I just felt more comfortable right now… but you’ll see a lot of switching between “I” and “we”. Gianluca, writer/director.
So, why a short film, and why now? Well into the digital/pro-sumer era, everybody is trying to be a filmmaker: though some people are quite succesful at that, we see a lot of stuff we could easily live without. Before the digital video hype began, I guess until the late 90s, independent short films (or features, for that matter) were hardly something for people outside the business: we’re not being nostalgic about the good ol’ times, we just want to do things the way we think they should be done… starting from the story.
Like we already said, we’re running our own small company, therefore we can check the “inside business” box. We’ve been doing corporate videos, live events and this kind of stuff, but we both have academic background in film studies, and some prior experience in filmmaking (we’ll talk about that later on); after almost two years trying to produce a documentary for television, we thought we needed a more controlled environment to express ourselves. That is why we started looking for a story in which we – as a producer/director duo – could identify AND that we would love to watch as well. That’s the short version of The Wakefield Variation genesis.
So, this is the first post on this blog, and we’re glad to write it on the first day of the year! Almost everyone (reading) may be wondering what this is all about, even with a proper About page. We’ll be talking about The Wakefield Variation, a short film to be produced by Effetto Espanso. We’ll follow the whole process, and we mean this blog both as a “making-of” log book and a fund raising system. We’ll explain why, who and what (when and where as well!) to everyone interested in independent filmmaking, either professionals, students or enthusiasts.
The production is set in Italy since – well – we live and work in Pisa (we assume you’re all familiar with the leaning tower) but the whole project is internationally oriented and “english speaking”. Nothing against our roots, but considering the situation we thought this could be a nice idea to broaden our horizons.
The project is in a very early stage: a first draft of the script exists, but that’s it. We’ll deal with all the pre-production/casting/possible distribution issues in the very next days, and we’ll discuss all of that in these pages, regardless of the outcome.