A man wakes up in a white empty room, with only a laptop at his side.
Whatever he writes on it becomes true.
The basic idea of Creation, this man who wakes up in an empty room with a computer that allows him to create whatever he wants, woke me up early one morning almost ten years ago now. I stayed in bed, following this person in my mind and watching what he would do. I then wrote the synopsis almost in a hurry, so as not to forget anything. The original subject was composed of two parts, two cycles, one with him as the protagonist, and the other with her as the protagonist, but I then realized that the second one was redundant.
From that point on, the story has hardly changed, and even the script has remained almost identical to the first draft.
For the poetry that Eve reads, I knew I needed something special and, not being a poet myself, I decided to organize a competition on facebook with two prizes: the public prize, to push the participants to share the contest as much as possible, and the jury prize, which of course was me! So I was able to choose the poem that best suited the story and I’m extremely happy with the one we used. I liked working this way because I wanted Eve to have a real voice of her own, different from the rest of my writing, and the poem ‘For my beloved’ by Renee Bartovics is perfect.
I knew that the film was all about the performance of the actors, and therefore I knew I had to find really good ones. Thanks to my work, I already knew many actors, but I was aware that I still needed help.
So I contacted various casting directors and, in the end, chose Jade Rambaut, a young casting assistant for one of the most popular casting directors in England, who immediately proved to be enthusiastic about the project.
Thanks to Jade, we saw about fifty actors for the two roles.
The first to be chosen was Sian, the actress who plays Eve, who was also I think the second actress we saw overall. No one else even came close to her interpretation, and so I decided to offer her the part directly, without waiting for the recall.
Once Sian was on board, we did a recall with four male actors and Sian, to see who she had the best on-screen chemistry with.
Benjamin Coulter proved to be the best by far and I’m extremely glad I chose both him and Sian.
Before shooting, I organized two full days of rehearsals with the actors, during which we worked on single scenes first and then we shot the whole film between us, from start to finish as if it were a play . This allowed them to really get to know the characters and feel completely at ease in their shoes, which was a real help during the actual shooting when rehearsal time was very limited.
You can choose English or Italian subtitles on Youtube
The hardest part of making a film is always finding the funds. For Creation, I decided to finance the venture out of my own pocket, using funds that my grandfather had left me. In the end, however, I had to spend much more than I budgeted for and almost went bankrupt!
The first team member I found was Paul Dewdney, the producer. I had met Paul as an actor when, years earlier, we had both been cast in a feature film that ultimately never got made. Paul is a great actor but also a capable and reliable producer.
Paul recommended and brought on board Arturo Vasquez, the fantastic cinematographer, already BAFTA nominated.
Once the core team was in place, the rest was pretty straightforward.
I asked the editor, Ben Cowan, to put together a first cut by himself and send it to me via a private link. I still remember the horror of watching that first cut and thinking that I had thrown all that money away and let everyone involved down… which is a normal reaction when you watch the first cut!
I sent several very precise notes with the changes I wanted and I even directly took over the editing of some scenes, especially Eve’s emotional crescendo at the end.
The musical montage in the middle of the short, on the other hand, is all Ben’s work.
Finally, I went to Ben’s studio and we did one last cleanup of the edit together.eo.
For my work as a writer-director, I am almost completely self-taught. I like to think that my business of creating showreels for actors was my film school with the difference that, instead of having to pay to attend it, I was paid to do it!
From this point of view, Creation was a bit like my degree thesis. Before this short, I was used to always doing everything by myself, with cheap equipment bought on ebay or arranged as best I could. With Creation, on the other hand, I was able to work at a truly professional level for the first time, learning to manage a team and a budget in the same way they have to be managed to make feature films.
I am very proud of Creation and extremely grateful to all the people who have helped me make it.
I find it a valid and very interesting interpretation. One of the themes of the short film is precisely this: individual identity in relation to others. On the one hand we see Eve being written and changed by Adam, so it can at first glance seem like he is completely in control. However, if we think about it, we see that Adam himself changes thanks to Eve, who forces him to do some introspection and to understand himself and his desires better. So Eve herself, despite being an ‘artificially constructed’ creature, modifies her creator. And then of course, at the end, we see that the cycle repeats itself and Eve herself will probably write Adam. Similarly, while we can clearly see that Eve is ’empty’ in the beginning, Adam is also empty in his own way: he is alienated, alone and at the mercy of his baser drives. Only through interaction can he mature and become a ‘real person’, or perhaps we could say an adult, almost mirroring how Eve gradually becomes a real person thanks to Adam’s efforts.
The interesting question for me is: will they ever be able to overcome this cycle of eternal return caused by their own selfishness and fear of losing their loved one? Adam is too busy enjoying the life he’s built for himself to stop and think that if Eve has become a real person, perhaps he owes her more respect and honesty than he has given her so far. And it is precisely this lack that causes the trauma of Eve’s discovery and subsequent erasure of the world. How many times have these events occurred in a more or less similar way? And how many more times will this happen? Precisely because their identities are so linked to each other, only by working together and respecting each other will they perhaps find a way out..
We are in pre-production on my first feature film, I’m a Window, the story of an Italian woman in England who, after a lifetime of abuse, finally discovers herself through the friendship of an elderly homosexual art expert and a transgender woman.
We are putting together a good team and the project has already attracted many high-level professionals, including Kim Tatum, a very famous transgender performer and activist in the English LGBT+ scene.