VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Bonfiglio, Paolo

Paolo Bonfiglio
Italian videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background.

I was born in the north-west of Italy, in a place surrounded by the
“Langhe” hills. I started drawing when i was a child, together with my
brother, and i have never stopped from then on.
I am a self taught man, i’ve never attended a specific school or academies.
I think art is a need, more than a passion.
I have experimented with different languages: painting, comics,
graphics, animation movies.
I’ve lived in many European towns, i love walking along the streets in
Paris, but the hills are still the backcloth of my life.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I have watched a lot of cartoons, of all kinds, since i was little. I
think it was natural for me to be interested in animation movies. The
first art film i made as a professional activity is called
“Fragments”. In 2004 i had the chance to project live images during
the European tour concerts of Mick Harris. Of course i accepted it.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

I’m very interested in literature and cinema.
My films are about myself, my fears, the world around me, the contemporary life.
Sometimes they deal with a matter i’d like drawing or painting at that time.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

I try to give a visual and emotional sensation, more than telling a story.
Sometimes i manage to do it, because i’m very concerned with the
painting language.
The narrative aspect is always under the visual impact. The result of
my works is more a discovery than a choice. I like questioning more
than giving an answer.
The way i give life to the scenes, the use of the fading carry out a
representation wich can be seen and seen again apart from my
>From a starting idea or image, i choose and photograph my models, i
make some sketches, i find the right setting and a series of objects,
i develop the scenes; the film often changes in comparaison with my
starting intentions.

5. How do you approach such complicated matter like Shoah represents?

Reading Primo Levi’s books.

6. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.. What
about digital technology?

A laptop, “Abobe Photoshop and Première” softwares, a scanner, a light
box, a punch, a film camera and a digital camera. Then pastels,
pencils, charcoals, …
The new medias are fundamental both for the simplification of the
carring out and circulation process and for the economic saving.
I think that, without the digital technology and internet i’d have
carried out only drawings and paintings, not films.

7. How do you finance your films?

By selling my drawings and original paintings, taken out of my films,
to contemporary art collectors.
It’s very hard. Actually i’m searching for a producer or a gallerist
interested in my work.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you
work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the
difference, what do you prefer?

I work individually, but it would be interesting to try a collaboration.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

I’ve been influenced by Alberto Giacometti’s drawings, Edward Munch’s
paintings, David Linch’s short films, Joseph Conrad’s books and Andrea
Pazienza’s comics.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I’d like to carry out the series of short films based on Mick Harris’s music.
At present, i’m working on the third movie, “Marte”.
I think they’ll be seven in total.
I’m going to draw a feature film based on a script by Giuseppe Spina,
an italian film maker and founder of the research center of art/cinema
This plan will be hard to carry out, but it will probably become a
necessity as the bad times go.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel/SFC? Where?