VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Tosi, Gabriele

Gabriele Tosi
Italian Videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
Born in Busto Arsizio (Northern Italy), in my youngness I studied classical music and piano. I soon developed a high interest for Cinema and movies in general, becoming the founder of the Italian Cineforum (movie club) with the highest number of associated people. Later, I founded the BA Film Festival, at present at its 13th edition, which included since the beginning a section dedicated to Video Art, and following I founded the BA Film Commission, the Istituto Cinematografico Michelangelo Antonioni (school & research) and Blow Up Cine Magazine. I have also been the President of Tosi & Co. Entertainment Srl for 10 years, a company that produced documentaries, short movies and video clip. I have also been writer, director or art director for several operas.

2. When, how and why started you filming?
Before all, let’s define the meaning of “I started filming”. In my opinion, filming is a team activity that includes various professionals and I wish they were all present in any film of mine. So, I generally make the project, I write the script and often I draw the set, then I build a team – which generally includes a director, a musician, an editor, etc. – and I direct it. Ok: this is “how”. About “when”, it was early in this century. More difficult is to say “why”; probably, the more correct answer is coming from an observation I made late in the nineties: the Man, for thousands of years has made Art with “fixed images”, i.e. painting, sculpting, etc. (and the same I made in my youth). From the end of the nineteenth century, the Man can use “moving images” for his Art. So, let’s use it! And consequently I started filming.

3. What kinds of topics have your films?
The conceptual profile is the topic of my films. They always are short movies focusing a single concept – and trying to make it as alive as possible, in moving images.

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

No, freedom is the rule. The style is a consequence of what is showed; so you can see a wide variety of styles in my films.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

Again, freedom is the rule. In any case, I don’t yet use film but only digital support. I have used drones for air shot, close up lenses, Go-Pro for dynamic shooting, etc.

6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?
It depends on the kind of video I am making. The digital aspect may not sensibly enter the creation if I am focused, for example, on open air shooting; but in other cases I have made videos in a full virtual set: in this case the digital aspect is fundamental. Digital gives you tools: you may use them or not, it’s your choice; in fact, you may need them or not.

7. How do you finance your films?
Every time, an Odyssey! I look for sponsors (infrequent at present days) and for public support (very difficult to obtain). On another hand, I try to minimize all costs – it is not often possible… Anyway, I don’t know how, but generally I achieve my goal.

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?

As I said at point 2, I only work with a team.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
What: my ideas. When “an idea come to me”, I am not able to escape from it, I have no peace until the video or then performance is made.
Who: I don’t exactly know, but I can list Dante, Ovid, J. L. Borges, Michelangelo Buonarroti, Caravaggio and several other artists and directors.

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
To take the viewer “at the center of the scene”, to transform him from a passive viewer to the active interpreter of the video (installation), that without him: simply doesn’t exist!

Can works of yours viewed online besides on the CologneOFF platform? Where?
List some links & resources
No, I don’t release video outside CologneOFF Platforms, except for exhibitions.