Locked Down is a short narrative film. The indie project is directed by Anna Lisa Vespa. Tiziana lives locked up at home. Something changed her life, maybe forever. It is our pleasure to interview Anna Lisa Vespa.
What was the inspiration behind the making of your film?
When I was meeting this new friend, we were in a sushi bar. I think it was the first time we met. We just wanted to do a short movie together and we started to think about it, during our launch. At the beginning it started as a brainstorming session, but at the end of the day the story was almost totally written. We didn't have a subject at first, but we soon realized we had a necessity. Something really rough was happening around us. Something really deep was happening inside us. Covid 19 has been a pandemical shock, and we wanted to speak about this. We were wondering about the psychological aspect of the virus, so we started to imagine how, for example, covid 19 could change the life of a girl personally involved in it, looking ahead at her future.
When did you realize that you wanted to work in media and make films and what was the first film project that you created as a director?
LOCKED DOWN - devi smetterla di avere paura is the first short movie that I created as a director. Starting to dream to become a director has been a consequence, to me. My life has been multifaceted. While I was studying to become a doctor, the theatrical world had appeared on my way. I fell in love with acting. It was not simple to make this decision, but one day I did it: I stopped university to dedicate all my energies to my beloved passion, trying to make it become a stable job. The third step happened because of the need to find a more economically stable job. I passed a test to be trained and become an Entertainment Technician on board of a famous Italian Cruise Company. Particularly I became a TV Technician, so I learned how to shoot, how to edit, and a new adventure had begun. That made me crave for Film Direction.
How did you choose the cast and the crew of the film and what was the most challenging aspect of production?
The most challenging aspect of production has been production itself. The bureaucratic aspect, when you shoot a movie, is very important, and it has been my first time to manage it. But the best way to learn something is just doing it. If you are lucky enough to have the possibility, like I was, you can just thank life itself. And I feel gratitude for my crew and my cast, too. Choosing them for this short movie has been simple. During my theatrical experience I met valid actors and actresses. A relationship of respect and friendship has grown up with some of them, with years. Francesca Di Maggio, for example. The protagonist of LOCKED DOWN - devi smetterla di avere paura. Since the beginning I thought she was perfect for the role of Tiziana, and she confirmed my opinion when we were shooting the emotional climax of the movie, that flows into a dialogue between Tiziana and Anna, played by the fantastic Carla De Girolamo. Carla and Francesca are two great performers, credible, sensitive, versatile. It has been wonderful to work with such humane, generous and professional actresses, as with the precious actors Marco Terenzio Barbaro and Adriano Santoro. But none of it would have been possible without Erminio Tota, my co-scriptwriter, author of the soundtracks, with whom I wrote Nostalgia, and video operator assistant. Another key role of the crew has been played by Antonio Petruccelli, Director of Photography, with his valuable advices and his careful visionary eye.
What genre of filmmaking fascinates you as a director and which genres do you prefer to work on?
The most generous act that we can do is make people laugh. The second generous act we can do is make people reflect. If we can do both, we win. This is the reason why I love comic genre or, also better, tragicomic. Laugh is healthy, science confirms it. But the things that make us laugh are so subjective, and for this reason the comic genre always represents a risk. So, to shoot a comic movie, mostly if it conveys important concepts, is a wonderful act. Apart from my fondness for the comic genre, I believe that a director should choose to express himself through the genre that better expresses the message wanted for each movie.
How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?
Cinema has a huge impact on society, because it communicates to the most intimate part of us. So, as Cinema Makers, we have a great opportunity. To show different points of view. To motivate or comforting people. To allow to empathize. To allow people to live, by watching, listening, feeling, experiences that could open their minds and their souls. So we can choose to try to make the world a little bit better. As for everything, the choice is up to us.
What is your next film project as a director?
I will be soon ashore and I will probably work on my next movie project. At the moment I am back on board to work as a TV Technician and, trust me, here I see so many faces, so many stories, so many lives, so many cultures that it's impossible to have nothing to say, as a director, once ashore.