Let’s Bring the “Gialli” Back. Davide Melini on his Short “Deep Shock” (Part 2)

After discussing how director Davide Melini started his career, let’s delve into his new short, Deep Shock. Produced by Fabel Aguilera and Melini himself, it is supported by the most important institutions of Malaga, such as the “Diputación de Málaga”, the “Ayuntamiento de Málaga” and the “Málaga Film Office”. According to the official synopsis, the story revolves around Sarah Taylor, a young woman played by the Spanish actress Laura Toledo, who can’t completely overcome the deaths of her grandfather and her older sister. The trauma and lack of sleep cause her to embark on a strange journey of apparitions and murders, apparently caused by her mind…

Prominent Monkey: “Gialli” are among the most internationally known Italian films and Deep Shock, the project you are currently crowdfunding, pays homage to some masters from that era. Why do you think that “Gialli” are still relevant nowadays?

Davide Melini: This genre has gradually disappeared but is still very popular. With Deep Shock I pay tribute to the “giallo” as in 2014 its 50th anniversary took place in 2014. The title itself is inspired by the most famous horror movies of two of the most important transalpine directors: Dario Argento (Deep Red) and Mario Bava (Shock). My goal is to recreate that magic and bring back some of the genre’s signature oppositions: rational vs. irrational, thriller vs. horror, life vs. death.

Promotional poster for "Deep Shock".

Promotional poster for “Deep Shock”.

P. M.: There are several platforms for crowdfunding audiovisual projects out there: why did you choose Indiegogo and the “fixed funding” option, instead of “flexible funding”?

D.M.: We analysed many crowdfunding platforms and considered Indiegogo the best choice for our needs. We chose the “fixed funding” in order to protect potential backers who don’t know us: if the film does not reach the goal, the money will be returned to the backers.

Lobby Card featuring Laura Toledo.

Several versions of this lobby card featuring the actors are among the perks.

P. M.: Dario Argento has recently completed the crowdfunding campaign for his next movie, The Sandman, on the same platform. What is your position on the debate about whether experienced directors with a track record should use crowdfunding or not? Are they taking away attention from newcomers in a space that is more suitable for the latter?

D.M.: I’ve heard many criticisms on this issue. Crowdfunding platforms are there to be used by everyone: each one of us just tries to promote their own cause.

Actress Laura Toledo plays Sarah Taylor.

Actress Laura Toledo plays Sarah Taylor.

P. M.: A few years ago you worked on the set with Argento, as you were one of the assistant directors for his film Mother of Tears: The Third Mother. Would you like to share some memories about this experience?

D.M.: Being on set with the master of Italian horror films was an honour. You just have to keep quiet and observe how Dario directs a movie. There is so much to learn! It was also a very nice experience, because I had the opportunity to get to know his daughter Asia. I clearly remember when we were in Rome, near the “Mouth of Truth” (“Bocca della Verità”), to shoot a scene in which a man had to smash a car using a baseball bat. As soon as we started to film I was approached by a Chinese guy in shock. He was watching what was going on and asked me incredulously: “Why?” I was almost laughing but he was really concerned. Of course, I explained him that it was just a movie, but it was such a funny moment.