Cinema Film Inspiration Interviews

Let’s Bring the “Gialli” Back. Davide Melini on his Short “Deep Shock” (Part 1)

It’s not a secret that the film business is one of the most competitive among the creative and cultural industries. So I’m always keen to support emerging filmmakers who are trying to break into it. Davide Melini is an Italian director born in Rome in 1979 and who relocated to Spain a few years ago. After completing four short films, including The Puzzle (2008) and The Sweet Hand of the White Rose (2010), he is currently crowdfunding his next project titled Deep Shock.

Davide now needs your help to bring the “Gialli” back, that golden age of the Italian film industry that spans the decades between 1960s and 1980s, when flicks such as Dario Argento’s Deep Red, Sergio Martino’s Torso and Pupi Avati’s The House with Laughing Windows, now considered cult films worldwide, started to redefine the concept of thriller.

Prominent Monkey: Hi Davide, thanks for sharing some thoughts about your experience as a filmmaker. Let’s start from the very beginning. Do you remember the defining moment when you realised that you wanted to shoot a film?

Davide Melini: I was just a kid and it was love at first sight. My uncle worked in the film industry for 30 years and sometimes I met him while he was working. For me it was incredible to see “behind the scenes”. I was like a kid in a candy shop! I started to study it and around 14 years ago I wrote my first screenplay. I continued writing until I directed my first short in 2006.

Natasha Machuca in "The Sweet Hand of the White Rose", directed by Davide Melini.
Natasha Machuca in “The Sweet Hand of the White Rose”, directed by Davide Melini.

P. M.: You’re an Italian director who has worked in Spain for many years now. How did you start this experience and what is the main difference between Italy and Spain in terms of the support for independent filmmakers?

D.M.: In June 2007 I moved to Spain, where I now permanently live because I have two wonderful children. Spain is very similar to Italy, both in the good and the bad things. But unlike Italy, here you can find institutions that support your project, as happened to me with The Sweet Hand of the White Rose and now with Deep Shock.

"The Puzzle", directed by Davide Melini.
“The Puzzle”, directed by Davide Melini.

P. M.: The market for short films is very tricky and it is common knowledge that monetary payments are pretty much risible. Shorts work instead as a sort of business card that helps to build a portfolio and get a feature film. What is your experience in this respect?

D.M.: I agree with you, it is impossible to make a living with short films only. My idea about that is very clear: after Deep Shock it is my intention to shoot a feature film.

P. M.: Very often, independent directors combine personal projects with more commercial ones, just to pay the bills. What is your top tip for aspiring filmmakers?

D.M.: Making a good movie requires a huge effort and even the smallest of short films deserve all the attention from the director. Working on two films at the same time doesn’t seem a good idea, but we need to be realistic: without money we cannot live. That said, when our passion requires us to make sacrifices, we are always ready to make them.

End of Part 1. Part 2 will be online this Friday.