Forbes defined him as ‘the film director behind fashion’s viral videos’. At Cinemoi Film Festival 2018, he won the ‘Best Director’ award. In the context of more than 25 international festivals, his project #WeBelieveInThePowerOfLove was screened and awarded. It’s Luca Finotti, the young Italian who, step after step, has conquered the fashion system, thanks to his creative freedom and contemporaneity.
First things first, when did you realize you wanted to pursue an artistic career?
It’s a job you don’t choose, it chooses you: it’s the will to create and tell something. Since a a young age, films have been my best friends. Growing up, I simply understood that, after all they had given me, I had to use my studies and will to bring to light new stories, new characters, new emotions.
Day after day, I get in touch with a lot of young professionals, who have the will to work and talk about new realities. As to production, Italy tends to invest abroad or, if we refer to big projects, on foreign talents. On the contrary, we should make our talents grow, so that one day these young professionals will bring Italy abroad, making our story and reality known.
Luca, how did you develop your creative instinct?
I studied what had already been done and, overall, I travelled and learned to understand the mentality, the necessities, the customs and traditions of the countries where I’m hosted. To tell something, you must have the strength to leave your ‘comfort zone’, giving yourself a challenge. It’s necessary to live all the emotions of a place in order to be able to talk about them: it’s a travel deep inside yourself. In the end, through sharing with others, you can find the right story or perfect laughter, bringing some light where sometimes there’s not even a sparkle.
That being said, what was the most important moment in your career?
The most important moments were those when the emotion I was telling coincided with the emotion you could breathe on set and that, once the film was released, gathered consensus. When you create, when you're on set, even though you have a very precise guideline of what’s going to be shot, you can always see or hear something and, because of that, the story can take a new direction. You just have to be able to hear that something and take your team towards the feeling you want to convey. For me, the most important moments were those when what I had been having in mind for years eventually came true, and it’s always happened on set. For example, on the Nike set, there was a hug, a hug that not only tied two people, careers and stories together but also tied everything in one moment in time. Maybe, that was the most important moment in my career.
How would you describe your stylistic hallmark?
Fickle, many-sided, in constant evolution. To be ‘direct’, you have to be able to tell the truth. However, it doesn't stay the same, but it transforms as we grow and change. That being said, I hope every project will be better than the previous one. That’s what pushes me to carry on, looking for the perfect light, frame and photograph. That’s what pushes us to put things in the right place, where perhaps we didn't even think they belonged to.
And your ‘set outfit’?
Functional and comfortable, but always paying homage to the brand I’m collaborating with. To tell a brand, you have to wear it, you have to understand what the people who wear or create its garments feel. It’s important to understand the reason why it was created in a certain way…you have to enter the world of the brand. That being said, for good luck, I dedicate a T-shirt that contains the values behind the project to every single collaboration.
Forbes defined you as ‘the film director behind fashion’s viral videos’. What are the ingredients necessary to guarantee the success of a fashion video?
Freedom, emotion, contemporaneity and hope. It’s necessary to tell something that hasn’t already been said or done, that nobody, including you, is expecting. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a film, but an advertisement.
You’ve worked for many international companies (among these Givenchy, MSGM and Moschino). What’s the experience you remember with affection?
All of them, each in its own way, have been with me for a few months. The real and true luck is being able to not only create something with the client but also to join their family, culture, personal and professional reality. You always learn, you learn to improve yourself and to get to know other professionals. For me, the biggest satisfaction consists of seeing the people around me happy with what we are creating. Seeing what they weren’t expecting happen is a beyond words emotion.
For the Dolce & Gabbana campaigns, you’ve portrayed important personalities such as Bianca Balti and Monica Bellucci. That being said, do you have a muse? A personality you'd like to work with?
In everyday life, the muses are elderly people, to whom I have the chance to speak every single day. Those are people who actually work in the fields of diplomacy, medicine and journalism. Those are people who don't spend their own time in front of a screen, but help me to always have a real vision of what’s happening in the world, of the issues my ‘entertainment’ should be addressing. I’m fascinated by the women’s ability to always be multitasking, a natural feature that's never appreciated enough. I’ve always found love, affection, a sense of home, comprehension and, overall, strength in women…the strength of wisdom, and not that useless, egocentric and exhibitionist strength. If the world was in female hands, we would have a better world.
You won ‘Best Director’, at Cinema Film Festival 2018, for the ‘Versace Manifesto’ video. Could you tell us more about this project?
‘Versace Manifesto’ is born from the collaboration with Italian maison Versace. The project is dedicated to a dear friend who slipped away a month before the start of the shooting, a friend who wrote: ‘We have to fight for the values we believe in, let’s stop being superficial and start showing our true selves‘. For days and days, I thought about those words and, to be honest, they still are a part of me. Those are words that have changed me, that have given me the strength to take the project towards a more simple, but still effective, narrative direction. I dreamed the ‘V Sign’, symbol of victory and hope, would become the emblem of the Versace heritage and we developed our creativity in every possible way: from the sign language to the caress of a kiss that could have happened and the union of two people, a fundamental element in every single relationship. I won’t ever be able to thank the Versace family enough. They asked me to realize this project, that ‘landed’ in a moment where being able to create was helping me not only to overcome the loss but also to pay homage to the poetry of its being.
Work-wise, do you have regrets or remorses?
Absolutely, yes. Sometimes, due to the sensation that all the compromises that had to be accepted wouldn’t have led me to the result I had in mind, I gave up even before going on set. That’s a big mistake, because every project, until it’s finished, can take another direction…but you don’t always have the strength to accept. That being said, you learn by doing and I hope the lost occasions will present themselves again.
If you weren’t a film director, what would you be?
The biggest dream, the real one, is being a father. I hope this dream will come true very soon.
What’s an unfinished project you’d like to dedicate yourself to?
Lots and lots of projects. Like any other film director, I wrote a feature and I hope I’ll find the right production to realize it with. It’s a very beautiful story, that I hope you’ll be able to watch soon: there’s a need for truth.
What do you hope for the future of the Italian creative scene?
Investments and, overall, freedom. Day after day, I get in touch with a lot of young professionals, who have the will to work and talk about new realities. As to production, Italy tends to invest abroad or, if we refer to big projects, on foreign talents. On the contrary, we should make our talents grow, so that one day these young professionals will bring Italy abroad, making our story and reality known.
Lastly, what’s a question you’ve always wanted to answer but never been asked?
I’d like to suggest young artists to rely on positivity and create films, songs, books and, generally speaking, entertainment that aims not only at being thought-provoking but also at telling stories, rhythms and positive hopes. That’s what America has fed me with and that’s always given me the strength to recreate and regenerate myself. I think the country can change thanks to these new energies too. These incitements can increase our hope and teach us new feelings…because the dream starts from us and the energy we create inside and around us.