Interview with Lorenzo Invernici, director for Netflix Futures

Interview with Lorenzo Invernici, director for Netflix Futures
Netflix has always paid particular attention to children and the content dedicated to them. In this regard, an "in-depth" Youtube channel has been created on some of the shows released exclusively on the streaming service, such as Julie and the Phantom.

Netflix Futures not only collects several clips taken directly from most popular programs among children, but also fun insights, especially on new releases such as Jurassic World - new adventures or the latest SpongeBob movie - Friends on the run, whose spin-off we talked about here. In these videos, the faces of the Youtube channel, Flip & Tao, are joined by kids influencers or by nationally famous artists.

For example, for the video dedicated to the new SpongeBob film , the gastronome Giorgione has revealed the recipe for Krabby Patty together with St3pny, a youtuber player of Minecraft. For Over the Moon instead, Netflix Features involved FaviJ and the singer of the film's Italian soundtrack, Elodie. Together with Flip & Tao the former built rockets to reach the Moon, while the latter was told in a video interview during the backstage of the videoclip.

Lorenzo Invernici guides us to discover Netflix Futures

In this regard, we had the opportunity to interview the director of some of the Netflix Futures content, Lorenzo Invernici. Born in 1987, he was born in Brescia with a passion for photography and video directly in his genes. His father, a naturalist photographer, initiated him into this art from an early age, teaching him all the fundamentals for shooting using a film camera.

Many think that this thing made me immediately love photography, in reality it is absolutely not like that. When I was a kid and we went to the mountains, I was quite bored going out with my dad and taking pictures of deer or mountain goats. It was towards the end of my teens that I picked up the camera and got really passionate about it, so everything my father had taught me during those excursions came in handy at work.

Not a love at first sight, therefore, but which has found its way anyway even if it has left late. His professional career began in earnest in 2009, when the numerous graphic and photographic works in the music field made it necessary for Lorenzo to open a VAT number. It was this first work experience with discos and small festivals that made him realize he was on the right path towards his future. However, the turning point towards the profession of videomaker came only in 2014, when he began to follow Marnik, an Italian duo of electronic music producers at various festivals.

Thanks to them and this experience, I have grown a lot on a professional level, improving in many technical aspects. I also had the opportunity to meet people from the world of entertainment, from famous artists such as Rovazzi, Fedez and Merk & Kremont, to record companies, art directors, managers and various agencies. And with some of these I also began to work: for example in 2017 I followed some important stages of Fedez's "Communists with Rolex" tour, while for Rovazzi I took care of the backstage during events or video clips, but also in the making of the video interview with the actors of “A series of unfortunate events”.

Although this was his first contact with Netflix, it cannot be said that it was his first collaboration with the streaming giant, having only started in 2020. The basis for this working relationship, however, were launched four years ago, in 2016, when on the set of the video clip “Tutto molto interesting” by Rovazzi, he got to know Matteo Stefani and Matilde Composta, of the production company It was thanks to the work and personal relationship that was established between them that Lorenzo's life had a second professional turning point.

During our collaboration I had the opportunity to shoot video clips for names of a certain caliber in music. Not only young artists like Benji and Fede, whose "Moscow Mule" video clip I shot, but also for long-established singers like Diodato, Samuele Bersani and Lucio Dalla, whose latest video "Futura" released at the beginning of November I saw as a cinematographer (or DOP). It was this close collaboration in directing with Matilde that led us to have the proposal from Netflix through the creative agency WeAreSocial to direct together the videos for Jurassic World - New Adventures.

And it is precisely by engaging in this discourse that we have decided to go into a little more detail on this professional sector. Given that often when you use online services such as Youtube or Netflix you don't stop to think about all the work behind a single video, we asked Lorenzo to better explain the various figures involved and how you get to create a content like those of Netflix Futures.

The creative process for making a video goes through several stages. Initially, a brief arrives from the client, which is nothing more than a document in which some general ideas and the necessary objectives to be met are collected. Once received, the technical crew confronts the creatives to get what is a semi-final script, in which, however, the actors have a certain margin of freedom as to what they can say or do during the video. There will therefore be no specific jokes as in the films to which they will have to follow, but rather guidelines to be respected while maintaining a certain flexibility.

In the brief that the client sends, there are also all the indications regarding the scenography, props to use, styling and makeup. These parts are much tighter than acting, as they have already received the end client's pre-approval. For example, in the Jurassic Park videos, the position of plants, table and other props, as well as the uniform of the actors, were already well defined. Another thing that is outlined with the customer is also the style of photography: the type of lights, the level of illumination of the scene, the optics to be used and therefore the depth of field as well as the different types of cameras used during shooting. .

Finally, the editing style at the end of the video is determined during the editing phase, such as visual effects, audio, graphic extras. This part is very important because creating a product for such a young audience like Jurassic Park is not at all easy. Often children have a very low level of attention and it is necessary to find various tricks to keep their attention on the video: for example, frequent room changes are used, effects in post production as well as the insertion of animated clips to break the video.

Once these elements have been defined, together with the producer of the video I take care of putting together the technical crew calling sound engineers, operators, camera assistants, electricians and machinists, already having a large group of trusted collaborators with whom I work for some year. It will then be the responsibility of the producer to look for the location in which to shoot according to the different needs and consequently draw up a document in which to recap everything: from the people involved, to the call times, to the shooting locations.

To get to this point, however, it takes a few days for the preparation and coordination of all the people involved. It often takes several emails or calls to make work on set much smoother and easier for everyone. But that's not all: once all the parts have been agreed, we arrive at the day of the shoot where all the necessary people are summoned on that date. We will therefore find directors, actors, stylists and makup artists, together with the technical crew who will have to prepare the entire set. Lorenzo explains how a typical day for Netflix Futures content takes place.

Once on set, the operators and I begin to set the lights, arrange the various props and accessories that will be used during the shoot. During this phase we do some tests to see if everything is in line with the customer's requests and if everything works properly. After the actors have gone through make-up and styling, we do a short recap and review the script with them, dividing it into macro scenes. This thing helps us both in the filming phase and in the editing phase, because in this way we can understand and identify the fun parts to exploit or emphasize, especially during editing.

From then on, the day goes by normally, but you must always be careful of the possible hitches that can happen. Lorenzo tells us about an anecdote that happened during one of the Assago dates of the Fedez concerts. Shortly before the start of the concert, a screw in the room broke and together with the lens fell to the ground. Against all his most nefarious thoughts, only the lens had suffered damage, although it was still a nice unexpected event. But it is precisely in moments like these that you have to be ready to solve problems, and in this case Lorenzo was able to save the situation by communicating promptly with the rest of the crew to replace the broken lens with the spare one.

An unexpected event that could become a considerable problem if you don't know how to manage this type of situation. However, these hitches aren't the only ones we face, especially at a time like the one we are experiencing right now. With an ongoing pandemic and the entertainment sector in crisis precisely due to the impossibility of shooting films and series in the usual way, streaming services seem to be the only foothold in this artistic world. We therefore asked Lorenzo how the working situation has actually changed due to the pandemic that is afflicting the whole world.

Since we started shooting again, a whole series of protocols have been introduced which must be followed. First of all, in order to access the set, all the people involved, from the actors, to the producers, to the technical crew, must undergo a quick swab to verify that no one is positive for COVID-19. If someone is positive, a procedure is implemented that obviously excludes him from the set. In fact, as happened to us during the shooting of one of the last videos in Rome, one of the operators who should have shot with us tested positive for this test.

The procedure envisaged in these cases has therefore been activated, which includes sending the positive person back home or to the hotel and, if necessary, providing him with a car to return to his home since of course they cannot be took public transport. On the set, however, all those who have tested negative and who have had the green light to access, obviously have to wear a mask for the duration of the shoot and sanitize their hands from time to time. The only ones who are allowed not to wear the mask while shooting are the actors, who are however required to maintain a safety distance of at least one meter between them. For this reason, in fact, the Jurassic World - New Adventures video set was very large with a support table large enough to accommodate three people.

Nothing is therefore left to chance, despite the fact that the pandemic has complicated all the procedures for filming the videos. And if the present continues to have various hitches, the future seems to be increasingly uncertain in this field of work. As we saw with Lorenzo, the procedures for shooting this type of content are strict, but they are still manageable for the small number of people. Unfortunately, however, for the cinema we know that the amount of people involved is much higher and it is unthinkable to constantly maintain safety distances during a film. However, difficulties do not prevent us from dreaming and hoping, and in this regard we asked Lorenzo what his plans for the future are.

In my life so far I have been almost everywhere, but I must say that a place like Los Angeles I never found it again. So, once this pandemic is over, I'd like to be able to move there. I was there last year for about a month and I really liked it in many ways. The creative ideas are almost infinite and each location in the city has its own charm. You can go from the desert to the city and each place is a unique inspiration. I met several very particular artists with whom I would like to collaborate, but my dream is to make video clips for some of the bands I follow, such as Blink 182 or Machine Gun Kelly. For now it's just a dream on standby but I hope next year will be more favorable in this respect.

After having seen together with Lorenzo how a day of shooting for Netflix Futures contents takes place (in complete safety), we can do nothing but ask him what he would recommend to all those who would like to make the profession of videomaker the own career. While a good dose of luck is always welcome in any field, he explains that it is not one of the things he has relied on to get to where he is now.

Commitment is undoubtedly the basis of any work, but in this field you must also have fun when shooting. It is a job that requires a lot of creativity and always new ideas, so consistency is needed to apply and improve more and more. Take ideas from others, be curious. In this job you always learn something new, as technology only gets better with each passing year. There is no perfect manual to become a good photographer or videomaker, it's all about getting involved and trying new things, experimenting with lighting, shooting methods or different or unusual equipment. Of course, you can't always expect to always be committed to something, there will certainly be periods that are slower or more empty than others, perhaps even feeling more incapable of what you may be, but you must never lose the desire to improve. .

And after having had the opportunity to get behind the scenes of some of the Netflix Futures content thanks to Lorenzo, we leave you to discover this new channel that promises to entertain the little ones during their moments of leisure !

If you want to delve even further into Bikini Bottom or find out some details about Over the Moon, check out the new Netflix Futures channel on Youtube!

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