Dante Spinotti, ASC, AIC, certainly keeps busy on Hollywood blockbusters Hercules, but in between the big blockbusters, he’s discovered a passion project in a personal documentary about the city of Carnia and those that make it their home. In a recent interview with the ASC, Dante discussed drawing inspiration from a place he holds so close.
“With Inchestia in Carnia I’m creating something social, an instrument of learning and discussion for the local population,” says Spinotti. “This is what engages me the most. The pleasure of using the film instrument to reveal some truth about a place, a people and a culture — what could be more fascinating?”
Using a Panasonic AG-HPX250 and a few microphones on the shoot, he was able to capture the vivid scenery in a manageable way for a one-man operation. “When used properly, this tiny Panasonic camera gives a very good result on the big screen,” said Spinotti. “If [footage] is properly exposed and properly color corrected, and if the files are treated in the best possible way, you’re looking at something that is definitely better and more versatile than 16mm, especially when you consider the sound aspect. Of course, you can talk about the beauty of film vs. digital. But in terms of sharpness and detail, there’s no doubt it’s better.”
Spinotti embraced the challenge of the transition from a huge budget to a smaller scale. He even learned the basics of editing from former collaborators so that he was able to piece together a rough cut himself. “The challenge is what you do with your knowledge — your sense of aesthetics, of culture, your understanding of the story. From that standpoint, this project is extremely refreshing.”
Spinotti has completed shooting Carnia in all four seasons and hopes to finish his film mid-summer. (ASC)