This week we jumped at the opportunity to 'Sit Down With' with director Mario Tagliabue. In his native Italy Mario is well known for his beautifully crafted tabletop photography and commercials. However, his films go far beyond the usual realms of his genre as he constantly develops and invents new ways of shooting his subject matter.
During our chat over skype we discovered that Mario shoots in many styles and indeed is now filming live action sequences to sit alongside his tabletop work.
Mario Tagliabue is represented by Mendoza Films in the UK.
Soho Soho: Hello Mario and thank you for taking time out to chat with us today. At SohoSoho we’ve admired your work for some time, so we’d love to ask you some questions about how you came to be a director and what your early influences were.
Mario: Thanks for inviting me to chat today. I started a long time ago as a photographer. I trained in Milan at film school and soon discovered that I loved making films as well as taking photos. So I studied cinematography and directing seemed like a natural progression for me. My early influences came from working on set with the director Robert Golden. He was so ground breaking at the time. I was on set a couple of times taking photographs as he filmed. I was amazed at his ability to create moods and cast light in ways I hadn’t seen before. He really opened my eyes to what was possible. He also took time to talk to me and show me some of his techniques.
Soho Soho: As fans of Italian movies do you have any aspirations to create long-form work, like a feature film for instance?
Mario: I too love Italian cinema and a number of the great Italian directors and DoP's have influenced my work, including Vittorio Storaro and John Bailey. I’ve always worked within advertising though and I love working in this area. So for now I have no dreams of making a movie.
Soho Soho: Do you prefer to shoot on film or digitally?
Mario: Well in the area I work it’s much easier to film digitally. I used high-speed cameras all the time. So I love the freedom and speed at which I can work. Shooting on film creates a great look, but is time consuming and expensive. I can experiment a lot working digitally and I like to be able to do this as I develop new ideas and styles of working.
Soho Soho: What is your favourite piece of kit?
Mario: I love working with high-speed cameras and in particular the Phantom 4 with a robot arm. This allows me to move the camera even when shooting at high speed. For me it’s the best camera of its kind and can cope with all aspects of my work.
Soho Soho: Can you share with us a couple of jobs that really sparked your imagination or were simply a pleasure to direct.
Mario: I directed some spots for Minute Maid that made great use of the Phantom 4 camera.
Mario: And also this ad for Sprite was really great to work on
Soho Soho: And finally. What are you currently working on?
Mario: I’m working on a commercial for an Italian client. They have asked me to shoot both the products and create the live action scenes to sit alongside my tabletop work. This is happening more and more and it’s an exciting shift for me. I’m really enjoying directing both areas and would like to do this more often in the future.
For more information regarding Mario Tagliabue and his availability please contact Debby Mendoza at Mendoza Films on firstname.lastname@example.org