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The making of Merry Christmas

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At BIAFF 2010 Daniele Mannelli won a 5-Star Award with Merry Christmas.

I often ask questions about life - its sense, its worth
and especially the fact that it is necessary to live it fully
because we can lose it so easily.

Still from 'Merry Christmas'. The theme of the movie came to me naturally, because I often ask questions about life - its sense, its worth and especially about the fact that it is necessary to live it fully because we can lose it so easily. In case you are going to watch the movie soon I don't want to say more about the plot.

The slow pace of the film and its events is quite deliberate on my part. I wanted it to seem natural - as if you were watching the lives of different people who do not know what is going to happen. I tried to give viewers enough time to get under the skin of the characters and to feel their emotions.

Still from 'Merry Christmas'.
From the technical point of view, the movie was shot on Sony PD 170 DVCams. These are very solid, businesslike models with professional qualities, which I find indispensable for fiction films. They are especially efficient in low light and cameras of this type were necessary to let us shoot in the evening and the night without supplementary lighting.
Still from 'Merry Christmas'.Still from 'Merry Christmas'.I had on a lot of help from the authorities, especially the police.  Without their support it would not have been possible to make such a movie. The actors were all very happy to play a role in this movie in spite of the difficult shooting conditions caused by temperatures of less 12 degrees!! But we had a lot of fun.

The film had a team of five: cameraman, sound recordist, script-writer, first assistant and a jack-of-all-trades ... all me! Yes that's what it is like to be a director when one is an amateur.

Still from 'Merry Christmas'.Still from 'Merry Christmas'.For me the film is the most technically difficult that I've done so far because of the cold, of course, but also the difficulties of shooting in the dark, the risk of injury on the roads despite all the precautions we took, and also the duration of the shoot which had to be done during the Christmas period, with the decorations in the streets and houses, so that the edits in the montage look realistic as the film's story takes place in one evening.

- Daniele Mannelli


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Page updated on 04 October 2011
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