ARTS THREAD Giorgio Picinni Leopardi – Student Q&A – Global Design Graduate Show 2022 in collaboration with Gucci


In advance of the deadline for Global Design Graduate Show 2022 in collaboration with Gucci, we interview Giorgio Picinni Leopardi, a 2022 graduating student from RUFA – Rome University of Fine Arts, Cinema BA.

Our Global Design Graduate Show 2022 in collaboration with Gucci is open internationally to all art and design undergraduate or postgraduate students graduating in the Academic Year 2021-22 and the deadline to apply is August 31 2022.

See Giorgio’s ARTSTHREAD Portfolio

ARTSTHREAD:Where are you from?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: I’m from Lecce, Puglia, in the South of Italy.

ARTSTHREAD: What is the name, theme, concept and final outcome of your graduate project/thesis?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: Junkie’s Diary is a short-film which I wrote and directed. It talks about the empathic connection between people, which leads to communicate without using words but only the power of feelings

and images.

ARTSTHREAD:Can you describe your concept and creative process?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: The idea came up remembering a particular experience of mine: I was coming back from Sardinia and I met this beautiful girl on a train; we didn’t even talk the same language – our conversations

explicated in a strange mixture of Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese – but we able to communicate by our empathic connection, only using gestures, feelings, sights. It was kind of a dream.

I felt that this should be the starting point for my script: a casual meeting which leads to a new way of seeing things. So I created around this concept the story of a junkie who have a mescaline trip with a beautiful girl and at the end he knows redemption. When I finished the script, I began to create a lot of references for my crew and in particular for my creative director and for my director of photography. Indeed, a director has the moral responsibility to transmit his vision of

the world to his crew. So I made a lot of references including a lot of movies – such as Before Sunrise, Requiem for a Dream, Chungking Express and Enter the Void – , paintings – Van Gogh, Munch and Velasquez – and music – in particular, Glen Miller’s one. After that I created a storyboard in order to have a precise idea of the shots I wanted to do, helping me and my crew to have a faithful idea of what we were going to do. Then we built up a set preview with also a draft of the light scheme, which according to us was appropriated after he location scouting we made.

We organized the short-film, finding the right actors, rehearsing with them and creating a working plan and other papers we needed. When we began shooting, I communicated with my crew with sensations and emotions, so not just simply saying “I want a table there and a light there” but talking about images, feelings and discussing about what was right for the scene. Making a film is always an act of collaboration between various heads. I tried to make my actors live the scene, telling them what to do but not how: when they had the characters it was more profitable and true to make them live the moment I created. After finished shooting, I followed the various phases of post-production, elaborating new ideas which contributed with the final result.

Giorgio’s final project, Junkie’s Diary is a short film exploring an empathetic connection between two strangers.

ARTSTHREAD: Can you explain the thinking behind the key concepts and outcomes of your project?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: My starting point was the need to express this kind of particular empathic connection between people and the randomness of its manifestation in life. In order to express this feeling I chose the shape of the short-film, giving my self three points to follow: anarchy, trash and empathy, my guide-lines principles when I make a film.

ARTSTHREAD: Are you 100% back on campus or are you still working all/partly from home? Please describe

your environment?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: Before graduating, I came back on campus for 6 months in order to attend classes. The space consists in various buildings where there are different rooms where I followed the lessons. Each room was specialized – sound, photography, editing etc

Junkie’s Diary Giorgio took inspiration from films including Before Sunrise, Requiem for a Dream and Enter the Void and also looked at works by classical painters like Van Gough and Velasquez.

ARTSTHREAD: Has being back on campus given you a new perspective on the university/your class colleagues/


Giorgio Picinni Leopardi:Not exactly, I knew them all before, so I didn’t have a new perspective on them; but it was a great joy seeing them again in person.

ARTSTHREAD: Has the need for online learning changed your outcomes?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: I agree in part. Especially for cinematographers and cinema student it was a complete reorganisation of what we were doing as classes; we did less practice that we could.

ARTSTHREAD: Did you need to innovate when you had to work by yourself at home?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: I felt this need. I felt that I had to exploit the period creating, crafting, reading, writing, watching movies and listening to music.

ARTSTHREAD: What’s one thing that has helped you get through the last 2 years?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: A process that leads me to a spiritual awakening of mine.

ARTSTHREAD: What are the most positive learning outcomes from this process?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: A better way of living.

ARTSTHREAD: How do you think design can help improve the world?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: Creating a more sustainable world to live, keeping in consideration humankind, but without making it the centre of the world.

ARTSTHREAD: What are your hopes for the future?

Giorgio Picinni Leopardi: I want to become a director and I want to reach the liberty to express myself without restrictions.

ARTSTHREAD: Thank you Giorgio – we wish you all the very best!

See Giorgio’s ARTSTHREAD Portfolio

Images in slider: Giorgio and his work.

Our Global Design Graduate Show 2022 in collaboration with Gucci is open internationally to all art and design undergraduate or postgraduate students graduating in the Academic Year 2021-22 and the deadline to apply is August 31 2022.

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