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Behind the Scenes of the Italian Hit Series – The Hollywood Reporter



Our appointment is ready for 3 p.m. within the Piazza Mercato, within the coronary heart of Naples, on a scorching September day that appears like August. It’s a sunny, abandoned and silent sq., the place three massive vans and two vans are parked. The crew is busy making ready the scene. The grips, working in non secular silence, place the digicam on a dolly for a monitoring shot. We’re on the set of The Sea Past, season 4 of the hit collection produced by Rai Fiction and Picomedia, in regards to the lives of a gaggle of youngsters in juvenile jail. The present has been probably the most profitable ever on RAI’s streaming platform, with the primary three seasons — which are actually additionally out there on Netflix in Italy — producing 220 million views (in a rustic with a inhabitants of 60 million).

We’re greeted by director Ivan Silvestrini. This, he says, gesturing to the grips establishing the dolly, would be the longest monitoring shot of his profession. The scene’s protagonist is likely one of the recurring faces of the collection: A woman who, after a interval of freedom, finally ends up making one other mistake and goes again behind bars. It’s scorching within the sq., the crew is busy establishing. It’s a younger group, common age is round 30, about 50 folks in all.

Gathered in a nook of the sq., a small group of youngsters paw the bottom. About 15 in all. They put on flashy The Sea Past-style outfits: Miniskirts, crop-tops and garish shirts — a glance that has change into more and more common amongst Italian teenagers because of the present. They’re the extras, enjoying background bystanders. For some, that is their display debut. Others are collection regulars. They’ve been summoned to the set however they haven’t been instructed what to do but. They aren’t too involved. “After all, we just have to walk around,” says one.

Cinematographer Francesca Amitrano is explaining how gentle works in The Sea Past.

“Ivan [Silvestrini] is interested in natural light, which means that sometimes we have to wait for the right conditions to shoot. But not always,” she notes. “This season, in one episode, I had to recreate the light of a dream, to give it movement. Shooting a series like this, which is based on emotions and gut feeling, it’s all about enhancing emotions with light.”

The star on the set as we speak is Silvia (Clotilde Esposito), one in all Sea Past‘s recurring characters. She arrives when the whole lot is prepared. Wearing pink, make-up and hair dolled up with big sun shades and a driver holding her bag for her and an umbrella to defend her eyes from the solar.

“Today we’re shooting an arrest scene — always a classic in the series. We always show how and why our kids ended up in juvie.”

He rapidly breaks down the scene with Esposito and the opposite actors, together with these enjoying the police and the one they name “Rattuso” (pickpocket). Blocking and timing are achieved on the spot. Esposito has the script and is aware of what she has to do. The remainder must catch up rapidly, memorizing Silvestrini’s instructions on the fly. It’s two hours of technical adjustment after which…

Clotilde Esposito, who performs Silvia in The Sea Past with director Ivan Silvestrini.

Francois Abramovici

“Rolling, and — action!”

However the place’s Rattuso? He’s not within the shot. Take two! Rattuso’s blocking the shot. Take three! Silvestrini shifts Rattuso within the scene: He desires protection from one other angle. Take 4! Maria Grazia, the assistant director, takes Esposito apart, admonishing her for “parading” as an alternative of strolling. Take 5 is spoiled by a airplane overhead. On take six, one of many cops forgets to case Esposito. Grazia steps in to elucidate the scene once more…

Take seven! It goes effectively however the digicam operators aren’t certain it was clear. Take eight! The director decides Rattuso ought to tie up his hair again so we will see his face higher, however he misses his mark. Take 9! Rattuso, after his tried pickpocketing, stays within the scene as an alternative of operating away. Take 10 … lower! Technical error. Take 11! Rattuso is a beat too gradual getting into the body. Take 12! This time he is available in too quick. Take 13! Lastly, the whole lot runs easily. That’s a wrap. The crew strikes on to the subsequent set-up.

13 takes to shoot the ultimate 30 seconds of the primary episode of season 4. Grazia, the first-time assistant director, is the day’s actual hero. Repeatedly, she tirelessly positions the extras and actors: Shouting, warning, encouraging and controlling the mob by the ability of her spectacular vocal chords. “I don’t use a horn, I like to get everyone going with my own voice,” she says smiling.

Martina, the script supervisor, explains that they must movie eight to 10 minutes of footage a day. It took greater than three hours to shoot the primary 50 seconds of fabric. If each shoot goes like the primary, they’ll be on set 24 hours as we speak.

Massimiliano Caiazzo, who plays Carmine in 'The Sea Beyond' on set of Season 4.

Massimiliano Caiazzo, who performs Carmine, on set of season 4.

Francois Abramovici

The brand new set is contained in the jail. The director excursions the Naval Base at St. Vincent Pier, remodeled into Italy’s most notorious juvenile jail. The again door has been become the fictional jail’s primary entrance. The boy’s and lady’s sections are literally the identical location, simply shot from a distinct angle.

Within the make-up room, we discover Edoardo, performed by Matteo Paolillo, whose model of the The Sea Past theme track, “O’ Mar For,” may be heard hovering out of bars, golf equipment and automobile home windows throughout Italy as of late (the present’s affect on the tradition is so vital that when the Napoli soccer workforce gained the Italian league final season, the group spontaneously started singing the theme track). Simply past is the costume division, a big room with a collection of clothes racks, every with the names of the principle characters. Rossella Aprea is the costume designer.

“This year I had fun creating the look of Donna Wanda, who will be a praying mantis, dressed in black, latex, leather and metallic. Rosa Ricci will also have a more rock and dark look,” she says. “Of the boys, Pino will be even more stylish and super colorful, while Cardio Trap will be [more] urban Neapolitan.” She exhibits off the forged’s infinite wardrobe. Then she holds up a collection of custom-made T-shirts, every with the effigy of the characters within the collection.

“The T-shirts with the faces of the actors are a gift I gave the boys, to wear in their downtime between scenes when they are eating or at makeup,” she says. “As for the costumes, we decided to immerse the protagonists in the reality of the Neapolitan neighborhoods. I tried to bring the fashion of Scampia, Sanità and Forcella, here inside the juvenile penitentiary institute. Assigning each of the kids their own personal style.”

In one of many cells within the males’s part, assistant director Giuseppe Eusepi is directing Carmine (Massimiliano Caiazzo) and Pino (Artem) in a scene through which Pino freaks out and Carmine tries to calm him down. It’s an “easy” scene, and the 2 actors get by it rapidly, in only a few takes. Silvestrini says the fabric they’ve shot over 18 weeks (plus two weeks from the second unit) for Season 4 is so good that some episodes may need an extended runtime than deliberate.

We spot Antonio Farina, The Sea Past set designer, who constructed the cells and the jail interiors.

“We turned the Naval Base into a big stage set,” the grasp craftsman explains. His workforce is at the moment constructing a brand new set contained in the jail chapel however that’s off-limits to us for now.

Matteo Paolillo, who plays Edoardo in 'The Sea Beyond' getting made up for a scene.

Matteo Paolillo, who performs Edoardo in ‘The Sea Beyond’ getting made up for a scene.

Francois Abramovici

One notices how younger The Sea Past crew is, at the very least in comparison with most Italian shoots. Even the director, the grownup within the room, is barely in his 40s.

“You can’t yet speak of a real generational change in film and TV [in Italy], but these new series were the way in for me and other colleagues of my age, including [producer] Ludovico Bessegato (Skam, Prisma) or Stefano Ludovichi (The Trial),” Silvestrini says. “These series created a strong demand [for younger stories] just as we were waiting for an opportunity that never seemed to come. We found ourselves to be the perfect generation, ready to do something completely different than the Italian art-house cinema of yesteryear.”

Whereas these 40-something administrators are chopping their tooth on TV collection, all nonetheless dream of the massive display. Silvestrini plans to return to films as quickly as potential, even with The Sea Past.

“We’re going to show the first two episodes of The Sea Beyond season four in movie theaters as a test, to gauge audience reaction on the big screen,” he says. “After all, it is one of the most anticipated television events of the season.”

The primary two episodes of season 4 of The Sea Past may have their world premiere on the Rome Movie Pageant subsequent month, with the forged and crew set to stroll the purple carpet. It’s an sudden success for Rai particularly. The general public channel is having fun with a brand new recognition amongst youthful viewers, an viewers the community has struggled previously to draw.

This all seems like a gown rehearsal for a deliberate Sea Past function movie. Roberto Sessa of Picomedia instructed a function movie model of the collection was within the works at a presentation of TV programming in Naples not too long ago. And Maria Pia Ammirati, director of Rai Fiction, confirmed that alongside plans for a fifth and sixth season of the collection, the producers are “well underway” on “a more ambitious project, anticipated by an audience that’s young but also old, across the family spectrum. We are making good progress on it.”

The Sea Past premieres within the U.S. on MHz Selection on October 17.

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