Rome. Passion. Creativity. Three things that belong together for a reason, especially for Giulio Strata. After starting as DIT in Rome only two years ago he is more than passionate about his work in this ’crazy business‘ – as he calls it. Even if it can be challenging sometimes to work on small projects, when budget and resources are limited, that can gain new creative approaches and flexibility. Giulio Strata worked on two such projects, the short movies “Under the Moon“ and “Swallow“. In this interview he shares some insights about these two and explains what makes this job so special.
First of all, thank you for sharing some insights into your productions with us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work first (e.g. where are you based? How did you start your career in film production, etc.)?
I’m Giulio Strata and I’m a DIT based in London, but I moved to the UK quite recently. I’m passing through a challenging and exciting change considering that I’ve started in this industry in Rome less than two years ago. It has been a long ride before I ended up working as a DIT, mainly because I didn’t know about this figure for a very long time, even though I was passionate about film studies since high school.
As a Digital Imaging Technician, learning and practicing new things is a never ending game, but I can say that I’ve developed and sharpened the knowledge of this role at Shot Academy in Rome. There I met the DITs that literally convinced me that this could have been the right path and now here I am.
What kind of projects are you usually working on?
I’ve started with short films and I’m now moving towards features and drama. I had no chance to experience a long tv-series, but I would love to since the technical quality of most of them has surprisingly increased in the last years.
You recently worked on two short films, Swallow and Under the Moon, on which you used the Silverstack Offload Manager. Can you tell us a bit about these projects? How did the teams come together and what role did you play?
I worked as DIT on both and I found these two projects thanks to online ads. They are small projects in terms of budget and resources, but it has been a pleasure to jump on both because the teams were great and this allowed us to work in the best way, achieving a high-end final result.
Which cameras were used on these projects?
Swallow has been shot with an ARRI ALEXA Mini combined with Primo lenses at 3.2K resolution ProRes444, while on Under the Moon we used a RED Dragon with Carl Zeiss vintage lenses at 4K resolution REDCodeRAW 8:1.
How was the decision to use the Silverstack Offload Manager on both projects made? Were there specific requirements for the use of the application?
Offloading with checksum verification is essential for our work and since the Silverstack Offload Manager came out it has become my go-to choice for smaller projects.
Can you please briefly describe your on-set workflow on the two productions? For which aspects of your work did you use the Silverstack Offload Manager?
As I said, if you don’t have to manage more complex workflows as a DIT, involving metadata managing and working with CDLs and transcodes, the Silverstack Offload Manager helped me in all the tasks related to securely offloading media on set, with the great possibility to create reports and ensure my work for production.
How was your overall experience with the Silverstack Offload Manager like? Were there any features that you used frequently, or liked in particular?
The good thing with the Silverstack Offload Manager is that whether you have worked with other software from Pomfort before or you have no experience at all, this software is quite intuitive in all its settings.
There are not many features, but honestly, I found each of them reliable and perfectly working for the tasks needed.
Were there any particularly challenging situations or setups on the two productions?
The most challenging thing for these productions has probably been to find where I should have set my kit. Working on small budget and small places, it is not unusual to end up in a storage closet or in a coffee shop at miles from set, but it’s part of the game and I personally enjoy it in all its shapes.
When you think back to these projects, what is your most memorable experience? What did you enjoy the most?
More than everything, it’s always the people. One of the reasons why I’ve chosen this crazy business is to have the chance to get in touch with different people, from different places and with even different ways of working sometimes. But I personally love what can come into the world thanks to such collaborations. I hope to leave each project with the awareness that I’ve learned something new.
Big ‘Thank You’ to Giulio for sharing his insights on these two projects with us!