Time to travel again
As I’m writing this post I’m currently in India and in the coming weeks I’ll try to catch up with the time I’ve already spent here and describe what I’ve done and seen. I’m here with Sarah and we plan to stay in India as long as possible: our visas last until July and if money doesn’t run out before, we’d like to stay here for its entire duration and maybe more, if we take into account the alluring neighbouring countries. Initially we wanted to go to Bangladesh but then we realised that flying directly there was pretty expensive and a two-month visa was quite unpractical for the kind of experience we had in mind. We switched to India, we were granted a generous six-month visa and so we started looking for flights. One of the best options we found was to fly to Kochi: cheap and a good relaxing entry point to India. Neither Sarah nor myself had previously been to South India and we did some research before leaving (especially Sarah as I was in last minute I’ve-to-close-three-different-projects-at-once panic), finding some interesting subjects, places and traditions to explore.
We have several purposes while in India. On one side I certainly want to focus a great deal on photography, on the other, videography will also occupy a big share of my time. During the past two years I’ve been working quite hectically both as a photographer and a video-maker in Italy, with a particular focus on video. In a general environment where less and less people see the added value of commissioning a photographer, finding work as a video-maker is a lot easier: although there are more and more people battling in the video arena there is a bigger technological and knowledge step to overcome that is both scaring some competitor away and attracting potential clients.
One of my major outlet was franzmagazine.com, where I run the video production business. It’s a cool bilingual Italian-German online magazine: if you wish to know more about the Italian vastly German-speaking region of South Tyrol you should definitely check it out. Here are some videos I made for them. Through these videos I’ve managed to meet some interesting people:
and experience some local (funny) celebrations:
I’ve done a lot of other projects working together with Sarah, a few of them involving video too. One of them is very dear to me for its cinematography (and for the fun we had shooting it) (yes, my nerd side went from concept to the final computer graphics):
The other one was the most important project for the two of us in 2014: a 30-minute long documentary about second generation boys and girls living in South Tyrol, called “Insiders – Outsiders”. Born from an idea by Sarah, it entered a few festivals in Italy, Austria and Germany, and albeit controversial it has always been well received. For the moment being you can just see the trailer but I’ll give you a head ups when it will be made available online.
“Insiders-Outsiders” really opened the doors for Sarah and I to new exciting opportunities and before leaving Italy we struck a deal with a local production company to create brief reportages for a TV programme, mainly about minorities. Sarah will take care of the research and the interviews, I will do the shooting, together we will edit the footage. We are a well seasoned team and we manage to create some complex projects working together (says Matteo while brushing his leftt shoulder). If everything works well that should cover a part of our travelling expenses, on the other hands it means the good old days of travelling light are long gone: alas, I need a (heavy) tripod, a backup camera and a computer, plus lenses, cables, HDDs, making my gear bag weigh around 15 kilos. Ugh.
Along with these reportages we also plan to cover a once forbidden Hindu festival in West Bengal, a fertility ritual that had been previously studied by Sarah and that we’d like to shoot with a documentary in mind. So from Kochi we will cross South India and we will travel up north, stopping in worthwhile places and taking some time off to edit and… rest!
Enough as an introduction, next stop Kochi!