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Zooppa Member of the Week: Luca Cerlini of SecretWood

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This week we are climbing the tall tree of imagination to take in a long breath of the land of Luca Cerlini, Zooppa member and majestic deer of the Secret Wood clan. Luca, a recent award winner in the “Siemens- YOUR EARTH, YOUR DREAM, YOUR ACTION” contest, shows us how to cultivate our dreams through an imaginative take on a very concrete concept: improving the environment to ensure a greener future. We will focus on why his ability to stay inspired while sticking to the brief is critical to his success.

In his film, With Your Imagination, Luca and the rest of the Secret Wood team focus on feeling rather than following Earth’s instructions, “Trying not to show exactly what you ought to do in order to make the world a better place, but focusing on the emotional background where this responsible behavior comes from.”

The Secret Wood clan presents a great example of how to remain within the almighty boundaries of the brief, while still delivering something charmingly unexpected. With Your Imagination acts as a sort of treasure map that leads the audience to the hideout of the Secret Wood clan and gives us clues as to how we too can cultivate our own green thumb.

But, where does the inspiration to reach beyond the boundaries come from?

Turns out, the answer is in the agriculture: “Inspiration is absolutely something that has to be cultivated, everyday. It’s a constant effort. Sudden inspiration can happen, and can be recognized, only if you’ve prepared the right ground for it to grow. And that ain’t no lucky event; it’s a job.” With this kind of garden growing wild in his brain, it is inevitable that he will lose track of what seeds are planted where, and that’s when the element of surprise sprouts up.

“To surprise his audience through compelling images and stories,” is Luca’s ultimate goal as a filmmaker.

He describes his first moment of epiphany, inspired by the sultan of surprise himself, M. Night Shyamalan: “My mom was driving me to school. The night before, I’d seen “The Village” for the first time. Alongside the road there were the fields, still asleep in that autumn morning. I remember watching outside the window while the car was passing by and realizing that what I had seen the night before, in the movie, was not faded; it was still out there, in those very fields.”

This mystical approach to surprise creates a filmmaking style that, in his own words (perhaps prompted by a pesky interviewer), “looks like an ancient picture of a young soldier, sounds like a storm that is coming, feels like the moss on a trunk, smells like the pages of an ancient book, and tastes like a licorice stick.”

Now, the real magic is how to make moss that tastes like licorice look pretty mounted within the confines of the brief. But, when asked if there was one piece of advise that he and the Secret Wood clan would give to other Zooppa members it all comes back to the brief, “stick to the submissions guidelines as strictly as possible.”

It’s a bit contradictory at first, but I think it goes back to the beginning with their concept for the Siemens campaign: feeling rather than following Earth’s instructions. As a filmmaker submitting to Zooppa you can’t just follow the briefs; you have to feel them. You have to wear them, smell them. When you bend over to grab something from your bag, it’s got to be the briefs peeking out of your jeans. Know the brief and the inspiration will follow suit.

With Your Imagination was Luca’s first submission to Zooppa’s contests, but we look forward to seeing more from him and the rest of the Secret Wood gang. This merry band of under thirty-somethings from the northern region of Italy is making short films, documentaries, music videos and commercials. It has been said that if you venture out into the dark abyss of a moonless night you can hear the percolating rumble of the caffeinated Secret Wood clan, but no need to fear they are known as more creative than cannibal. See for yourself on their website secret-wood.com or on their facebook page.

Checkout all the submissions from the Siemens- YOUR EARTH, YOUR DREAM, YOUR ACTION contest and share them with your friends to see who inspires you to rebel between the lines.

Also, be sure to watch Luca Cerlini and the Secret Wood clan’s favorite submission to the Siemens- YOUR EARTH, YOUR DREAM, YOUR ACTION CONTEST: Waves For Water by petemack.

By: Amanda Threde

Meme E

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