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Exclusive Interview With Shadow Director Federico Zampaglione
By James Whittington, Wednesday 26th August 2009
Federico Zampaglione is one of Italy’s most famous sons. His band Tiromancino is constantly hitting the Italian charts, but it is his horror movie Shadow that will make his name in the UK. It is receiving its World Premiere at this years FrightFest celebration and we have been lucky enough to grab a few moments with this enigmatic artist.   ZH: How did you get into making movies? Was it just a natural progression from your musical career?   FZ: I started directing my own band Tiromancino's videoclips. I found it really exciting in terms of creativity and so I decided to shoot my first feature Nero Bifamiliare which is sort of black comedy about a bad relationship between neighbours. I found directing natural and not so far from making music. It's just another way to express myself.   ZH: Why did you choose a horror movie for your second feature?   FZ: Because I have been really captivated by this kind of cinema since I was a child. I'm even a collector of horror films and Shadow it's my personal homage to this genre. I did it as a fan for fans ,with all my passion and love     ZH: Where did the inspiration for the movie come from?   FZ: A couple of years ago I was biking with my wife in the wood. She was coming after me. At a certain point she disappeared rigth after a turn. I started calling and I went back looking for her. Then I found her. She was just peeing behind a bush! I was surprised how scary it is, when someone you care for disappears all of a sudden, especially in the wood! When I got back home I was inspired and I started writing the story .   ZH: Was it a hard movie to cast?   FZ: When I found on the Internet Nuot Arquint, the actor who plays the villain, I knew it was a great beginning. This guy is terrifying and unique, he doesn't need any make up to be that creepy. Then I hired an American casting director and we worked for a couple of months until we found the other male roles: Jake Muxworthy, Chris Coppola and Ottaviano Blitch, a great trio of fantastic talents. I have been auditioning many actresses and couldn’t find the right one to play Angeline, I needed someone strong and sweet in the same time, so not an easy combination. But when I watched Frontieres I was really impressed by Karina Testa and I thought she was perfect    ZH: As the movie concerns an Urban Legend, do you recall any from your childhood?   FZ: When I was really young I used to go on vacation to my uncle's house. There was a room always locked, and they told me there were ghosts inside, the room was full of old furnitures and it was really mysterious and disturbing. I used to put my ear on the door and I heard weird sounds. Maybe that room was real haunted, maybe my uncle was hidding something inside  ZH: It’s been a long time since people have been excited about Italian horror movies, why do you think there’s been a lull in public interest?   FZ: Because the Italian movie industry now is focused just on comedies and dramas, perfect to be sold on TV. So young directors prefer to go for  more commercial projects giving up with horror films, despite, in Italy, there is a lot of people who love genre. Fortunately my "crazy" producer Massimo Ferrero loves horror features and he gave me freedom to make a movie like Shadow, anyway I'm sure things are about to change.   ZH: Why do you think critics have been attracted to Shadow?   FZ: I don't know, let's ask them!! Anyway I'm so flattered and honored because of  this. Actually I feel a big responsability. I truly love you guys!! ZH: Any Italian director who enters into the horror genre is compared to Dario Argento, are you a fan of his work and what’s it like being hailed as “The New Face Of Italian Horror”?   FZ: Dario is my master and we are really good friends. He supported me in this project and he gave strength to move forward. I grew up with his films. When I showed him for the first time Shadow I was thrilled, but at the end he hugged me sayng he really liked the film and he told me he was proud of me. I will never forget  that moment. Like I said being considered "The New Face Of Italian Horror" is a huge responsability, a really exciting thing and most of all it's a dream coming true. ZH: Do you prefer music or directing movies?   FZ: I love both. Music - it's my life and I won't stop doing it, but now I can't come back from directing too. So in few words... I'm in trouble like a  man who loves both wife and lover!   ZH: How much does the process of writing an album of songs differ to writing a script?   FZ: Not so different… it's something you have in your mind that never leaves you .. composing songs or writing a script it's a sweet obsession that drives you crazy..   ZH: Will you be returning to the horror genre later in your career?   FZ: Absolutely!!! I'm already working on a new story placed in the Middle Ages. Will be amazingly violent and scary!! That's a promise   ZH: Federico Zampaglione, thank you very much. 

 


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