1- Luca, you are a major surf movie producer in Italy. You and your team are probably the best crew there. Still, you live in Milan. You have a real job and a family. How do you manage it all?
First, thank you! It is nice to be appreciated, especially from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. I like what I do and how I live. I am always too busy traveling, editing, writing, organizing and I do not have so much time for surfing.
Milan is a good place to stay, but it is far from the coast. I wish I could surf more. Sometimes, I feel the need to relax and that I should stop working for a while. But I keep on going! As they say: "Swim or Sink”.
So, how did I get here? I guess it is a combination of hard work and of people I met. These people have been involved in many of my projects. Here, in Milan, there is a small surf community. Waves are hard to get and you need a special drive in your life to be a surfer.
2- In your opinion, what is the best surfing movie ever produced?
I really loved “Sprout” by Thomas Campbell. I enjoyed every single frame and bits of surfing. I loved the music also. It made me want to get into surf filmmaking.
3- Do you think that you could do better with time and money?
I must admit that my passion never turned into a real-paid job. I do not survive with surf movies, but I still like to make them when I can. Obviously, with more time and money I would do better, because I could concentrate on surf movies only.
4- How about a surfing peplum or a surfing pastiche of Leone’s western? Could it be done? I mean, do you think surfing is getting too serious for its own good?
Well, I have always loved Leone’s western. It is in my blood, I have grown up with it. Leone’s aesthetic formed my vision and my ways of framing. Maybe surf films are a bit repetitive and lack of relevant story lines. I like to watch action, but as a filmmaker, I need to be involved emotionally too.
5- Tell us about your quiver and about your favorite waves.
I ride a Bing Trimulux 9’6” a Bing Raven 7’8” and a Bing Karma 6’8”. My favorite wave in Italy is in Sardinia, but I rather not say where. I travel a lot and see many amazing waves while filming. I manage to paddle out sometimes.
6- Most people do not realize that there is surfing in Italy. Is there a movie they could watch to show them?
In my last film “Peninsula”, we travel all over Italy, from Sicily to Liguria, on the East and the West coast to shoot the waves of Italy. It is a pretty complete documentary, and I suggest they watch it.
7- Tell us more about your full-length productions.
The first movie I produced is a 30-minute documentary called Onde Nostre in 2010 (see right).The homonyms film that gave the name to the project is a portrait of five Italian surfers. It was shot in 16 mm in few weeks on the west coast of Sardinia. The film had a great response all over the world.
In 2012, I produced a series of episodes about surfers, shapers and artists who are connected to the Italian surf culture. This was finally edited into a 60-minute documentary called “Ritratti di Surf” (see below).
8- How do you decide filming locations?
The decision comes from a combination of swell, light, wave quality and wilderness. I prefer to shoot remote places.
9- Everyone seems to have fun in your movies. Is it because of the place and surfing?
We are laid back, easy-going and we want to have fun while shooting. For us, there is no room for attitude.
In 2014, we released Peninsula: the documentary I mentioned before. It is shot in 35 mm, 16 mm and super8, and has been awarded Best Cinematography, Best Documentary, Best Feature and Best Soundtrack in festivals all over the world.
10- You have been surfing for some time now. Is surfing changing?
In Italy, it is definitely changing. Now, there are so many people in the water. Maybe I should stop filming!
11- What is your next project?
My next project is to travel by boat on the most remote places in the Mediterranean Sea to discover new surf breaks with a bunch of Californian and Italian surfers. I would like to have some musicians, environmentalists and artists involved as well.
12- My American readers will want to know where you surf in the US. What is your favorite break and your favorite shaper?
Personally, I love surfing Swamis and San’O. I have always had fun there. My favorite shaper are probably Matt Calvani at Bing and Robin Kegel at Gato Heroi. But I admire the work of many craftsmen like Tyler, Almonds, McTavish and many more.
13- Is there a surfing philosophy that holds together our global community?
To me surfing is a way to escape from an over structured life. It allows me to go back to simple things, including connecting with mother nature. Surfing is living in symbiosis with our surroundings, without controlling it, just being part of it.
14- How can we get your surf movies?
It is easy, you can check out my website http://www.block10.it/#films and my store http://ondenostre.bigcartel.com.
14- Delirium time! Tell us about the funniest thing that happened on a trip.
The funniest story happened recently. When I was organizing a surf trip for a short movie in the Canary Islands, I mentioned a place on a remote island, where I was hoping to find good waves. To me, it was pretty clear that was just a possibility, depending on weather conditions. We first rented a place to stay on a different island. Then, the two surfers I was working with got quite excited. In a rush, I got confused and bought wrong airplane tickets. We got on a different island, with no car and no place to stay, but we ended up traveling like crazy from one island to another.