FILMMAKER Q&A – Katabasis – Nicolò Grasso – Director, Writer, Actor

OR: What was the inspiration for your film?

NG: During the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent so much time stuck in the same rooms of my student residence, that it became an endless loop that kept getting worse. I tried to represent that feeling of repetitiveness and oppression, where you are unable to escape from yourself since you are stuck, with this short.

OR: When did you conceive the idea for your film and how long did it take before it was realized?

NG: The idea was originally quite different, as I was supposed to film this at the end of March, but the pandemic and lockdowns forced me to adapt the story and look of the film to the limited equipment and locations I had at my disposal.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of working in a short film format?

NG: Pacing is always the hardest. You want to get the story going pretty quickly, but neither do you want to rush things. Finding the right balance is tricky, but if you crack that, you are bound to make something that resonates with people.

OR: What was the most challenging aspect of your production?

NG: Shooting with just a DSLR camera and also having to act. I asked two of the five flatmates left to help with the camerawork, but since they did not know how to handle a camera, I had to set up the shots myself and shooting stills for each sequence, which they then emulated while I acted.

OR: Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers?

NG: Make as many films as you can. Test different ideas and styles out. You are going to make a lot of mistakes at first, but you will see improvements down the line. Never be brought down by people around you and always follow your idea through to the end.