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24th September 2018
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Title of film: CNMI, Be Ready
Director: Giacomo Boeri and Matteo Grimaldi
Production Company: The Blink Fish
The directing founders of The Blink Fish creative collective, Giacomo Boeri and Matteo Grimaldi, shot this film for the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to celebrate Milan Fashion Week. Video curator and publicist Niccolò Montanari talks with Giacomo about their creative development in the world of fashion, film and advertising.

We just have to ask: what’s the story behind the name The Blink Fish?

On our website we start off with the question: “Have you ever seen a fish blink?”. We liked the idea of having a symbol to represent us and fish are beautiful and mysterious animals. They are the only ones that don’t blink. Blink is also the movement the camera shutter makes. And to put it simply, the name sounded very good.  

What has been the journey that has led you to fund the company?

Before setting up the company with Matteo [Grimaldi], we used to work as freelancers and we both suffered the “wandering” from one production house to the next. This allowed us to understand the advantages and disadvantages of different work dimensions, leading us to define our ideal model for a company. What was difficult was going from this ideal to something more concrete.

The Blink Fish wasn’t born as a classic production company, but rather as a creative collective. Our aim has always been focused on creating content spanning across different genres, but with a strong narrative component, such as docs, web series, shorts and content connected with art and culture. But we also realised we needed larger budgets in order to develop these ideas and that’s why we approached the advertising world. Surprisingly we’ve enjoyed working with it, so much so that advertising has become the main type of work that we do.

You work spans across documentaries, short films, commercials, music and fashion films. What makes all of them The Blink Fish productions?

Our aim is always to include some of who we are in everything we make. In some instances, for example with commercials, there are more restrictions but even then the Blink core has to come out. We basically ask ourselves many questions. We always look at every single creative aspect, frame, scene, angle until we find what we are looking for. Lastly we try to be increasingly braver, meaning taking risks and not being scared to take on the more challenging road.

For example, we’ve had to shoot a black and white commercial, but rather than leaving it all to post-production, we decided to take a more difficult and artistic route. We coloured the set with different shades of grey, including the actors with body paint. Obviously it wasn’t the cheapest or the most time-effective option, but it was a unique and unrepeatable opportunity.

When we first started we felt that we lacked a clear direction, as most production companies are quite specialised and work within their niche. But we realised that we would never have a specialised niche. First of all we enjoy shifting between opposites, what we refer to as “salty and sweet”; we believe that mixing the two is extremely positive, the result being something unique. To stand we shouldn’t limit our productions, but rather find a strong style able to be adapted to different projects.

When it comes down to it, The Blink Fish is a company set up by two directors which means we give way more importance to quality rather than profit.

You work a lot with fashion. How did you get involved with this genre? How would you say Italian productions rate compared to the international ones?

Fashion is a particularly creative environment, with few limitations. This is why we enjoy working with it. Often the client gives us complete freedom, which means we can develop the project from the creative idea to the post-production. A complete process that allows to maintain the quality we want.

In terms of how differences between Italian productions and international ones, it’s more a question of budget. Even though Italy is the home of fashion, it’s not as brave when it comes to investing in communication. From a creative and stylistic point of view, I don’t see great differences with other countries.

What’s one of the projects you are most attached to and why?

Difficult question, as we very attached to all our projects for one reason or another. The journey we’ve embarked on with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana has brought us a lot of satisfaction – these are the productions that represent us the most.

We also shoot a personal project a year, all self-produced, such as shorts or documentaries. These projects tend to be more narrative, and our pure oxygen to us, as they allow us to work with a different form of communication.

You’ve been working with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana to create video campaigns for their fashion seasons, such as the latest Be Ready and previous to that the award-winning Start the Buzz. What can we expect from this collaboration in the future?

The collaboration with the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana started a few years ago – it’s the unusual case of a brave client with creative intuition. The aim is to continue to change: every film has to be different from the previous one. What we’d really like to do is to give birth to longer and more narrative projects – in short conveying content with style.

CNMI, Be Ready Directors: Giacomo Boeri e Matteo Grimaldi 1st Assistant director: Lisa Valcarenghi Producer: Antonio Guarrella Production manager: Marco Agnesi Production coordinator: Carlo Alpeggiani Production assistant: Mariavittoria Daquino Cinematographer: Leo Carbotta Focus Puller: Niccolò Di Guida Data manager: Francesco Rosiglioni Gaffer: Matteo Orsanigo Electricians: Riccardo Laratro, Elena Minotti Edit: Simone Marangi Post Production: Blue Pill Fx Color Grading: Matteo Cataldo Mix & Sound Design: Andrea Cataldo Recording Room: Sample Milano Set designer: Gabriele Cavalchi Assistant Set designer: Mattia Pozzi Special Fx: Alberto Tonelli Prop Manager: Fabrizio Fra Assistant Prop Manager: Franco Verrecchia Stylist: Georgia Tal Stylist assistant: Giulia Sanna Hair & Make Up: Maciria R. @MKS-MILANO Model: Nastya Timos Dog: Chuck Start The Buzz! Creativity & Production: The Blink Fish Cliente: Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana Directors: Giacomo Boeri & Matteo Grimaldi Dop: Stefano Etter 1st AD: Lisa Valcarenghi Creativity: The Blink Fish, Alberta Zobi Molajoni Press e Media Content: Alessandra Grimaldi Set designer: Gabriele Cavalchi, Mattia Pozzi Special effects: Simone Ciceri Styling: Georgia Tal Stylist assistant: Sofia Maria Brini 1° ass. Camera: Niccolò Di Guida 2° ass. Camera: Giulia Paventai Data Manager: Francesco Rosiglioni Gaffer: Stefano Mereu Key grip: Luca Mori Producer: Antonio Guarrella, Carlo Alpeggiani, Alberto Rossini Line producer: Marco Agnesi Edit & VFX: Simone Marangi