Giuffrida's movie is about a heartbroken young man who sets up a profile on an online dating site. The young man is asked to describe himself using no more than 200 characters. I had the chance to talk to Giuffrida about the movie. Using Facebook's live chat feature, I got Giuffrida to describe himself using way more than just 200 characters.
Mauro Giuffrida is Italian. He was born in Sicily. He attended the University of Rome, or La Sapienza. He studied film there but eventually came to the United States in 2006. He went to the Art Institute of Philadelphia and the 27-year-old now lives in Wilmington with his wife.
Giuffrida got to work on writing a script, a script centered on a soap opera writer who hates his job and who is lonely after losing a girlfriend he loves. Giuffrida read some very funny dating stories by Michael Drafter. Drafter said yes when the Sicilian director asked to include those stories in his script.
The screenplay was completed in early 2009. Giuffrida joined the Delaware Independent Filmmakers association (DIF). Through mutual friends, he met Frederic Skryzpek, a French teacher with a passion for movies who signed on as a producer, but it was at a DIF meeting that he met Jeffrey Bader.
Bader is an actor from Wilmington. He was in the 2006 indie film The Stone House. Giuffrida saw its DVD, was impressed with Bader's performance, and asked him to star in his new movie. Bader agreed and filming took place between March and June 2009 in and around Wilmington.
Giuffrida says he likes Delaware "because it's in the middle of everything." He adds that it's a "very nice place to shoot a movie." There's easy access to cities like Philadelphia, which Giuffrida certainly utilized. One of the Italian filmmaker's favorite scenes was in Reading Terminal Market. Giuffrida admits when he shoots, he likes the camera to be on his shoulder, working guerilla-style.
Giuffrida says, "I love to be part of the action so I operate the camera. I want to be there with the actors, trying to feel what they are feeling, trying to move the camera accordingly to what is going on."
His movie is divided into three chapters. The last chapter deals with the randomness and unexpected nature of life. Watching this chapter, it feels looser and Giuffrida says he wanted it to be more spontaneous, more natural. The director says he loves improvisation and that he did give his actors more freedom in certain scenes.
He enjoys and is inspired by German cinema of the 1920s and 30s like Fritz Lang's films and Italian neorealistic filmmakers of the 1940s like Frederico Fellini or Michelangelo Antonioni.
American filmmakers to catch his eye include Wes Anderson and Gus Van Sant. The last movie he saw he liked was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He says he loved the cinematography and appreciated how it addressed a serious issue. I would say that I appreciate the same in Guiffrida's film.