Filmmaker of the Month: Mirko Bonanno

By Martina Goodman and Jesus Ovejero

Please note that this interview has been translated from Italian to English


Firstly, how and why did you start with Userfarm?

A couple of years ago I had made up my mind that there could be advertising competitions for video makers, and I started looking online and found the sites of Userfarm’s competitors … (Zooppa where I won the first prize together with my brother Igor and my friend Maurizio Cannata for LG Smart Discoveries) … the following year I discovered Userfarm, it seemed better as a platform and I pushed them on creativity. I’ve always been passionate about advertisements since I was a child … my brother Igor and I invented commercials for various brands … getting inspiration from advertisements of the 90’s.

How was your beginning in Userfarm and how do you consider yourself as filmmaker now?

My first project on Userfarm was for Fernet Branca, “Hanky Panky” … and I uploaded it on the profile of a friend of mine and told him all about the call and my idea. He liked the idea and helped me with the production and assembly. The idea was of a successful man that uses a drop of Fernet Branca as perfume. We got 4th place but the video had a lot of views, much more than 1st place … maybe it was just a matter of luck, but that is an old story from four years ago.

Actually I consider myself more a ‘filmmaker’ than a ‘video maker’, I do not do everything myself .. I also worked in the cinema as an assistant director in several projects … .and I know what it means to be part of a team. I hope to continue this way.

In Userfarm we have different open calls and you worked on many of them, how do you face the Briefs, what is your course of action when you develop an idea for your video?

I read and reread the brief I try to think of a decent idea … but it does not come immediately … I often waste a lot of time and start again, I am very confused in the beginning after which in my confusion almost by magic the ideas come slowly …. Like a puzzle. Once the story is created I start looking for what I need, from actors, locations and objects and then after, costumes.

We are so pleased every time that we receive a video from you, where do your creative ideas come from?

Thank you very much! I’m happy to hear, however I do not think of them all by myself … I have people who help me. Some ideas come to me immediately after reading the brief, and others after some time. The ideas can be “in the air”, but realistic enough to be able to “catch” them. However, the ideas come from what I see, both from my everyday life, but often from landscapes … I enjoy being the location manager sometimes … Landscapes and landscapes of my childhood, or places where I can picture the scene in advance a little like a vision … I enjoy seeing new places and then sometimes some of these landscapes are places where I imagine situations …. I insert them in advertising stories. For me, a landscape and an actor are as important as plot, direction, shooting and editing.

What aspect of video making do you consider most difficult? And how do you sort it out?

The most difficult aspect is to center what is written in the brief … trying to center what the client might want through a story, after which the pre-production phase is the most delicate, as well as location and choice of actors.

We chose your selected video for Brosway and we would like to ask you…In your opinion, what is the difference in this video which made it so special and pleasing to watch?

I do not know exactly what makes it special to watch, but it is a story that is a simple but effective, of distant love that has its resolution in a small instance of magic.

The editing in this video is incredible, any editing tips that you can share with our Community to get this quality of video?

Yes, the editing is very effective and I was inspired by a very famous video I saw on the web, I spent a lot of time watching it and then I asked Marco Alestra (who took care of the editing) to get inspired by this video, and what I wanted to express in the video came through perfectly. My video is completely different but there is a moment in the video when she closes her eyes and her mind travels far away, and her thoughts reach him- that is a clear quote of the technique of that video.

In my opinion the music for this video matches perfectly with the content, how do you approach music with your work?

There is a primordial idea of music … maybe using famous/ well- known songs, but then I glimpse into the library of Userfarm that is very wide, and I look for the potential mood/vibe … we choose more songs that can center what we want to express and in the end we try it on a basic shot.

We are arriving to the end of the interview, in all these years you’ve been working with Userfarm, Would you recommend Userfarm to other people who want to start off a filmmaker career?

Obviously yes, Userfarm is an intelligent, creative platform that gives the opportunity to get involved, to experiment, and above all the possibility to give a video maker even without experience, the opportunity to work for various famous brands, through a brief but despite that giving them creative freedom.

Finally, could you tell us the last advertainment campaign that you saw on TV which left you open-mouthed?

If we are talking about recent campaigns, I find the H&M ads by Wes Anderson very beautiful, and the Kenzo commercial directed by Spike Jones, and the Dior campaign with Robert Pattinson, with music by Led Zeppellin- it was very incisive and impactful. On the other hand, if we refer to those of the past, it is the BMW series 3 “If” directed by Brugia or the Neo-baroque version for Lewis, it was for the Engineered Jeans, where the “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare was redone.


Thanks a lot for your time! All the best for your upcoming projects and we hope to see more videos from mikyonepunch

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