He is the man behind Mute Dollar Baby Film.
SKSM: Could you start with telling me a bit about yourself? Who are you and what do you do?
Brando Improta: I’m an italian director and writer. Sometimes I also star in my movies and in other productions. I’m very appassionate about everything about cinema. I played a long series of works: assistant director, sound engineer, movie editor and I was even one of the extras in “New Moon” (the second chapter of the Twilight saga); because I’m in love with every aspect of this work. I directed a bunch of independent movies in Italy so far.
SKSM: When did you make Mute? Can you tell me a little about the production? How much did it cost? How long did it take to film it?
Brando Improta: We filmed it in February in Naples. Two days and two nights. It’s a very low budget short (the cost was around 200 euros) and we filmed the main scenes overnight. We want to have the city all free for the car’s movements through the streets, so we chose the night. We had just one camera for all the shots and visuals.
SKSM: How come you picked Mute to develop into a movie? What is it in the story that you like so much?
Brando Improta: I’m a big fan of King’s works. I think that the ending of this story is so unexpected and the characters are so special that it’s impossible to not turn it into a movie. Reminds me “Twilight zone”, with his twist and his fine irony. Also I really like the stories with long dialogues. And this is basically one long dialogue between a stressed man and himself. It’s very interesting.
SKSM: How did you find out that King sold the movie rights to some of his stories for just $1? Was it just a wild guess or did you know it before you sent him the check?
Brando Improta: I knew of this opportunity granted to young authors. I wanted to partecipare for a long time, but I had to figure what kind of story was possible to realize with a low budget, just as an experiment, and with enough potential to succeed.
SKSM: Was there any funny or special moment when you made the movie that you would like to tell me about?
Brando Improta: The night scenes were really funny to shopt. We spent two whole nights to shoot in outlying areas, slightly dangerous, and we ran to hide for each isolated car that passed and slowed. We had a little fear. Maybe was the King’s atmosphere
SKSM: How does it feel that all the King fans out there can’t see your movie? Do you think that will change in the future? Maybe an internet/dvd release would be possible?
Brando Improta: Maybe in the future it will be possible to share our dollar babies in internet, but I think there are poitive and negative aspects. It would be great to show the dollar babies to all the King’s fan. See the reactions, get feedback. But I think that in this way all the King’s work would be little protected in rights. But we’ll see…
SKSM: What “good or bad” reviews have you received on your film?
Brando Improta: Some criticized the few changes in the story, but I think it was necessary to eliminate the scenes with the priest. If the protagonist tells you the story, you can already get an idea of how it will end. But overall the acting and the editing were praised.
SKSM: Did you have any personal contact with King during the making of the movie? Has he seen it (and if so, what did he think about it)?
Brando Improta: I sent the short to Stephen King’s agent few months ago. But I haven’t be answered yet.
SKSM: What are you working nowadays?
Brando Improta: I’m woring on two italian productions. The first is a romantic comedy that I’m directing and writing; the second is a thriller in which I’m starring.
SKSM: Do you have any plans for making more movies based on Stephen King’s stories? If you could pick – at least – one story to shoot, which one would it be and why?
Brando Improta: I would love to shoot two stories: “Rainy Season” and “Graduation Afternoon”. The first because it’s a very crazy story, but the effects could be complicated to actualize, so there’s a long work to do. The second it’s one of the more dramatic and realistic King’s stories. The end of that story is a real punch in the stomach.
SKSM: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Is there anything you want to say to your fans?
Brando Improta: Thank you for this interview. If someone wants to see Mute, it will be screened at the next Dollar Baby Russia in Krasnodar on October 28th!