Your share your collection on YouTube and have almost a half-million views! How does such a platform help you promote your collection?
Apart from YouTube, what do you do to get visibility for your collection?
My YouTube channel is growing fast. I get 2 thousand views every day and a 2:07 average view duration, with 100 new subscribers every month.
Most potential buyers who contact me first watch my footage there. YouTube has 1 billion unique monthly visitors and is the second most used search engine after Google.
I think I don't need to waste my time on Facebook, Adwords, PR or anything else. If you want to make business with online videos today, you just need three things to generate visibility:
- a YouTube channel,
- a website,
- (sometimes) an email list.
The use of found footage seems to be in vogue today.
Who are some of your clients? Can you tell us about a TV/Film project that you have particularly enjoyed collaborating on?
Sometimes I got an email saying a production needs some footage of mine. I give them a quote, they send me money and I send the video. It's like buying on Amazon. But sometimes it happens that there are many mails between me and the producer or even the director.
One of the first productions I worked with was an independent documentary about the crazy story of a man who won a sailing race around the world in 1974, called the “Weekend Sailor”. We talked for months, and I even searched for footage that I didn't have, finding great stuff about South Africa, Acapulco and Rio de Janeiro in the 1970s.
I felt like I was involved in the production, and when the documentary won prizes at festivals around the world, I felt like a small part of them was mine.
Festivals like Il Cinema Ritrovato in Bologna have become increasingly visible in recent years.
To conclude, could you say something about the flourishing archive scene in Italy?
Since YouTube, I'm not sure small festivals can be the most powerful tool to spread film culture. As you said before, I've received thousands of views every month with a self financed project.
How many people watch a festival? How much does a festival cost?
With the budget of a festival, I can save 5000 films from the garbage.
So where should you put your money?
In Italy there are few projects financed by public funds. The problem is that they don't publish those films online. Films have to live, and they don't live until they are just stored in a dark room. There's something I can't understand about Italian 8 mm films.
Do you know where I find the best home movies created in my country?
In Austria and Germany. I really don't know where old 8 mm films shot by Italian filmmakers go, but I'm quite sure a lot of them go to the garbage. I really feel as if I'm saving an important part of our history.
Until 1975, we had just two television channels in Italy, and they were strictly controlled by the government, even if we were a democracy. All television archives are made of footage that come from years where censorship was very strict.
The only real life you can watch of that period is the one shot on home movies, and I've already saved 700 of them, hoping to save 100 times more in the future.