Pizza began as a poor food, a food of the people. It's a symbol of "arrangiarsi," the art of making something out of nothing. And in Naples you taste the spirit and creativity of arrangiarsi in every bite.
This film is a tribute to pizza, to Napoli, pizza's birthplace, and to the spirit of arrangiarsi. It looks at the little-known history and conditions of Naples that created arrangiarsi (and pizza), exploring why the city that was the third most industrialized and opulent city in Europe 150 years ago has become what it is today—a still beautiful and vibrant, yet chaotic and sometimes very troubled city of contradictions.
The film explores the historical reasons why Italy’s South is the country’s poorest and often overlooked region. Among the many glorious people interviewed in this film is Pino Aprile, author of Terroni, a phenomenal book on the history that formed the social and political climate of Italy today.
The Napolitani are known as the masters of arrangiarsi (broadly speaking, the art of arranging yourself), of which pizza is an example. It's the art of making something out of nothing, the art of getting by, the art of overcoming obstacles, and, especially if you live in Naples, the art of living.
Through the metaphor of pizza, the film explores arrangiarsi, with footage of street musicians, actors, artists, and myself, the filmmaker, who "arranged" the entire making of the film—bartering, living in a tent in Naples and in a VW camper van for 5 years in order to make and "live" the film.
So many beautiful things in our world have come from arrangiarsi. I’ve learned that to arrange oneself, one needs to trust in life, in oneself, and in others. Because we are interdependent, I believe that successfully “arranging” oneself requires staying open to the Universe, and trusting that it is ultimately friendly. I believe in this film with all my heart and have put everything into it—with tons of support and guidance from friends, family, and the Universe.
Don't worry. The film does explore the art of pizza. I have filmed at many pizzerias, the Caputo flour factory, a San Marzano tomato farm, Italy's only organic buffalo mozzarella farm, and the olive harvest in Chianti.
Director, Producer, Cinematographer, Editor: Matteo Troncone
Narration: Peter Coyote
Creative Consultant: Steven Bove (formerly of Walt Disney Studios)
Executive Producer: Sultan Saeed al Darmaki
Associate Producers: Michelle Veneziano, Sianna Sherman, Patte McDowell
Colorist: Jon Felix
Sound Correction: Andre Zweers
Risks and challenges
As I enter post-production with over 100 Hours of footage, I need a small amount of funding to finish various aspects of the project. And what is Kickstarter if not a new form of "arrangiarsi"?! ;-)
As you can see, I'm hoping to raise $25,000 and will use it to finish the film over the next approximately 12 months.
All of you who contribute to this project have my word that every last cent of these funds end up "on the screen."
As I have been "living" this film in the true sense of the word, the idea of overcoming an obstacle is par for the course. It will happen. Trust. That is what l'arte di arrangiarsi is. I have already personally invested over $21,000 in this project.
This film has been my "girlfriend" for the last 3 years, and I have every intention, passion and commitment to see it through to the highest of honors at every film festival worldwide. After all, Peter Coyote is doing the narration!
Having said that, a few challenges and concerns are:
My goal of having the entire film edited and colored by next August is ambitious, but doable. At the same time, the muse cannot be rushed and additionally, I am a bit of a perfectionist. So having time to really let things gestate is essential for me and I owe it to this project to do it right without stress or anxiety.
There are also some sound issues that need to be fixed. Overall the sound is very doable in terms of sweetening. However there is one key interview from Naples, which might need to be redone or left out all together (something I don't want to do). Redoing the interview, or at least the audio (adr) would mean going back to Naples for a brief time.
Another issue is translation. I have a lot of footage in Italian that needs better translation than I have been capable of. And, also I have a lot of interviews that are in Napoletano, which is another language. So this needs to be done sooner rather than later, for the editor to know what will be included and how the narrative will be shaped.
The good news is that I have Stephen Bove acting as my executive producer and creative consultant. He was known when he worked at Disney, as the "velvet hammer".
James Schmitz of Inner City Media in Ventura came up to San Francisco to film my own interview, and also, to help me shape the narrative of the trailer. His input is much appreciated and was instrumental in nailing down the major themes with clarity. He also mocked up for me the title card graphics of the graffiti on the wall. Thank you James!
And Michelle Veneziano has generously stepped into the role as Associate producer, publicist, and event organizer. What a great gift. What an angel.
What is needed now is:
Funding to edit in a timely way, over 100 hours of footage into a 90 minute compelling film.
Studio time to record Peter Coyote's narration.
A good web designer to create a website that will visually and technically reveal the beauty, depth, passion and humor of this film.
Musical rights, particularly those of Napoletano rocker Edoardo Bennato need to be purchased. I do have an "in" though...! :)
Final color correction and editing pass of the entire film by Jon Felix who "colored" the trailer.
Sound correction/mix by Andre Zweers who sweetened the sound on the trailer.
Professional titles creation using real graffiti - Naples style! Artists deserve to be paid.
A great artist to design posters, cards and promotional material.
Funds for the analysis of the water of Naples, so I can interview water expert, Dr. Gregory Miller, (who I happen to have met on a plane!) about the qualities of Naples' water in relation to the pizza dough.
Video rights from the Colbert Report and the Daily for certain key shots.
Rights to the city government of Naples, allowing me to use film already shot at the various museums in the city.
If any funds remain after the film is completed they will be used for marketing and releasing.
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about this project I am so grateful to all of you for your interest and contributions!!!
BIO - MATTEO TRONCONE
Matteo Troncone received his Italian face--as well as his passion for beauty and art--from his parents. Half of his Italian blood is from the northern artistic city of Venice, while the other half comes from the crazily frenetic and passionate southern city of Naples--where one finds absolutely unparalled pizza and coffee...Matteo likes to think he's truly got the best of both worlds.
He received his B.A. in Theatre from San Francisco State. His talent then garnered him a coveted full scholarship to San Diego's prestigious Old Globe Theatre, where he earned a Master's degree in their professional training program.
"Arrangiarsi (pizza...and the art of living)" marks Matteo's feature debut as director, cinematographer, producer, editor, writer and "arranger".Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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