A surreal carousel of perfectly designed images and situations: the directors of Splash! tell how the beautiful video of the song by Colapesce and Dimartino was born, all made in Sicily

Longtime friends, founders of two collectives of video makers, Zavvo Nicolosi and Giovanni Tomaselli have directed the last song by Colapesce Dimartino: Splash!.

The piece won the critics prize in Sanremo.

In our opinion, the video is at the same level and we look forward to February 20 for the release of The spring of our life, with Colapesce and Dimartino and directed by Zavvo Nicolosi.

Watch Splash video !

Splash! is a carousel of surreal frames so well designed that it suggests a relationship between the two directors and the lively Sicilian design scene.

But Giovanni Tomaselli denies it: "We know very little about design, but we are passionate cinephiles and devourers of pop images".

The video of Splash! but it looks like a design manifesto…

Giovanni Tomaselli: “Zavvo Nicolosi and I have known each other for a longtime and we have already shared some projects, such as the video for Appesi alla luna, by Zen Circus. We share the spontaneity ofplanning, the critical professional exchange, the obsession for planning every scenic detail and shots.

Perhaps we share a territory very rich in visual culture with Sicilian design, it is an involuntary influence. Space, buildings and some places inspire us and it is natural for us to imagine them as a background for a video.

Although Sicily is an island there is a great variety of scenarios: the desert and the mountains next to the sea, the baroque palace near the industrial warehouse”.

How the storyboard of Splash was born! ?

Giovanni Tomaselli: “It was, as always, a work in choral. There was a brainstorming phase with Zavvo Nicolosi, where we sketched ideas as we listened and listened to the song.

Not a true narrative trace, but a visual outline, which we then discussed with Colapesce and Dimartino. When the project is outlined, we build the scenes, which may not necessarily interpret the story of the song.

We write a track, but we don't follow it to the centimetre, because in reality there is no narration.

We try to reproduce the atmosphere, the sense of the text. It is a mixture of improvisation and iron organization. Sometimes we come up with seemingly absurd ideas that, once filmed, make sense. It's something that makes us laugh a bit, but it works".

A concrete example of your proceeding for improvisations and inspirations of the moment?

Giovanni Tomaselli: “In the clip of Splash! there is a scene in which a man digs a grave by himself, while a party is going on behind him.

It was inspired by a single image and thinking of reproducing it sounded really complicated, as well as absurd. But it turned out that we could use a relative's land in the countryside as a location, who also had an excavator. It's ultimately one of the strongest and most descriptive scenes in the song."

The lyrics of Splash! talk about the difficulty of responding to social and family expectations. Despite the pop music, it draws a dramatic picture of reality…

Giovanni Tomaselli: “The ability to balance between tragedy and lightness is one of the best qualities of Colapesce and Dimartino, and of Sicilians more generally.

A cheerful, danceable refrain and a slightly comical and light-hearted text. Which, however, forces you to laugh through gritted teeth, because in reality there is a great underlying bitterness".

You made the idea perfectly even in the video…

Giovanni Tomaselli: “I think that living in Sicily without going crazy forces you to adopt a fatalistic attitude that allows you to smile at the most serious things.

A collapsing territory, which survives day after day in spite of everything. We Sicilians are like this: we know the reality of the area well and we constantly complain about it, sometimes even despairing of being able to continue living here.

But if someone dares to speak ill of Sicily, we take offense. Maybe that's why we've learned to look at things with enough detachment to laugh at them.

What I like about working with Zavvo Nicolosi is that our projects never have a single meaning. Nor a precise cultural reference.

We are obsessed with the construction of shots, scenes, something that apparently unites us to Wes Anderson. But in reality cinema has always been like this, especially at the beginning. The silent was made of details, light design, faces and music”.

How many locations did you use for Splash!?

Giovanni Tomaselli: “Countless. We shot each scene in a different place. It was complicated, but we always manage to have fun. There is no real Sicilian film scene: we all know each other. And we like collaboration, exchange.

We choose the actors among our acquaintances, or by searching on Instagram among our contacts for a face that can work. Normally Zavvo and I are also among the performers: in Splash! I'm the carabiniere and when I saw myself I almost didn't recognize myself, I looked like my father.

For Splash! we called only two professional actors: Santa Claus (who is actually the interpreter of Santa Claus by profession) and a model".

What is your cultural background and where did you study?

Giovanni Tomaselli: “Zavvo Nicolosi is a psychiatrist, I have a graduate in Literature. Then we both did specialist studies, but what really matters in cinema is the practice and construction of a profound visual culture.

We watch everything, not just auteur cinema.

We are inspired by comics, video games, fashion videos or advertising. True omnivores. An education made up of apprenticeship and personal culture”.

Cover photo: Backstage, Colapesce Dimartino. Ph. Martina Lombardo