In the spotlight with FUJIFILM – With Giulio Meliani

CineD is always looking for a way to connect creators and makers – and, of course, to help filmmakers show their work. That’s why we’ve partnered with FUJIFILM to show our filmmaking community the work done with FUJIFILM cameras. Please meet Giulio Meliani, a Los Angeles-based photographer and filmmaker. “In the Spotlight” is proudly sponsored by FUJIFILM.

Today’s interview features Giulio Meliani, a hybrid storyteller – as he likes to describe himself – who has recently taken a step into the world of fiction. Before you continue reading, please take the time to watch the trailer for Giulio’s latest short film, aionbelow.

Created using the recently released FUJIFILM X-H2S camera, the film explores the relationship between a father and his beloved son, while showing how our strongest memories can turn into powerful ways to travel through time.

Spotlight with FUJIFILM – Giulio Meliani

Last name: Julien Meliani
Currently based at: Los Angeles, California
Spoken languages: English, Brazilian Portuguese
Occupation: Filmmaker & Photographer

Q: How did you get started in our industry?
G: After completing my photography studies in 2010, I started my career as a filmmaker by attending commercial productions in Los Angeles. In 2012, I started my own production company, Joy Per Second, where I focused primarily on commercials, music videos and mini-documentaries as creative director, director and DOP.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

Ongoing assignments:
Aion (short film)

What types of productions do you shoot most often?
I mainly shoot and direct commercials.

What is your dream mission/job in our industry and what are you really passionate about?
I am very passionate about telling stories. While you can always achieve this through commercial work, eventually I’d like to fully focus on narrative stories, like my latest short, aion.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

In the work that you present to us, now that it is finished, what would you have done differently throughout the production?
Although I am quite satisfied with the way aion saw the light of day, with hindsight, I would have liked to have had one more day of production. There were scenes and shots that we had to adapt or just completely cut from the shot list due to limited production days.

That being said, I think every director would love to have more time to film their projects, at least that’s how I feel about most of my creative work.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

What cameras, lenses and audio equipment do you currently use?
Currently my main body is the brand new FUJIFILM X-H2S. For lenses, since I’m also a professional photographer, I can also use most of my X-mount lenses for my movies depending on the project with the ability to use the incredible and reliable autofocus available on FUJIFILM bodies.

I also use the FUJINON MK 18-55mm T2.9 which is fantastic for most of my professional work. For audio, I use the RØDE VideoMic NTG for most run and gun projects, along with the RØDE Wireless Go II and the “old but golden” Zoom H6.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

You have chosen to film your project with the FUJIFILM X-H2S camera. Have you imposed limits on yourself, such as not shooting with a tripod?
For my short, I believe the biggest challenge was shooting a compelling story in one location, which in this case was a single-family home. I could have easily explored different locations to help tell the story, but chose not to. This was definitely the project’s biggest creative limitation.

What is your favorite lighting equipment and why did you choose this kit over other solutions?
For aion short we decided to use ARRI lights, but I strongly believe that LED is the future and I’m a big fan of Aputure lights. I have a few, like the LS 300D and a couple P60cs in my light kit.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

Do you use drones/nacelles in your productions? If so, what is the most efficient way you have found to deploy them?
Although I’m a huge fan of drones and gimbals, we didn’t use them on set for aion.

What editing systems do you use and are you happy working with them?
I started with Final Cut and later migrated to Premiere Pro as I already had Adobe Creative Cloud for my photography needs (Photoshop and Lightroom) so it was a natural decision to make. Although far from perfect, Premiere Pro has been a fairly reliable tool for my editing needs.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

How much of your work do you do in “flat image profile” and what is your preferred method of color correction?
I used to shoot a lot of logs for most of my professional work, but lately I find myself shooting a lot using FUJIFILM’s Eterna cinema film simulation. It still gives me plenty of dynamic range with a fairly “flat” look, but with a great starting point for color grading. The skin tones are gorgeous and it has a movie look that I really enjoy.

Image credit: Giulio Meliani

How often do you travel and do you have any tips for packing your gear?
In recent years, I travel a lot for filming. A few big, a few small gigs, but for any size production I always carry my current main body with me, which in this case is the FUJIFILM X-H2S, a second body (FUJIFILM X-T4), FUJINON zooms for more versatility, a small gimbal and a small audio kit, depending on the production.

A good tripod (never neglect it) and an external monitor (Atomos Ninja V) with my MacBook. Everything fits my Vinta Type-II photography backpack perfectly. Lighting is normally rented for these situations.

Links: FUJIFILM website | “Aion” trailer and behind the scenes | Website and Instagram of Giulio Meliani

Full disclosure: This “In Honor” interview series is sponsored by FUJIFILM.

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