From the small sea town of Bellaria on the coast of Italy, this experimental director made his dream of playing video director back home as a child, into a reality. With an impressive fashion film portfolio, Marco Gradara is making his mark on the Italian fashion scene with his lively vision. His dreamy short films let music and fashion take centre stage in artful compositions and meaningful stories. Marco makes it impossible for his subjects to look bad, and has worked with major fashion brands and big name players.
How did someone from such humble beginnings get to where he is today? By being passionate and admitting his workaholic tendencies. With a penchant for all things art, he began painting and drawing as a child.
“At school, I found out about photography and used my classmates as my models. We shot “fashion” photos and potraits in my garage or in my garden. Then my father got a video camera and it was illuminating for me. I started doing short movies and music videos using friends and families member as a actors.”
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Before he knew it, he decided to study video making in Milan. The golden age of MTV marked the moment of inspiration that ignited a passion in Marco he never knew he had.
“A channel that broadcasted music videos all day... I didn’t even know what music videos were at that time! It was incredible, images with music, dance, rhythm.... I was amazed by it.”
But what keeps Marco inspired until this day? It comes down to absorbing everything.
“Everything can inspire me. Films, music, pictures, friends, moments. Everything around me could be an inspiration. I’m try to keep my eyes wide open in every moment!”
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As a lover of life, and the city of Milan, it must be impossible not to find everything inspiring. Milan, a city of new and old is imprinted with an eclectic night life that Marco appreciates. A fan of low key nights with the best company, and even some Italian grandmas dancing, he lives for La Balera Dell'Ortica.
“Imagine a big room with long tables lining the huge dance floor in the middle. The roof is decorated with light bulbs and bunting. Basically, it’s a place for old people. They go there to enjoy dinner and dance to old and traditional songs, played by very folkloristic bands. But it's so funny that in the last few years, it has become popular with the hip, not just the hip replacements! It's the friendly way that they welcome you and teach you their vintage dance steps that makes you realise the older generation are more than content with their lives. Musically, you go through the old catchy hits and the best “liscio" songs. I'd recommend going there with a group of friends, no expectations and bring whoever you want to have fun and meet people. It’s like hanging around with your long lost family, and you can’t even imagine how much of a scream it is!”
Marco’s love of life and playfulness resonates through into his work. With all playfulness aside, he makes it clear that in order to make it in this industry, you have to be pushy.
“My life's philosophy is to keep doing things, never stop and be as determined and persistent as possible. Be positive and strong especially because this job has constant up and down moments, so you can’t ever be discouraged!”
You can find all of Marco’s work on here and be sure to watch out for what's next from this imaginative director.
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