Julian Vincent Costanzo: “The filming is placing the muscles and organs and post production is the skin”
Monday, January 22nd, 2007
At the young age of 7, Julian Vincent Costanzo caught the filmmaking bug when he toured the Warner Bros Studios on the Gold Coast. Today, Costanzo, 25, has several films to his credit including one feature, five short films, three television pilots and one award-winning television series.
Born and raised in Perth, Australia, Costanzo recently made a move to Australia’s East Coast and now resides in Melbourne, Victoria where he has just finished directing his third award-winning season of Fusion Latina. He is also currently pitching Love is a Square, as a TV Drama to the networks.
Costanzo received his formal education in the business at Edith Cowan University in Perth where he earned a Bachelor of Communications. “The most important thing I learned was that the best way to learn is to experiment,” said Costanzo of film school. “I found a lot of difference between film school and the actual industry, only because much of the industry is constantly evolving.”
While Costanzo enjoys many aspects of the filmmaking process, directing is his true passion. “Being able to follow a story and help guide the structure and growth of different characters and plotlines, being able to weave those plotlines, and show them with stunning images, it is a dream come true for me.”
In addition to his high school media teacher, jenny Pappinaue, Costanzo has been inspired by many of today’s great filmmakers including Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg and Tim Burton. “Mel Brooks for his comedy, Spielberg for his ability to show such epic images, and Tim Burton because his world is a magical fantasy,” explained Costanzo.
As with all filmmakers, Costanzo is in constant battle with his budget. Sound has been an issue in the past, but Costanzo said that things continue to get better as time goes on and he is able to increase the budget for better sound people. Money has also limited him in what types of equipment he has been able to use. Costanzo says that he hasn’t been able to work with film yet but is hopeful that he will be able to in the near future. Currently he works in HD and uses Final Cut Pro software, which is his favorite.
Budgeting has also been a concern when it comes to seeing project through to their completion. “Usually my projects don’t spend long in pre-production, they are shot on a tight schedule, but then take ages in post because we run out of money,” he said. “Post production has always been the thorn in my side. Love is a Square took three months to pre-produce, five days to shoot and one year to get it to its premier.”
But even though it’s a concern, money hasn’t slowed Costanzo down much. He is currently developing a new Australian drama series that is being considered by the networks and has a large budget feature film coming up in the near future.
Costanzo explains the art of directing films as a process where the outcome is never quite clear. “The script is only a blue-print, like a human skeleton if you like,” said Costanzo. “The filming is placing the muscles and organs and post production is the skin. And just like a human being, a film is never perfect, it just gets to the point where one says, ‘This is me, love it or leave it.’”
Costanzo just wrapped up shooting on Grey Days, one of a slate of six short films his company, Eidolon Creative Industries, has planned for the year. He also been attached to direct a major Australian and American co-production called Treason in 2008.