Wishing Well…Roma Style Cinematography- From the moment wheels were down… my recent trip to Rome was nothing short of a massive assault on my senses. The sights of ancient Roman architecture, the sounds of a beautiful romantic language and the street buzz of the Vespa scooter, the smell of Italian food wafting from every charming stone path alleyway and the unforgettable taste of creamy Gelato.
This city is truly a photographer’s dream come true. So I had to soak in all the well known tourist attractions while I was there, including the Spanish Steps, the Forum, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Vatican, Pompei and all the famous piazzas. Man, did I do some walking! Good thing for my comfy Merrill clogs! But my fondest memory of Rome had to be its most famous fountain. I left my heart at Trevi.
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Three Coins in The Fountain” or heard any of the songs by the same name, then you are already familiar with Trevi Fountain or Fontana di Trevi in Italian. It’s one of the most popular fountains in the world and a favorite tourist attraction in the ancient city of Rome. As soon as I arrived here I observed the expressions and personalities on each of the faces as people made their wishes and tossed a coin into the shallow water behind them. Legend has it that if you toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the fountain, you will return to Rome. There are other versions of this myth promising that two coins tossed will lead to new romance and a third coin will lead to marriage. From my observations, most just wanted their photo taken with a coin in their hand, action frozen in mid-toss. So… I did my duty as any good photog would and asked some of these tourists, friends and lovers if they wanted me to take a photo for them together throwing their coins. After noticing the interesting expressions revealed with each toss: excitement, shyness, clumsiness, euphoria and hope, I knew I wanted to shoot some moving pictures at 60 fps and use slow motion in post production to really demonstrate what I was witnessing. That’s how this short film was born. It was a rainy day so there were lots of colorful umbrellas in this piece and even though I color graded it using Magic Bullet Looks to emulate an old movie, I left just enough color to make the umbrellas pop a bit.
It’s estimated that up to 3,000 euros are tossed into Trevi Fountain each day, some of which is given to charity. There are also lots of thieves who try to pluck coins from the water with homemade grasping devices, waiting to make their moves – eyes darting wildly – whenever the Polizia step away for a moment. That would make a great mini-doc… if I don’t get hurt trying to shoot it!
So next time you’re in Rome… do as the Roman tourists do: close your eyes, make a wish… and toss that coin. Enjoy the film!
Director/Editor: Rick Macomber
Assistant Director: Nora Raza’ai
Camera: Canon T2i
Lens: Tamron 17-50mm f2.8
Cutting Tool: FCP
Soundtrack: Dinah Washington “Three Coins in The Fountain”