Skip to main content

Filmmaker Spotlight: Director Michele Torbidoni of " La Cosa In Cima Alle Scale"

In celebration of the NewFilmmakers Los Angeles screenings at Sunset Gower Studios this month, we're conducting a series of Q&A Features and this week we're bringing you our featured Filmmaker Spotlight:

Name/Position: Michele Torbidoni (Director)
Film: La Cosa In Cima Alle Scale [The Thing At The Top Of The Stairs]

Tell us a little bit about your project and how long you’ve been working on it.

“La Cosa In Cima Alle Scale” (The Thing At The Top Of The Stairs) is a short movie that refers to some ’80’s mainstream cinema. The kind of movies made popular by Zemeckis, Dante, Donner, Hooper of “Poltergeist”. Movies I grew up with.

My goal was to find an answer to the question: “Is it possible to make movies that feel and look like ‘real genre cinema’ (opposed to ‘indie/intimistic/blurry shorts’) in Italy and out of traditional production network?” We tried very (very) hard to build up an effective production out of nothing while testing ourselves against several tasks: from shooting some very extras-heavy scenes (the restaurant one involved 300 extras), to involve a child actor in one of the key roles, from composing a brand new score that could match the pace of the movie editing, to using complex CGI effect fully integrated in our environments (and make them believable!). It was a though work but we had A LOT of fun while shooting.

Is there anyone you'd like to thank for helping out with this film?

The whole crew and talent group, of course. Yes, it’s an easy answer, but without the “love” that everyone put in this work, I firmly think we could not achieve the kind of results [that we did].

How does it feel to have your film part of the NewFilmmakers Screening at Sunset Gower Studios?

To me it’s a huge honor. Really! It’s important to have this occasion to show our work to “real world” people. I think when you make ‘genre’ movies, you have to put them in a full world competition. What does the world think about your short? Is it good enough?

What inspires you?

Tough question. Maybe it’s easier defining what does not inspire me. I’m not inspired by our day-by-day life. I think I’m not able to (or smart enough to) portray characters living in our world. I want to escape. I’d like to invent situations, or even worlds, that drag away the viewer in a parallel dimension. Just for a couple of hours.

Who are your influences and who do you admire?

“Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. I think I pressed “play” more than 200 times. I watched it in every format, from a 70mm, 6-tracks magnetic audio projection, to badly worn VHS tape, to Blu-Ray, to Betamax. Every picture made by His Majesty Stanley Kubrick (in particular “Barry Lyndon” and “Paths of Glory”), “Poltergeist” and “The Goonies”. I think also that it should be clear to anybody that Paul Thomas Anderson is a non-human demi-god. His “There Will Be Blood” is an astonishing work on light, pace, subtracted-acting and cinemascope framing. In particular the sequence of the burning oil pit it’s something I won’t forget easily.

What lessons have you learned from the industry so far?

To be bold. Making good movies should be based on this rather illogical statement: “You’ll succeed and the movie will be great.” It’s really hard, because you have to fight with your left side of the brain that pushes yelling, “You’re not good enough.” The movies you watch on the silver screen scream [and taunt], “You’ll not ever reach us.” You have to keep pushing the boundaries, the limits. And after long efforts, you could discover that, yes, you really are not good enough but there’s a chance you are really good at making movies. Real ones, the kind of movies that flow people into theatres. Yeah I said it, it’s illogical, but it’s the only way. My two cents, of course.

If you could collaborate with anybody, who would it be?

Aside from the mega-big-names, I’ll be very happy to have a chat with Gavin Rothery (the guy who made VFX for Duncan Jones Moon). It would be great to ask to Robert Zemeckis: “How do you solve the second-act incipit problem? How do you maintain the story into motion after the end of first act?” It would be awesome just to sit on a chair and watch David Fincher work for hours.

What is the toughest experience you've ever had to overcome?

Honestly? Getting money. At the very end, this is the single thing you can’t obtain by hard work. No matter how hard you work, no matter how good your script is, when you are no-one, you have to know how to sell yourself and your project. You have to convince people (or, better, many people) that you won’t screw everything up. You’ll hold from pre to post and make something profitable.

What is the best piece of advice someone has given to you?

Rewrite. The script is the very beginning of anything. There are a gazillion [reasons] to not shoot the movie. You [can’t] fail on the starting block. It has to be pitch-perfect. So just when you think you are done, when you write the word “END,” for the fifth time, then ... take a deep breath, wait a month, and rewrite it.

What advice would you give to new filmmakers starting out in the industry?

Try it, for real. Watch movies, a lot of [them]. Then, start writing something, find people that could help you and step into the real world and shoot. Do it, and do it again. I think this is one [technique] that kind of works and allows you to learn by doing.

Where can we expect to see you next?

I’m completing the script for a sci-fi movie. It will be quite a huge thing, and the first (real) Italian sci-fi production of the late twenty or so years. I’m very excited.

Let our readers know where they can find more information about you and your projects.

If you want to be informed on the short, jump here: , or you can follow the @micheletorbi Twitter stream.

Anything else you'd like to add?

A lot of things but then I’ll fall in boring-zone. So, I can close this fun interview with this: “Hey, producers out there! I’ve got the next cool, well written, (almost) fully planned crowd-gathering sci-fi movie of the year. I know you can’t wait to finance it. So, here I am, let’s have a chat!”

For more information, visit:

About the Author

Formerly an editor at Demand Media, writer at Citysearch, The Examiner, LA Youth Newspaper and proofreader at The Los Angeles Daily News, Christy Buena decided to start Disarray Magazine because she missed writing what she wanted. From hiring writers, to contacting publicists and making assignments, Christy is responsible for the editorial strategy of Disarray Magazine. Get to know the team of talented contributors.
Questions, comments or suggestions?

Popular posts from this blog

2017 EXXXOTICA Expo Dates and Locations Announced

Riding high off its most successful event to date in Edison, New Jersey, the EXXXOTICA Expo presented by MyFreeCams is already looking forward to 2017 with a trio of events planned around the country. In addition to its longstanding shows in Chicago and New Jersey, the show’s producers are pinning a new city on its map — Denver, Colorado for EXXXOTICA Mile High.

EXXXOTICA’s debut in the Rocky Mountains has been in the works for years, and event organizers couldn’t be more excited to bring the show to Denver. The 2017 show schedule kicks off in grand style with EXXXOTICA Mile High, March 31 through April 2, 2017. The show will be taking place as a full hotel takeover at the Crowne Plaza Denver Airport Convention Center.
With nearly 100,000 square feet of exhibition and breakout space, EXXXOTICA Mile High will not only feature hundreds of exhibitors and the top stars in adult, as well as seminars and performers, but the hotel will be transformed into the hottest hotel in the country wi…

EXXXOTICA 2-17 Hits Chicago June 23rd

EXXXOTICA Chicago, the largest event in the USA dedicated to love and sex, opens its doors for the seventh straight year at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont this weekend and thousands of attendees will be treated to a virtual playground for adults, with over 150 adult stars, a convention floor packed with over 100 exhibitors, and over 20 hours of entertainment on the main stage and in the seminar rooms scheduled.

EXXXOTICA, presented by MyFreeCams, will feature the biggest names in the adult world. Legends, stars on the rise and the hottest cam girls will be appearing. Superstars such as Ron Jeremy, Lisa Ann, Tori Black, Katie Morgan, Alexis Texas, Lexi Belle, Allie Haze, Tanya Tate, Evan Stone, Adriana Chechik, Phoenix Marie, Joanna Angel, Rubberdoll, Briana Banks, Teagan Presley, Alexis Monroe, Adria Rae, Mr. Marcus, Misty Stone, Stoya, Kendra Sunderland, Vicki Chase, Mia Malkova, Jillian Janson, Darcie Dolce, Eva Lovia, Harley Dean, Dani Jensen, Natalia Starr, …

CAM4 To Sponsor The Ms. EXXXOTICA 2017 Competition

EXXXOTICA, the nation’s largest event dedicated to love and sex, just announced that webcam portal CAM4 has signed on as a show sponsor for 2017. CAM4 will be sponsoring and presenting one of the expo’s most popular events, as well as one of its newest initiatives for EXXXOTICA Chicago in June and EXXXOTICA New Jersey in November.
Developed as a community with a focus on social networking, CAM4 is much more than a traditional webcam site, and they are now the presenting sponsor of SW!TCH, EXXXOTICA’s LGBT showcase. SW!TCH made its debut at EXXXOTICA New Jersey in 2016 as the show continued its efforts to be completely inclusive. SW!TCH was created as a means for LGBT vendors, talent, and performers to become part of the EXXXOTICA family. SW!TCH will continue to grow in 2017, and with CAM4 as the presenting sponsor, their booth will be the anchor of the showcase that will feature seminars, events, vendors, talent, and broadcasters catering to LGBT attendees.
“CAM4 is extremely excited…

Summer Survival: Pick the Most Breathable Fabrics

Summer is inching closer, and while we're all psyched for the perpetually warm weather ahead after a tough winter, pretty soon it's inevitable that the heat, humidity and summer sun will leave us feeling, well, less than fresh.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breatheable fabrics for the season. Who ever looks at clothing "ingredient" listings on the tag - well, this season think of it as your guide to "cool."


COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements.BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. J…

Exxxotica Los Angeles 2011 - Day 2 Gallery


Exxxotica, "the largest event in the U.S.A. dedicated to love and sex," took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 26th-28th drawing hundreds of fans of all various ages. From middle aged men to college kids, fans got to meet their favorite adult stars, attend seminars, watch go go dancers on stripper poles and ask their favorite stars questions during the on stage panel. Even, Youtube sensation, the "Sexy Sax Man" made a cameo. If you missed out on the event, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with our photo gallery.

If you're wondering how Exxxotica measures up to Adultcon, let's just say that this event was like the E3 of adult expos, with an emphasis on females, relationships and love. Let's not forget that bigger celebrities were in attendance here including the legendary Ron Jeremy, Rockstar Phil Varone and Wicked Pictures stars Stormy Daniels, Kirsten Price, Jessica Drake, Alekt…