Interview with Coxy Chiara Rodoni, Writer, Director, and Producer of The Imperfect Picture

Copy Edited and Posted by Megan Elias

The Imperfect Picture is a short film about people who feel like outsiders, focusing on human connection in a digital world. Why do you think this is an important topic to show in film today?

I think it’s an important topic to show in film today because we live in an era where we are more and more connected with technology and yet we are disconnecting on a human level. Just walk into a café in the morning or observe people in the street and the majority of them have a phone in their hands and seem lost in it. We spend more and more time on social media or social apps, following and putting likes on the lives of celebrities and influencers and yet we are blind to the lives of people we cross every day in the street. I’ve caught myself doing this as well and it got me thinking. I asked myself: are we still capable of real human connection? And why is there a growing need to try to showcase “perfect” lives on social media, especially amongst the younger generations? This film talks about embracing our imperfections as a way to create authentic human connections. 

You describe the main character, Anna, as “eclectic.” What does that mean to you in the context of the world around her?

Anna is a woman who lives by her own rules: she’s a black sheep, she’s not stereotyped, and she doesn’t follow trends. She’s an average girl who doesn’t have any type of spotlight on her, simple, imperfect, but smart. She’s a dreamer and she compares her life to a roller coaster made of ups and downs and twists and turns. The world around her is lost in virtual reality and doesn’t see her and it’s such a shame because she’s someone very interesting and who has a lot to give.

Anna loves people and their stories. She believes in love. When she’s sad, she escapes reality and dives into her imagination. She lives in a small apartment furnished with vintage memorabilia that represents her inner world. Her best friend is a stuffed frog whom she talks to. People consider her weird but she doesn’t mind, she’s just herself.

The Imperfect Picture has a crowdfunding campaign on Seed & Spark. What will the campaign cover and how can people contribute?  

Yes, we launched the campaign on October 22nd and we have until November 20th to raise the funds that will allow us to produce this film. People can make a contribution on our campaign page. You can either make a free pledge, choose one of our incentives, or check our wishlist and loan us products or services.  The funds raised will cover our production expenses and will allow us to give a fair fee to all the cast and crew involved in this project.

Images from the storyboard of The Imperfect Picture

This is not only a film but a movement, when you make a contribution in any amount you become a wave of an ocean that will impact and inspire other people who feel imperfect, different or invisible to stand out and express themselves without the fear of being judged. 

Putting a creative project on a crowdfunding site can be nerve wracking. Do you have any advice for first-time filmmakers on how to make a project stand out?

Yes, it’s exhausting and exciting and very rewarding at the same time. Crowdfunding requires a lot of work, discipline, and out of the box thinking. It’s a full-time job that starts way before the campaign is launched. My best advice here is to be open, listen, get out of your comfort zone and ask for help. It’s an excellent challenge for any filmmaker. My second advice is to put together the best team ever. Filmmaking is not a one-man or one-woman show. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my team and the incredible talent that each one brings into the game. I like to surround myself with people that are passionate about their craft. My third piece of advice is to create something that speaks to an audience, that people can relate to and take inspiration from. I believe filmmaking is about the world we live in, about society about humanity and again about connecting people.

Your crew features an equal number of men and women behind the camera. Why do you think it’s important to hire a gender-balanced crew and what has it been like working with them?

We are gender-balanced and we have different ages, ethnicities, cultures, and parts of the world with one thing in common: an absolute love and passion for filmmaking. I love this diversity, I think everyone is unique and I consider my team as my family. I learn from them every day and together we’ve always created magic. As for the gender balance, I believe that men and women can do a lot of wonderful things when they join forces and move in the same direction with a goal. 

The poster for The Imperfect Picture. With a pledge of $30, you can have a personalized poster with your own imperfect photo

How do you hope audiences will react to the film?

I hope this film will inspire people to rediscover their authenticity, to embrace their imperfections, and to sometimes put their phones away and make an effort to connect with real people. I hope that it will shine a light on the ones who feel invisible and it will inspire them to share their story. 

And I hope it will make you laugh and cry at the same time.

You wear three different hats for this film: producer, writer, and director. What is you favorite aspect of each role?

I started writing short stories when I was 6 years old with a typewriter for kids my mom bought me. Writing is very cathartic for me and consists of my most authentic and vulnerable moments. Directing is also something that I’ve had in my DNA since my childhood. Ask my cousin and she will tell you the story of how I’d turn the house upside down to create a set and give her a character to play. 

Producing is more a necessity when it comes to my own projects, it always feels like emptying a big puzzle box on a table and having to create the big picture one piece at a time. 

Behind the scenes of The Imperfect Picture

Are there any challenges you’ve faced in filling all of these roles?

There are challenges every day in all of them, luckily I have the support of my team who always has my back! My biggest challenge in writing is to find the right words to express feelings, emotions or circumstances. My biggest challenge as a director is to translate a vision that is in my mind into movement and action and my biggest challenge as a producer is definitely to raise the right budget to bring that vision to life. This project has had an organic growth and development, and I was able to focus on one role at a time. It started with the story and the script, then I built the visuals and created the storyboard, now I’m raising the funds and when we are funded, I’ll just focus on creating a shot list, casting actors, and hand over the rest of the production to my amazing co-producers! 

When do you expect The Imperfect Picture to be complete and how else can people help spread the word about the film?

Our aim is to complete the film beginning of 2020 so that we can then enter the festival circuit and show it to the world. I want this film to come from people and be for people and the best way to spread the word about it is to go to the film’s Seed and Spark page, make a contribution in any amount and share the project with your friends, family and all the imperfect people you know that can relate to this message and want to be part of this movement.    

You can donate to The Imperfect Picture‘s campaign on Seed & Spark, and learn more on the film’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Learn more about Coxy on her profile and website. Learn more about Megan by visiting her profile.