Filming in Naples with Location Manager Andrea Valerio Santarelli
Andrea is a Location Manager working in the southern region of Italy. He works on commercial film productions and photo shoots.
What can you tell me about the region that you cover?
Campania is a region celebrated for its climate, the fertility of the lands and the astonishingly beautiful landscapes. The territory is mostly gentle hills, apart from the Appenini Mountain Chain at the north-east border. The two beautiful gulfs of Naples and Salerno with the Amalfi coast, separated by the Sorrento peninsula, are world-famous for their high cliffs, sandy bays, grottos and islands (Ischia, Procida, Capri). Each view is an enchanting picture-postcard and such a great experience for the senses. It’s the air, the odours of the pine trees, lemons and oranges that the ancients rightly called ‘felix ager’; a happy land.
Rich Roman families built villas and gardens in the beautiful Neapolitan Gulf until the ominous Vesuvius eruption in 89AD buried the Roman cities of Pompei and Ercolanus under lava. After the fall of the roman Empire Campania was alternatively under the Goths and the Byzanthines, then it was conquered by the Lombards who established the Dukedom of Benevento, while Amalfi became a rich independent sea trade centre.
Over the past 900 years the region has survived Norman invasion, been part of the Kingdom of Sicily under the Anjou and Aragonese, then the Spaniards and the Austrians until Charles VII Bourbon became King of Naples in the mid-18th Century.
Locations are urban, Old Classic or modern with skyscrapers, islands with coloured beach clubs, coastal roads and fishing villages.
What locations are most commonly used by film and TV crews?
The Capri Island and the Amalfi Coast with Positano, Amalfi and Ravello are popular, as well as Naples and the Pompeii ruins.
What are the more unusual locations that our readers would not necessarily associate with the region?
The Naples and Salerno Harbours, Piscina Mirabilis and Italsider (an old steel factory that’s now an archaeological site).
Working in the Spanish District in Naples for a Campania Region commercial was a challenge. We had to close an entire area of the most populated and chaotic area of the city.
What has been your most difficult location assignment to date?
Working in the Spanish District in Naples for a Campania Region commercial was a challenge. We had to close an entire area of the most populated and chaotic area of the city. The Island of Capri for D&G Light Blue campaign for a Hugo Boss catalogue shoot also stands out. Everything was done on the water with complex logistics and transportations.
What types of production do you work on most?
I work on everything from fashion shooting through to commercials and films. The last big one was the D&G shoot with director Mario Testino and John Mathieson as Director of Photography. The production company was Milky Way from London.
Are there any tips you can offer our readers about filming in the area?
The easy and quiet souls of local people, with their availability, make possible many things that somewhere else are impossible to realise. There is a big interest from the local administration to send good and nice pictures of the region to the world.
It's often known as the garbage and mafia region, but if Naples has been a European capital, there was a reason. Sun, colours, and mostly the history give the frame a soul and tell a story. This is the reason why all the biggest artists, writers and musicians wrote and felt in love with this place.
Which are the best airports to use to film in your region?
Capodichino Airport in Naples is well connected with all the world’s main cities.
What are the most film-crew-friendly hotels in your region?
The Royal Continental chain is good.
There are usually set costs for Public Liability cover for film units and costs for insuring locations. Can you tell us about location insurance and possibly examples of costs in your region?
Usually here there is no Public Liability, so the insurance is on production costs.
What do you do with your time off and what would you recommend crew and cast do to have fun and relax?
My time off is spent with nature and the sea. I also kite surf and sail. Archaeological areas are well worth a visit and the coastline and island life is dressed by the stunning and almost ‘erotic’ quality of the food.
To contact Andrea please click here.
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