Shining Eyes

with Benjamin Messina

Benjamin Messina is a camera operator and editor who caught many eyes — from Street Art and video supporters to common people — with his Street Art Rome, by using Hyperlapse and producing music by himself…

Now, our intention is just to understand if you’re an alien or what?

Ah. No, I’m not an alien! The whole idea was very spontaneous. I was in Rome for 6 weeks and wanted to return with at least one small video/music project. Then I was reading about the Street Art scene and I thought “cool why not make a documentary about it?”
But for a documentary I needed more time to run a real search and find a focus on the subject. So I decided to visit the locations with the help of an app and started shooting. I never really did Hyperlapse photography and I thought that could be a nice oppurtunity to try. I shot 3 days photos and videos in a very tight time schedule. The post-production took around two weeks. I had to stabilize a lot of the shots manually. I made several music tracks and experimented with some sounds. My equipment for that project fits all in my backpack, a GH2, 3 lenses, mini tripod and a slider.

Shining Eyes_Dioniso Punk_5

What’s the reason why you choose to live part of your own life through a camera?

I don’t really know why I choose it. There are many creative ways to express yourself. But using the camera means a direct contact to nature and people.
I like also that it’s a mix between a physical and conceptual way to tell storys or create art.

The most terrifying fact about the universe is not that it is hostile but that it is indifferent. But if we can come to terms with this indifference, then our existence as a species can have genuine meaning. However vast the darkness, we must supply our own light

Stanley Kubrick

Have you ever deal with this kind of questions?

Wow, what a question! Never heard this quote, but I agree. Every one can supply a small light which can light up a corner in this universe. I think that making what you really love is the key for a powerful light.

Benjamin in Rome Photo

How important is the quality of the equipment for being a full-fledged videomaker?

That really depends on what you want to achieve. Finally I realised that always having the newest equipment doesn’t mean you are creating something better or new. It’s the idea and the concept which is more important. Of course I like following the market of new cameras. It gets more and more easier for a low budget to create a high quality video. But you can also shoot a great movie with a 10 years old camera.

What really matters is to follow and shot the fashions in a universally recognisable way or just devoting yourself to your message?

I think it’s a mix of both. There are so many good videos online. I think you have to find a recognisable way to tell your story, the audience nowadays gets to see a lot of pictures and videos that you have to find a way to suprise them.

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“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, quote from Shining by Stanley KubricK:

True. I always want to do a lot and have different ideas, but there are often moments where I get stuck. As soon as I give myself a break, everything happens by itself and comes more easy and natural.

Do you have your magic memory to film, one day?

I have different ideas I want to realise, for sure directing a movie would be amazing, but for now I would like to make a music video to my own tracks.

One of your best-loved movie sequences:

I have no one in particular, I always forget them or they change. But I love this one, from Drive: “There’s a hundred-thousand streets in this city. You don’t need to know the route. You give me a time and a place, I give you a five minute window. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours”.


Peace / Eduardo Kobra


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