Multiple Oscar winner Dante Ferretti is on the Lido today, taking time from the London set of Martin Scorsese’s 3D project, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret,” to tubthump “Dante Ferretti: Production Designer,” a doc about his career screening out of competition here.
Both he and Scorsese are working in 3D for the first time, but “for me it’s not that different,” he said. “You do have to pay more attention to certain details; but, after all, life is three-dimensional. What changes with 3D is just how a movie is shot.”
Ferretti, who debuted as an assistant set designer on Pier Paolo Pasolini’s “Il Vangelo secondo Matteo” (1964), has worked with a who’s who of Italian cinema, including Elio Petri, Marco Bellocchio, Marco Ferreri and Franco Zeffirelli. His work with Terry Gilliam on the Cinecitta-shot “The Adventures of Baron Munchausen” in 1988 was his ticket to gigs with other American directors, specifically Scorsese, with whom Ferretti has collaborated on eight movies.
He’s also won Oscars for Scorsese’s “The Aviator” and Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” both in tandem with set decorator Francesca Lo Schiavo, who is his wife.
“Dante” doc’s helmer Gianfranco Giagni said one thing that stands out about Ferretti is how he prepares for a film.
“Nobody does sketches and models like Dante,” he said. “Not just in terms of quality; but also in terms of size.
“He has worked with all types of budgets — on a shoestring with Pasolini, and huge on Scorsese’s ‘Gangs of New York.’
“He’s very versatile,” said Giagni.
But don’t ask Ferretti what movies stand out in his mind among the myriad that he has worked on.
When asked that question he always answers “the next one.”
As for his goals, “I just want to keep going, working on great movies.”
“Dante Ferretti: Production Designer” is an RAI Cinema, NBC Universal and Cinecitta Luce production. It will air on NBC U in Italy.