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  • Writer's pictureHakan Öztunalı

Ever Onward w/ Claudio Marino

Ever onward! Please welcome Claudio Marino, producer and creative film director from Sweden. Founder of Artaxfilm, Claudio Marino is a senior film director that forms unusual dimensions and dreamscapes for his clients. Drawn my attention with the beautiful movie production from various music videos and documentaries. Adam the Apostate (Nergal the Heretic - 2020 Documentary), Cold Void (Niklas Kvarforth - 2017 Documentary), Behemoth ( A Forest feat. Niklas Kvarforth - 2020 Music Video), and Priest (Obey - 2019 Music Video) are some of his prominent works linked to the portfolio. And why Claudio has a key significance for me? The work that Claudio reflects are contemplative and have no limitation. It's like an instant cascade that rain on and cause short term paralysis after you testify what he creates.

Claudio Marino
(Courtesy of Claudio Marino & Behemoth)

(Director & Producer: Claudio Marino Production company: Artax Film Cinematographer: Bo Pärletun B-roll: Claudio Marino Lights: Jonas Svensson)

Hello Claudio. Thank you kindly for becoming part of my small realm. Could you please introduce yourself to the audience for further insight?

Claudio Marino: Hello Hakan, first and foremost, thanks for the invitation. I’m Claudio Marino, owner of the video production company Artax Film from Stockholm, Sweden. Our main focus is visual storytelling through music videos and documentaries. Having dabbled in metal music myself, that is the landscape I dwell in the most.

(A short arthouse documentary about mental illness as seen through the eyes of Niklas Kvarforth of Shining.)

Happiness, anger and sorrow. These are some of the senses you enjoy to stimulate. Why do you awake the numb phases of humankind and trigger?

Claudio Marino: Art should make you feel something, whether it’s anger, arousal or disgust doesn't matter. That is what the main goal of art is, and it separates art from handiwork.

If your audience is numb or doesn't connect to your work at all, you as an artist, have failed. I rather have somebody hate my work than just shrug their shoulders at it.

Also, there is a provoker in me that wants to stir shit up from time to time - to have my work act as a slap in the face - as you say, awake, the slumbering masses. People ask me why I dwell in all this darkness, why I don’t do something beautiful. Well to me that is beauty.

What are the key features and responsibilities that a creative film director need to understand depending to your experience?

Claudio Marino: First and foremost you need to know what the artist you are working with wants, both in terms of visuals but also what they want to convey with the piece and their music. What do they stand for, what do they believe in?

Not all artists can, or want to, stand for something thought provoking for instance. Or something to dark. Some of them just want something that looks cool, and that's fine too, but that is something I need to know from the get go.

Then there is the aspect of how to direct someone on set, how to make them feel comfortable performing and have a good atmosphere. And in the case where there is a crew onboard, you need to know they can convey the same feeling and calmness.

Especially if we are talking about documentary making or nudity, then vibe is the key.

If you were the film director of the world we dwell, would you shoot it?

Claudio Marino: Hell yes!

You hold a significant client list; Behemoth, Shining (Niklas Kvarforth), Ghost, Priest and other talented figures. Among those artists which one of them was the most challenging for you to translate the vision?

Claudio Marino: My job is the hardest when the client has a very clear and strict idea of what they want the end result to be. When they see you as a tool to realize their idea, and not as an artist brought onboard to cooperate. Or when there is doubt on set and I get questioned by the artist, their management or thelike.

Luckily for me the majority of my clients have a lot of faith in me and leave me to put my personal mark on the work. Some of them even get me total freedom with the end result. Personally I work the best when the client has a theme and some inputs on ideas that I can start from and then create my own thing out of that.

I think it comes down to me understanding the artists concept and ideas in full, and that's why I’m so comfortable in the metal genre, that said though - I want to step further out of my box and explore more genres and other themes. That is where artists grow.

(Director & Producer: Claudio Marino Director of Photography: Karol Kakomiec Gaffer: Romeo Machala Colorist: Magnus Ellsveden)

About the cover of The Cure’s A Forest, it was utterly beautiful and melancholic. My veins are boiled and I relived the moment when I was first watched the original version. Nergal and Niklas were a great duo and the video was immersive. Could you tell the story behind of the production? How did you contemplate the theme and determine to shoot it?

Claudio Marino: I was asked by Nergal (Behemoth) if I was interested in doing a video for a cover, at the same time I was doing Adam the Apostate, the documentary on him. I said yes, and got to work immediately.

Having worked with Niklas (Shining) before I knew what he was capable of so I wrote the whole script around him. We shot it in the Polish woods for two long and cold days. Apart from Niklas having a mental breakdown on the second day everything went smooth. The Polish crew were very trustworthy and good at their jobs.

Can you easily say that you can demonstrate your full potential due to the censor and regulations in the sector?

Claudio Marino: Definitely not! When working towards YouTube, and social media in general, censor is very much a real thing. Sure you can have your video behind a 18+ wall but then it almost automatically gets shadow-banned.

A good example of this is a video I made for Ordo Rosarius Equilibrio, it’s super hard to find on YouTube and the band got their Facebook account frozen when posting the URL. And the hypocrisy knows no end on Instagram! Sure you can show news clips of dying children or people getting their heads kicked in, but if you even hint at a female (yet we are equal, right?) nipple you get an immediate warning.

And since that platform serves a good purpose for me to showcase my work, I have to kneel to them. I don’t know how many warnings I got through the years - and that’s when following their rules! No, I don’t have a very positive view on the future of free art online.

What is the significance of bringing new ideas to life? Is it for making life possibly easier, or to link a complexity?

Claudio Marino: It might sound like a cliché but - I have to do this. This is my outlet, my way of life. Economics has nothing to do with it, but is sure as hell is a fantastic position to be in, being able to do this full time.

The majority of my waking time I enjoy some kind of art, be it music, literature, a podcast or

a film - and being a creator myself I at least have something to give back to the source of magic.

It was an honor to have you here. Your final comments please.

Claudio Marino: Thanks for having me and supporting my work. Please check out my upcoming documentary, Soul in Flames, about the cult industrial label Cold Meat Industry.


Claudio Marino
(Claudio Marino)

To reach Claudio Marino's official website, tap here: claudiomarino

To reach Claudio Marino's official Instagram page, tap here: @claudiomarino


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