G: Let’s set the tone of this interview according to the interviewee and let’s go all impolite on him. I guess you gotta introduce yourself at this point and I’m gonna take a piss whilst you do that.
L: Ahaha! Best introductory question ever! I’ve had the chance to interview around 300 people in my life and never had the balls to start an interview this way!… So, I am a human being and I believe in the power of storytelling. I’ve worked pretty much in every media related industry from TV, to advertising, to movies to tech to music blah blah blah… then I just put them all together and started working on a new exciting thing that I decided to call Impolite.
Well as I always say… if you’re gonna break some ice, first piss on it. You are one beautiful human being, that’s for sure. Impolite is directly related to the inseparable connection between production and advertising, I suppose.
Production, advertising, storytelling, creativity, movie-making, tech… everything!
Truedat. I remember you directed a movie AND also managed the whole promotion of it. You wanna tell me a little bit about that? What was the movie called? Let’s see if I can google faster than you think. Right! Fking amazing, yes.
Fking amazing, yes! Man, it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. We traveled around the world for 2 years interviewing the most influential entrepreneurs, investors, politicians, journalists and dreamers in general because we wanted to know what was going on thanks to the tech revolution and whether it’s possible to create something amazing from NOTHING. We produced it in a very innovative way and premiered during Berlinale, 2016, connecting the movie scene and the tech industry. We also started promoting it as a real brand without going through classical distribution shit, and we are still presenting it all around the world.
Hacking the Berlinale was a great idea, I have to give you that. I know people that cancelled on Hail Caesar! for your movie. I wanna talk about this “starting from nothing” a bit. Can you give us an example? What was the story that touched you the most?
First, we all know that Hail Caesar! was a pretty bad movie in any case.
Oh, there are definitely a couple of cool stories that I loved. Like Gunther Holtorf, the greatest traveler of all time, traveling around the world for 26 years and visiting every possible country. Or Chino, the Filipino tech-entrepreneur starting his business from a remote island 24 hours away from Manila, in order to escape the civil war. To the story of Bill Tai, legendary Silicon Valley based VC, who was mining bitcoins using light bulbs! I saw a pattern between all of the 220 people and I wanted to put them together. The red line was the story of one of the craziest entrepreneurs I’ve ever met, Honor Gunday.
I don’t care if this makes it into the interview: “mining bitcoins using light bulbs” — What. The. Fuck. Also, you wouldn’t believe the reach of Honor. Even I had a couple of emails back and forth with him at some point.
Yeah! Bill is one of my role models! I love him! And Honor is EVERYWHERE!
Bringing people together is something I’ve constantly seen you do. Now you’re bringing some really capable people together to do something else that also starts from nothing. What is this “Impolite”?
Yes, I think that this is the most important thing in whatever we do. We are the people we have around us in the end, right?
I had the best years in Berlin with your entourage Mr. I-am-the-walrus.
Ahah, yeah! Well, after my experience as the Managing Director for Germany in an advertising company called Smallfish, I just wanted to get together with my people and give them something unique: a sort of club for the most talented media people, storytellers and international producers that I’ve worked with during the last 11 years. So yeah, I created Impolite. At the moment, we are a team of 15 people and companies. We are located around Europe and we have our base in Berlin (the place to be).
Sounds like a record label, a troupe to me. I’m interested in this “storytelling” part a lot. Somehow, everything in humanity comes down to the narrative, right? How do these people who you brought together make things matter more?
It is definitely a troupe. It would be too cliché to say that this is “a family”… Too hipster.
Lorenzo. I’m sorry to break this to you. You are a hipster god.
It’s meta hipster though. so it’s cool.
Ahaha! I don’t have the big beard though… for now…
Hahahaha, enough jokes, answer the damn question.
Stories are the way we make our life a little bit more magical, interesting. We have the platforms to share them, we are directly connected to the distribution channels and actually we grew up together with those channels, we are the digital generation. So put together 15 professionals who are each telling stories with their own language, social media, design, movies, advertising, music, photography etc. and the results will be very exciting.
I would assume so. There’s something recursive about telling stories. The more you actually enjoy doing it, the better it gets. Why do you tell them?
Man… I LOVE money so much.
Yeah, right! Well, primarily for myself and for directors, designers, musicians, artists who want to say something. Then for brands and producers who need to engage with an audience.
Primarily for yourself, I like that. Let’s think in stories: Lorenzo is in his comfort zone, but Lorenzo wants something. Lorenzo starts Impolite and begins his “adventure”. Lorenzo gets what he wants but pays a big price for it. What do you want and what is the price you’ll pay for it?
I really want to go on engaging with more brave brands in order to create content that my team and I are proud to produce. I want to make money with that and, at some point, I want to be able to create movies leveraging on branding strategies of international companies. I want to consult companies and individuals on how to communicate their brand in the best way possible. The price to pay is the usual doors slammed in your face and sometimes brands not really understanding the concept. But it’s normal and I actually function very well under pressure when facing obstacles.
Can we say that you want to facilitate “a proper introduction”?
What do you mean?
I see you getting stimulated by this whole “putting people/ things together” concept. Isn’t advertising a kind of introduction made by advertisers? “Bob, this is SnapJob. SnapJob, this is Bob. Love each other.”
Definitely. The only difference is that now SnapJob will need to engage with Bob and his circle of friends. They will have specific characteristics and demand specific content. SnapJob doesn’t need to introduce itself to Bob only, it needs to create a community around the brand by proposing and creating valuable stuff, and a lot of it! So what we do is understand the message of SnapJob and create consistent storytelling for the final product which is ready to be shared on the selected platform.
Do you have any actual SnapJob’s in your portfolio already?
Name dropping time?
We count names like Hellofresh, Delivery Hero, Skoda, VolksWagen, Samsung, Audi, Zalando, Nissan, Airbus, Adidas, Nike, Conrad, Vevo and so on! Bam!
This is me right now:
Hell yeah! this is me right now:
I love living in 2018. So do you have an office or are you all a bunch of nomads that live in the “clouuuuuud”?
We are proudly going to be located in the FilmTech Office in Berlin, founded by my dear friend Erwin Schmidt together with Gian-Piero Ringel, Wim Wenders Oscar-nominated producers. We are going to create some amazing stuff together. The rest of the team is nomadic and located between Kiev, Milan, Madrid, Barcelona, London and Paris.
I’mma come over soon. Before we finish this I have to ask, kind of hijacking the interview:
Advertising has always been about the brands and the free market etc. but also about the people who do advertising. I sense this self-worshipping feel to advertisers because it’s impossible not to be that person if you’re that smart and creative. You’re a dear friend and a cool dude but tell me, Lorenzo, what brings you back down to earth when you start feeling “Fking Amazing”?
Advertising has a lot of negative connotations! But whatever message you create and you get paid for, is advertising. And it’s good, ’cause otherwise you wouldn’t be able to come up with amazing products like this S7 commercial, directed by Salomon Ligthelm, or this Ford Commercial directed by Toby Dye, or this Audi.
Advertisers are sometimes full of themselves, yes, as is every artist. We are living in an historical moment when the message has to evolve into something valuable, into stories that you listen to or watch because they are adding value to your life and I think that advertisers will need to be much more focused on this (as well as brands). I really want to be part of this revolution and very humbly wish to create amazing content to help engage with communities and put together stunning branding experiences. This can be the end of my political campaign speech. Or something that I would say instead of an “I want peace in the world”.
Sounds like “I want a piece of the world” to me.
Hah! Somehow, yes!
And you deserve that piece as big as the stories you tell, no matter who you tell it for. This has been lovely Lorenzo, thanks for the opportunity. Any last words?
Thanks a lot, Güven! Thanks for the nice words. Now it’s my turn to take a piss. Tschüssi!
Want to work with an agency with personality?
You can contact Lorenzo via email@example.com
We are a house of movie production professionals and digital media innovators working with brave brands and influencers to create unique video experiences.