The Young Pope of Paolo Sorrentino is the first Italian TV series to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. During this year’s edition, which will take place on September 17th, the TV series produced by Wildside – owned by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani – will be among the nominee for two Emmy Award categories: Best Production Design for Ludovica Ferrario, and Outstanding Cinematography for a Limited Series or Movie for Luca Bigazzi.

Despite the meticulous attention to detail, not one single scene of The Young Pope was actually filmed in or around Vatican City. Indeed, the series is a feat of incredible production trickery. The important interiors — including the Sistine Chapel, the Sala Regia, the façades of St Peter’s Basilica and St Mark’s Basilica, and the Vatican Library — were reconstructed as faithfully as possible at the famed Cinecittà Studios in Rome. For this reason the cooperation between Ferrario and Bigazzi was certainly crucial. So much that Bigazzi, who has been working with Sorrentino for 15 years, says that “the choice of the table lamps, of the set lights — the practicals — is a fundamental part of the film’s visual success.”

For the series, that detaches itself from traditional TV filming, Bigazzi worked with fast editing and elaborate camera movements alternated with scenes in which the importance of the dialogues allows a longer and less action-filled framing. He also used extreme wide angles to convey to the spectators the magnificence of the Vatican environments and of the churches, while aiming to achieve a very symmetrical framing where The Young Pope was at the center of the audiences’ gaze.

Ilona Catani Scarlett

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