Tag Archives: RPM Media

LIC filmmaker uses neighborhood as backdrop for fashion-themed movie


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos by Troy Benson

BY ALAN CAPPER

Long Island City residents are used to film and television cameras on the street. Usually they are for network or TV companies who have now discovered LIC.

How exciting, therefore, for one of its own residents to be writing, producing and directing an independent feature film, much of which is being filmed in Long Island City.

Roberto Mitrotti, a television and film producer, has been a resident of LIC for well over a decade. For some years, he has produced and directed a number of travel films, including “The Compulsive Traveler” for CBS Television. His company probably has one of the largest libraries of travel footage held by a private company, RPM Media. His previous feature film involvement was in writing the script for “The Secret Diary of Sigmund Freud” distributed by 20th Century Fox.

Stealing Chanel” is a contemporary story about the coming of age of Giorgio, a young designer, set in the world of New York fashion brands and stores. Born poor and raised in Queens, he believes that fashion can improve people’s lives and wearing the right clothing is the only way to rise above his condition. So he shoplifts as a way to get close and live the magic of fashion.

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When arrested, he has to go through a brutal rehabilitation program with Chanel, an arrogant Park Avenue therapist who is a badly dressed heiress with class issues. As they struggle for control and reluctantly fall for each other, she helps him acknowledge his true talents as a designer and break into the professional fashion world. At the same time he uncovers the softer woman beneath the armor.

Mitrotti has wanted to film in Long Island City since he first moved there from Manhattan.
“When I first saw Long Island City, it made a huge impression on me and I thought it was one of the most photogenic locations in New York—even more now with all the recent developments.”

He has chosen locations like the court in Court Square, the spectacular waterfront, several charming side streets and even factory complexes near the canal.

Mitrotti was invited by designer Dennis Basso to film behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week at Lincoln Center in September.

“It adds an insider dimension of fashion to the background of the film which is all about the fashion world,” he said.

Mitrotti has been fortunate in bringing together a high-profile cast in the key roles. This includes supermodel Carol Alt, a Long Island native who began her career in modeling, appearing on the cover of over 500 magazines in the 80s including Harpers Bazaar and Sports Illustrated.

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In the film, Carol Alt’s character drives around in a spectacular yellow vintage Porsche convertible which was loaned by another LIC city resident, Robert Rogal, owner of auction house RoGallery.

Acting alongside Alt is Adam LaVorgna in the role of Giorgio, best known for his work in “7th Heaven” and “Outside Providence,” supermodel Lydia Hearst in the role of Chanel, Margaret Colin from “Independence Day” and “Gossip Girl,” and John Rothman from “The Devil Wears Prada.”

The film will be released in the fall of 2015.

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Long Island City man captures cultures on film


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of Roberto Mitrotti

ALAN CAPPER

“Human Beings need four things: food, shelter, sex and change. Travel provides the change.”

Roberto Mitrotti makes this observation as he prepares his cameras for his next filming excursion, this time to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, one of the many exciting locations he loves and has filmed often.

He has filmed in over 60 countries, sometimes for governments, sometimes for tourism offices and sometimes for his own company, RPM Media.

Mitrotti, who lives in LIC, admits that sometimes he has seen shocking things in some of the developing nations. Still, he sees the world as a mesmerizing place for nature and culture.

“I have filmed the gathering and mating of 50 million butterflies in the Sierra Madre, hippos frolicking in the early morning sun in Africa and the incredible universe that exists under the ocean, and there is always more to witness,” he said.

Mitrotti was born in Torino, Italy. Painting was his passion then. After winning a Fulbright Scholarship and graduating from Dartmouth, he was offered a job as creative director in a major advertising agency in Athens, Greece. It suited his artistic spirit and allowed him to add a fifth language to the four tongues he already spoke fluently. Painting became a bigger part of his life and he put on exhibitions in Europe, Los Angeles and New York.

As art and fashion go together, Mitrotti opened an upscale fashion business called Madonna, with branches on Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles and in New York, among other cities. He was also the fashion advisor to Michael Mann, creator of the series “Miami Vice” with Don Johnson.

Mitrotti said he “became completely seduced by travel” during this time.

He began discovering new places and cultures and brought the eye of a painter to the video screen to become a filmmaker concentrating on stories about history and people.

At the same time, he became a qualified diver and began filming under the ocean. That eventually became his overriding passion. The clothing stores were sold, and he concentrated on his new career as a travel filmmaker.

“I love filming underwater, a world of total silence and an unbelievable diversity of life,” Mitrotti said. “I have swum with sharks in Polynesia, had all light blocked out by three huge mantra rays swimming towards me, and then over me. I have been chased by a five-foot grouper with very big teeth, which was attracted by the reflection of something I was wearing around my neck. That was disconcerting.”

Mitrotti has made a television series for CBS, “The Compulsive Traveler,” which is the brand name he uses for all his travel filming. His other productions for video distribution include “The Knights of Malta,” “Rock Revolution” and “Where He Walked,” about the travels of Jesus in the holy land. He is currently wrapping up the editing for a series of films about the wine growing regions of Italy commissioned by Italian wine producers.

“It is a labor of love for me,” Mitrotti said.

When asked for travel recommendations, he quickly chose locations that offer “a real travel experience.” These include Morocco (“Marrakesh is magnificent”), Peru (“The food is wonderful and the indigenous people still maintain fantastic traditions”), Kenya (“ A beautiful country and a breathtaking wildlife experience”) and India (“life changing”).

Mitrotti is working on a new feature film called “Fashionista.” He has already made a ten-minute-long promotional video about the project, which he will direct. Much of the shooting was done in Queens and Long Island City.

“There are great locations in Queens and especially Long Island City, and not just shooting the Manhattan skyline,” he said. “Although I am addicted to travel, it is great to live and produce from here, and I intend to stay here. And, of course, it is only 40 minutes from the airport.”

 

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