Our community of innovators is a broad group of creatives, artists and tech visionaries, who are imagining and making exciting new products, services and experiences together.
FuseBox resident Marisa Zanotti is one of them. BAFTA-nominated Marisa is a talented filmmaker with an extensive background in performance choreography, writing, theatre and installation design.
Marisa’s recent activity includes ‘Dancing With the Birds’, her debut work at the world-famous Brighton Dome, and a video projection for the Scarabeus Aerial Theatre production, ‘Emerging’ at The Lowry, in Manchester.
Marisa is also the co-founder of Glitch Projects. Glitch Projects is a collection of cross-disciplinary works including the online exhibition ‘Glitch/Giselle’ and an upcoming documentary, ‘A House for New England’, about New England House, the home of the FuseBox.
Marisa recently gave a Talking Tech session at the FuseBox on filmmaking and video design. After listening to Marisa’s take on the industry and her latest projects, Emily Clements caught up with Marisa to learn a bit more about who she is as a creative and individual.
Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your background?
I’m a filmmaker and videographer, I was born in Glasgow, I’m an Italian-Scot, my dad had a cafe and I'm bi-lingual. I originally trained and worked as a dancer and choreographer. I then worked in a new writing theatre collaborating with many directors including Vicky Featherstone and John Tiffany, in plays by writers including Abi Morgan, Stephen Greenhorn and David Greig. I learned a lot about the development of scripts as they were written and then produced.
I did a bunch of different jobs including working for three years with young people in a youth theatre in what was then one of the financially deprived areas of Europe. This was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about young people’s resilience as well as the importance of the arts and community centres as places that have multiple functions. I was also an academic for a while before moving my practice to filmmaking in 2000.
Tell me about the projects you've been working on?
This year I’ve been doing more work as a videographer and director in documentary and projection-design. I’ve really enjoyed making a documentary about New England House alongside my collaborator Alex Morrison, it’s called A House for New England. I’ve also done projection design for Magnetic North’s We Will Hear the Angels Sing and I directed my first multi-camera shoot of a live show. I’m also currently working on a new video design for Emerging by Scarabeus Aerial Productions which are an aerial dance company.
Stills from the ‘A House for New England’ documentary on New England House, Brighton
The past year has presented a lot of challenges, has that changed the way you've approached anything?
Yes and no: I’ve chosen to work more locally than I did before and I’ve also had some great remote collaborations. I definitely travel less now. I still like working with a crew but I self-shoot much more today and I like being able to offer that as an option, particularly to smaller organisations and individuals that it feels right for. I started producing hybrid work in 2012 as I felt really comfortable creating for different platforms.
In 2019, I left a job and decided to go freelance. In 2020, I worked with Cogapp in the development of a large scale website and that collaboration has been formative in relation to what I‘m doing now.
After a bit of work drought in 2021, I’m a lot less shy about talking to people about what I do. I’ve always been socially conscious but I guess it’s obvious to say that I feel I’ve (we) have got to keep re-thinking how we approach everything - from how we work to how we live in the world. I’m still working it out to be honest, my mind is still blown and in some ways I’m trying to hang onto the heightened sense of what was important - that felt very immediate back in 2020.
How long have you been a FuseBox resident and how has being a FuseBox resident benefited you?
I’ve been a resident since October 2021. I really like being in a place where people are building such different kinds of things, from Action Ai and their banking app to the work by the social enterprise, Shabaka.
It’s good to see the day-to-day evolution of great things being made through testing. The conversations I have with people outside my field make me look at what I do in new ways.
What are your future plans with the projects you have created?
The New England House documentary is commissioned by Brighton and Hove City Council as a way of understanding the community in the building. I’m looking forward to finding out how the film works in that context. I’m developing some video projections for outdoor spaces, so I’m going to spend a bit of time working on those for a showreel early next year. I’ve also done some video design for a picture for an online opera, Go Well Ahead by the composer Matthew Whiteside and Helena Grøn, so I’m hoping that gets commissioned for 2023/24.
Find out more about Marisa and the compelling projects she has been working on here.
If you’re interested in becoming part of the eclectic and exciting FuseBox community as a resident yourself, contact us today to book your own personalised tour.