Gabriele Fabbro

Fabulous People: Gabriele Fabbro

Gabriele Fabbro is an Italian-born, Burbank-based film director whose first feature, “The Grand Bolero,” was just released on Amazon and in competition for the 2023 David di Donatello (Italy’s equivalent to the Oscars). “I started directing films professionally in 2015. I’ve directed anything from commercials to music videos, shorts, documentaries, and now I’m transitioning to feature films.” Learn about Gabriele Fabbro…

Hometown: I was born in Milan, Italy, and now reside in Burbank, CA.

First job: I started as a video editor.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: Definitely spending time with friends and going to the beach. I love nature, and I know I can’t stay away too long from it. So any time I can, I sneak out to Santa Monica, Venice, Hermosa Beach or Malibu.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Definitely having pulled off my first feature film during the pandemic lockdown in Italy (the worst condition ever to be making your first big step). It has been such an incredible learning experience that changed the way I perceive movies. While making short content, I’ve always been dictated by the screen time. I had to find the quickest way possible to get the points across. Working on my first feature, I experienced the opposite. Screen time was dictated by feelings. A shift I always thrived for but never had the chance to practice.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: I still struggle with this sometimes. I freelance, so you never feel in a “stable” position. You’re always looking for the next project and that gets tense sometimes as you never know if you’re gonna have enough jobs to pay rent at the end of the month. Things are getting better now, thanks to my feature, but there was a time, especially at the very beginning, when things were quite “hectic.”

Someone who inspires you and why: Ennio Morricone. He’s one of the most humble and devoted storytellers who ever existed. He was such a clever and acculturate mind that never bent to reach fame or success. He devoted his life and his work only to make his scores better. He never believed in chances, improvisation and all those “artist’s fake beliefs.” For him, everything in the art is a result of a deep research. Everything you put on the page has to be meticulously planned in order to make you feel a specific emotion.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Please, stop thinking about spectacular visual effects, fight sequences and all those Marvel bull***t. That’s an insult to cinema. If you want to direct, concentrate on who you are and where you come from. It’s so easy these days to desperately try to impress the audience with fancy visual fireworks. Cinema is not that! Cinema is the diary of your life (memories, fantasies, wishes, camouflaged into characters and scenes). Also, you must love with an insane passion everything you put on that screen. At the core, the audience is just looking for love and if the filmmaker loves what’s on screen, the audience will fall for it as well.

Favorite quote: “We think too much and we feel too little.” –-Charlie Chaplin

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I listen to music more than I watch movies.

What makes someone fabulous: The courage to be yourself and help others find themselves.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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