Exhibition and Sets
The exhibition is divided into three parts, offering an interactive approach to the history of the Studios, with a particular focus on the Italian and International cinema productions and trades.
The visit starts at the entrance, on Via Tuscolana 1055, built in the typical Rationalist architecture of the 30s, which leads to the green area of the facility, where we find the huge and mysterious head of Venusia, a scenic element created by Giantito Burchiellaro for the movie Fellini’s Casanova in 1976. The latest attraction in the green area is the Play Garden, a whimsical installation that forms the word ‘Cinecittà’, allowing children to play with each letter: The sinuous and colorful shapes of the letters match the colors of nature and the surrounding architecture, giving life to an amusing activity.
Why Cinecittà (1937-1943) is the first route of the exhibition, which explores the origin of Cinecittà, from the 30s to the Second World War, the reasons behind its architectural design as well as the personality and influence of Federico Fellini.
Set in the halls of the historic Palazzina Fellini, which once served as the Studios’ Sound Department, and equipped with dubbing and sound mixing rooms, the exhibition hosts three different environments rich with videos, photographs and archives concerning the foundation and construction of the Studios, revealing the detailed designs of Gino Peressutti’s architectural project.
The hall dedicated to Federico Fellini presents unpublished footage, original costumes, drawings and pictures of the filmmaker set up in an enthralling setting. His beloved visionary approach is represented by the metaphysical arches of the Square Colosseum Fellini was so fond of, which is re-created in the hall through symbolic objects based on some of his most famous movies.
SHOOTING IN CINECITTÀ
Shooting in Cinecittà (1943-1990) is the second route and it explores the making of the most important productions that have contributed to the history of cinema and to the legend of Cinecittà.
Inside the Palazzina Presidenziale (Presidential Building), a set has been created to allow visitors to become immersed in the history of great movies and film genres, hear stories and discover fun facts through a selection of images, videos, interviews and original costumes worn by such movie stars as Liz Taylor, Totò, Claudia Cardinale, Richard Burton and many others.
The first scenic setup depicts the rubble of Rome after it was bombed and links the sections dedicated to historical films and propaganda to that of Neorealism, and opens onto the area dedicated to the International cinema of Hollywood on the Tiber, with tributes to such movies as Roman Holiday, Ben-Hur and Cleopatra. The route continues with the legendary costumes of such unforgettable movies as Franco Zeffirelli’s The Taming of the Shrew and Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard. The route ends with a room dedicated to a masterpiece from Leone with a setting inspired by Once Upon a Time in America, in which scenes from Leone’s cult movies are screened all around.
BACKSTAGE – CINECITTÀ’S EDUCATIONAL ROUTE
Backstage – Cinecittà’s Educational Route. This is the third route, which offers a glimpse into the various cinema trades, with six rooms dedicated to film direction, screenwriting, sound editing, costumes and visual effects.
The Director’s Room is recreated as an art-house studio where the public is inspired to discover the imaginative talent of six prominent directors, from Lina Wertmüller to Martin Scorsese, through their books, objects, photographs and personal items.
The Script Room presents the process of transposing words into moving pictures, and displays excerpts of screenplays, storyboards and film sequences.
The Sound Room unveils fun facts and anecdotes about the transition from silent films to sound films and lets visitors play with the dubbing process.
The Costume Room allows its visitors to virtually construct a costume, matching garments, accessories and wigs based on well-known movies.
The Fiction Room goes behind the scenes of cinematic fiction through words, images, videos, early special effects, set reconstructions at Cinecittà and the make-up effects that can completely transform the face of an actor.
The Green Screen Room introduces one of the best-known effects of contemporary cinema: The Green Screen, the digital chroma key technology which sets people and objects against a virtual background.
The route ends with the entrance into the submarine from the movie U-571 directed by Jonathan Mostow, where visitors are totally immersed in a real film set.
Cinecittà includes 19 indoor sound stages and a number of outdoor sets that from time to time undergo different setups according to the needs of the ongoing film and TV productions. Three large permanent sets can be toured every day with specialized guides.
The set of Ancient Rome – built for the HBO TV series Rome – is one of the largest sets at Cinecittà and covers almost ten acres.
It presents the classic civil and religious buildings of the Roman Forum. The supporting structures are covered with wooden panels and fiberglass plates. The monumental set is characterized by a striking mix of colors: The bold hues of red, blue and green, along with the vibrant décor, help visitors visualize what the now whitened ruins actually looked like in the days of the Roman Republic.
Some of the major productions hosted on this set: Rome (HBO TV series), the 2015 Victoria’s Secret commercial, the Smart commercial, The Borgias (TV series), a performance by the British band Coldplay, the making of Ligabue’s videoclip for the song Per Sempre.
TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM
To create the Temple, the designer did not adhere to a strictly philological approach, in fact he opted for broad creative freedom, combining different styles, influences and architectures, and drawing inspiration from Babylonian, Assyrian and Northern Yemenite edifices.
The fiberglass structure presents materials, decorations and shapes which provide an extremely realistic effect; designers and sculptors strived to achieve the closest resemblance to the original buildings, through stone casts and molds
FLORENCE IN 1400
Afterwards, the set was adapted for other shoots. In 2010 the church façade was modified to match the typical Tuscan architectural style of the 15th century, for the filming of Neri Parenti’s Amici Miei – Come Tutto ebbe Inizio, the prequel of the cult-movie Amici Miei directed by Mario Monicelli.
In 2012, the set was partially re-adapted to recreate the city of Verona for Carlo Carlei’s Romeo and Juliet, with Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, and Hailee Steinfeld.
The set underwent another change in 2015 for the movie The Young Messiah with a portion transformed into a landscape of the time of Jesus.