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A Conversation with Giosué Bottini, the Director of 'Bird in the Wild' and Nicole Arlyn

Please tell us a little about your family environment, where Gio grew up, and how he became interested in cinema?

Nicole Arlyn: Giosué grew up in Brooklyn until he was 3 then he moved to LA with me (his mom) for the movie business. I am an actress and a writer. His father is a musician who lives in Rome, Italy. The first artistry that emerged from Gio was painting. The paintings he was making from 2 on, there was something special in them, people would buy them, and he had his first art exhibit when he was five. He always watched movies and loved them but the first time I took him to the cinema to see a film he wouldn’t leave the theatre. We went with his Nonno too and we were both amazed that Gio kept telling everyone to be quiet while the movie was playing. He was mesmerized and stayed to the very last credit.

Tell us about Gio’s first film. How did this idea come to him and how much did you help him develop his idea?

Nicole: When the world shut down in March 2020, and there was no more school or anything… Gio and I were just immersed in an extremely creative house. Gio started writing books, poems, song lyrics, and was just together doing creative things! One night about that time he woke me up at four in the morning and said “You’re the best mom in the world but you never got me a filmmaking class!” I said, “Okay I will get you one tomorrow!” He said, “I want to be a director and make movies!” He had only acted in some films before this and been on set with me a few times. The next day I called my friend Tony Kaye the director of American History X and asked him to teach Gio about filmmaking and directing. Tony gave Gio two assignments. First was to watch Lawrence of Arabia (he did that right away) and the next was to take 10 still photos and write about them which he also did the next day! Before Tony had a chance to look over the assignment, Gio was at the kitchen table and wrote the script for “Bird in the Wild” which was originally titled, “A Day in the Forest”. I gave him a call time for the next day, he picked out his costumes, nothing was open at the time so I drove him to the LA Arboretum to film it. I decided I wasn't even going to tell him anything, just let him make the whole movie himself. He brought his script, his props, costumes, and I packed some sandwiches and Gio just placed me where he wanted me to film. Then I showed him a few things on iMovie and he learned it right away. He really made the film to show his friends is all. It wasn’t until another director friend of mine suggested sending it to festivals. That was never even a thought!

Tell us about the production process of this film. To what extent did he play a role in the decisions?

Nicole: Gio made every single decision because again he was just having fun and learning. Being a film person myself I wanted to give him suggestions but I decided to let him learn on his own and it is HIS film, for fun. Even if he made mistakes, or the film wasn't as good as it could be with someone helping him, we never thought anyone other than friends would even see it so I only helped him with the learning how to edit part and filmed it where he told me to stand.

Does Gio plan to go to film school in the future and receive film education?

Nicole: Absolutely. He is definitely learning now in the film school of LIFE by just getting out there with the camera and doing it, writing scripts, and figuring things out. He wants to make movies and music more than anything so of course!

How do you think children are educated in the field of cinema? Are these tutorials helpful enough?

Nicole: Children are educated by just doing things and exploring. Figuring things out on their own is the greatest way to learn. Using their own passion that I believe they are already born with. The rest is just giving them the skills as a platform to help their creativity shine.

Tell us about the role of film festivals in Gio’s movie being watched.

Nicole: The film festivals have been beyond amazing, all-loving, supportive, we still get emails from festivals and look forward to going to more in the future. The best part too is Gio has letters from kids who have seen the movie. They ask the funniest questions and the kids love the character of Wolfie in the film.

Please explain to us why you became interested in cinema?

Gio: I always loved movies and I never could take my eyes off of them. I love watching the actors and the beautiful photography. I love being in those worlds. When the pandemic happened about 4:00 in the morning I told my mom I wanted to make movies so she set me up with a famous director called: Tony Kaye. And before I knew it I had made a movie!!!

What cartoons and movies do you like and what programs do you watch the most?

Gio: I watch all kinds of films but my favorite type is medieval films. I could watch Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit forever. I want to make ancient and period pieces. My mom shows me a lot of classic Hollywood films too and Italian films like Cinema Paradiso.

What were your difficulties in making “Bird in the Wild”?

Gio: The main difficulty was a tractor coming in the shot it was also very loud and all the color contrast and hiding so nobody saw me filming. Also, the bird in the movie really got lost and fell into poison ivy so we had to replace him with another one for the final shot. We searched the whole house for another blue one and we found it! Some people were walking through the places we filmed and we had to wait to get the shots. I looked around and decided where I wanted the camera and put my mom in that position so that was easy. We had so much fun it was some of the best times of our lives.

What do you think is interesting about filmmaking?

Gio: Everything is interesting about filmmaking! Stories are the most interesting things. making my own movies I get to act in them, direct them, write them and the most fun is collaborating with other people which first happened on a film I directed called Window. I love composing music too. I can use all my talents in movies!

What would you like to do in the next step and what film would you like to make?

Gio: My next step is to make a feature. I am already almost done with the script. And guess what! Some of it takes place in Rome! I have a lot of family in Rome and my dad is an amazing musician there. So I am half Italian! Filming in Rome is one of my dreams so I wrote a story that takes place in ancient Rome. I also have a list of all the other movies I want to make soon. I have a 3 movie series too I am working on.

Do you like to play in your next film or use other actors?

Gio: I love to act in all movies and I’ll play in my next film and also I’ll use other actors and actresses. I love every single part of filmmaking.


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