Newsletter

Finding Hollywood in Vienna: Local Indie Filmmaker Fulfills Dreams with Debut Movie

After a decade of working day jobs in fields like risk management and travel insurance, Vienna filmmaker Giuseppe Lucarelli, 40, is hitting a career milestone with the release of his first film on Blu-ray and DVD today.

Checkmate, originally titled Bystander, is currently available on Amazon and Google Play. Last year, the film screened at the Action on Film Mega Fest in Las Vegas, where it won Best Editing, and the Hollywood Dreams International Film Festival, receiving nine award nominations between the two festivals.

Lucarelli also submitted a short, Malanak, at the two festivals that received a collective seven nominations, winning Best Title and Best Graphics at the Hollywood Dreams International Festival.

Lucarelli says he is excited to see his first film available in stores.

“Getting distribution was our goal,” Lucarelli said. “We were so excited when Indie Rights partnered with us to distribute our film. It’s a true accomplishment, and to do it with my very first film, it feels great.  It’s exciting that it will be available in stores around the country.”

Though he still has a day job as a real estate agent for Weichert Realty in Vienna, Lucarelli has accrued an impressive range of skills and experience as a filmmaker.

In addition to writing, producing, directing, editing, and sometimes acting, he is the founder and owner of Mountain Wind Productions. The company has produced two independent films, including Checkmate and The First Seal, as well as small commercials for local companies.

Lucarelli is an alumnus of West Virginia University where he received a Bachelor of Science in exercise physiology in 2002 and Master of Science in industrial relations and rehabilitation counseling in 2006.

Lucarelli took acting classes while attending West Virginia University, but it wasn’t until he was working in risk management with Liberty Mutual in 2007 that he began learning the business side of film during his free time.

“What I was doing was basically getting paid for education,” Lucarelli explained. “I was sitting there watching the crews, the big crews, learning what they were doing right, especially from a structural standpoint, what they were doing doing poorly,  learning the ropes that way.”

In 2009, Lucarelli returned to West Virginia University, where he accepted a teaching position as a visiting instructor and pursued a Master of Business Administration. After obtaining his MBA in 2013, Lucarelli bought an LLC for Mountain Wind Productions.

After college, Lucarelli worked full-time for Travelers Insurance and part-time for Mountain Wind Productions. He left Travelers in 2016 and began working with his production company full-time.

Lucarelli compares being an independent filmmaker to being a soccer coach.

“So much of the coaching is done before the game that once they’re out there, the players have to go,” Lucarelli said. “You can yell and bark, but players have to make the decision. So, 80% of the directing is done in pre-production. I talk with my actors a lot. I’m very engaged, but I feel like if everybody’s having a good time, they’ll put their best foot forward.”

Lucarelli says he enjoys being an independent filmmaker in Northern Virginia because of the large talent base, especially those he’s interacted with through Women in Film & Video of Washington, D.C., a nonprofit that provides support and resources to media professionals. He serves as an at-large member on the organization’s board of directors.

“We have a lot of accomplished documentarians and filmmakers in the area,” Lucarelli said. “…[Women in Film & Video] is just a wonderful organization, and we do a lot of great things for members ranging from students to very, very, very accomplished people. It’s a great network, it’s been nice to be a part of, and [I’ve] found a lot of very good people in there.”

When it comes to advice for aspiring independent filmmakers, Lucarelli suggests taking classes and learning the business side of the movie industry.

“Having an understanding of business is a really important thing,” he said.

Photo courtesy Guiseppe Lucarelli

Recent Stories

Live Fairfax is a bi-weekly column exploring Fairfax County. This recurring column is sponsored and written by Sharmane Medaris of McEnearney Associates. Questions? Reach Sharmane at 813-504-4479. There are so many fun things…

Shipgarten’s Thanksgiving Barks & Brews Festival is coming this Saturday (via Shipgarten/Instagram) People will be talking about Bruno at Shipgarten in Tysons this Thanksgiving weekend. Characters from the Disney movie…

This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better. November — a month containing both Veterans Day and Thanksgiving…

Curative will operate COVID-19 testing mobile labs at six sites in Fairfax County (courtesy Fairfax County Health Department) Curative is set to shut down all of its public COVID-19 testing…

Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.

He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.

Read More

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

The Rhea Baker State Farm Agency is proud to support Shelter House in providing safe places to be during quarantine. Shelter House’s mission is to prevent and end homelessness and domestic violence. Right now they are providing over 200 hotel rooms to those in need in our community. In the past year, across all programs, Shelter House served nearly 500 households comprised of over 1,500 individuals, 60% of which were children.

Of the households that exited shelter, over 70% moved to permanent housing. The Baker Agency has served Vienna and Tysons residents and business owners since 2007 and proudly offers insurance solutions for you home, condo, auto insurance, life insurance and more. We offer complimentary reviews and coach teen drivers to safer, better drivers, and to help keep your auto insurance rates down! We are always happy to talk or text at 703-847-6880.

Submit your own Community Post here for just $99.

×

Subscribe to our mailing list