We had the good fortune of connecting with Gio Toninelo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gio, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Starting your own business can be very rewarding. But it’s definitely a scary challenge. I worked as a graphic designer for years. At the end of most branding jobs, once a website was created, most clients always asked for a video for the web. So one year, instead of giving them a referral I decided to produce my first commercial video. And the rest is history. It wasn’t easy. Re-discovering my voice and style took some time. I wanted to make a living doing something I really enjoyed and I found my new role to fit like a glove. I love telling stories: the surprise factor, the connections they forge. Just keep in mind that if you’re going to make your business the success it deserves to be, you need to have the drive and confidence to keep it alive. Because sometimes the difference between business failure and success is simply the passion to see it through. Then suddenly, those dreadful Sunday nights anticipating another week of watching the clock for a paycheck will be gone. But there are demands and you need to be on top of things. After all, your success depends on your reputation.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My stories and my client’s stories have to follow certain aesthetics. We live in a small world, usually defined by 30 seconds. But that’s plenty of time for a beginning, middle and an end, with plenty of storytelling in between. And those 30 seconds have to look good. The ability to frame things in a way that exposes what may have not been seen before… that’s what sets you apart from others. Also, at Rocket House Pictures (my company) we tend to gravitate towards stories that can make a difference in the world. Jobs fill your pocket but causes fill your soul. Through my career I’ve had to wear many different hats and that’s still true to this day. Between juggling our Denver Video Production Company, I’m also the film curator at the Action Figure Film Festival. Life is fairly busy, but thankfully I have a wonderful partner that supports me unconditionally.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I work and live in the Highlands or Northside (I supposed it depends on which side of gentrification you stand). So if a best friend was visiting Denver, I would certainly not go too far from where I am. There’s plenty to do here. Sip French-inspired craft beers at Die Bolt, eat arepas at Quiero-Arepas stall at Avanti’s F&B, play board games at Recess Beer Garden, have a michelada and a torta at Los Carboncitos.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Quoting James Whistler here: “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision, vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others”. So I credit a lot of my creative power and instincts to Adir Sodré, a Postwar & Contemporary artist from Brazil. Back in the early 90’s I had the opportunity to work in his atelier for a few years. His talent to transform anything ordinary into extraordinary; finding beauty in the dull city mesmerized me. He taught me how the power of images and their hidden meanings could touch and sometimes change someone. He was a good friend and we kept in touch over the years. Unfortunately he passed away a few month ago. I’m going to miss him.
Other: My photography: www.littledenver.
Jennifer Le Grand