Leon Vitali on Working for Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick's right-hand man, Leon Vitali, recounts working for the legendary director in these quotes from the upcoming Filmworker out in cinemas and on demand tomorrow. Filmworker is a film by Tony Zierra.

"One of my agents actually heard that Stanley Kubrick is doing a new production and he organised an audition for me and it was a film called Barry Lyndon. (...) A phone call came through and my agent told me you’ve got the role in Stanley Kubrick’s picture."

“Hi Leon. I’m Stanley.” And we shook hands. And after tell you something. When you shook hands with Stanley, it was warm and gentle. Just like a buzz went through you."

"He sent me a book, which was called The Shining and there was a little note on the front. He wrote “Read this book. (...) A phone rang and I picked it up and the voice in the other ring says “Did you read it? What do you think?” I said it could be a really exciting project."

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"One of Stanley’s manias was you had to write everything down. Write it down. Remember to look what you’ve written down. You could say I spent a half of my time with Stanley writing down things."

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"When I travelled abroad, then I used to have to fill in this visa. They say occupation. I was used to write ‘Film worker’. I mean, I am a film worker. I’m a worker. That’s what I do. So assistant to me is nothing other than I’m assisting somebody to fulfil what it is, they want to get up on a screen."

A film by Tony Zierra

Tony Zierra has always been fascinated by the power of storytelling and cinema. His first documentary, Carving Out Our Name, follows the lives of four actors hoping to find success in Hollywood. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to much acclaim. Next, Zierra went on the road to capture America’s reaction to the attacks of September 11th. The film that emerged, titled USA The Movie, explores the cyclical nature of violence and retaliation. Zierra's award-winning documentary, My Big Break, is a cautionary tale about the darker side of celebrity and the consequences of fame that also includes his struggle to make his first film. My Big Break won ‘Best Documentary’ at The Boston Film Festival, ‘Best Documentary’ at Artsfest, was nominated for ‘Best Documentary’ at the Raindance Film Festival in London, and was an Official Selection of The American Cinematic Experience Festival in New York. Zierra’s most recent project Filmworker tells the story of Leon Vitali, Stanley Kubrick’s right-hand man. Filmworker premiered at The Cannes Film Festival in 2017 and was nominated for the L'Œil d'or.