Rocky Balboa is Argentine!
Or it was during the five days that Daniel Gioffre (51) remained in Philadelphia to make a documentary about the emblematic character of Sylvester Stalloneforty years after the premiere in our country of the film that inaugurated the mythical saga.
A fan of the story of the boxer with little talent and abundant courage, Gioffré wanted to deviate from the usual resource that any production would make on the film. Nothing to interview the protagonists, discover behind the scenes of the filming, or go after the trail of curious data.
Quite simply, Daniel became Rocky.
Characterized as the stallion Argentinian… forgiveness!, the stallion Italian, faithfully reproduced different passages from his films, such as the training sessions prior to the glorious fights with apollo creed. But she did… frame by frame! And with careful precision, repairing the original locations and the exact plane of each of the scenes. Although several decades after the original shooting, with the only assistance of a cameraman and without any type of support or budget: the money was on his account.
“No one ever did something like this: be Rocky. On the Internet you find many videos of people climbing the stairs, but not making a replica of the movies “, he tells teleshow this marketing and communication consultant (here is his job), but also an actor and producer (here is his vocation), who was twelve years old when he went to the cinema to see Rocky Ithe Oscar winner.
In order to recreate all the conditions of the original filming, Gioffré had Rocky’s clothing custom-made, from the jacket to the gym joggings, and even the headband! To immerse himself in the character, he rented a room in a house near the one Balboa lived in during those hostile beginnings. “Since I represent all of Rocky’s actions, I had to feel like Rocky and walk its streets as he did, not as a tourist,” says Gioffré, who dressed as the character from the moment he got up until he went to sleep.. He also chose to travel to Philadelphia in mid-February, when… Stallone shot his movies, of course!
The hardest part was the logistics. There were 27 locations to find. Philadelphia doesn’t have them marked: there is no guided tour of Rocky’s landmarks. But Google helped him. Y that kind of déjà vu that any fan would have when feeling that he is right there, where Rocky had been. Once there, determine where it had been filmed and what the shot was.
Since I represent all of Rocky’s actions, I had to feel Rocky, and walk its streets as he did, not as a tourist.
“These were tough days, with very long recording days and very cold running. We started filming at 7:30 with three degrees below zero, and we finished late in the afternoon, without ever having exceeded five degrees. We couldn’t cut the street: we had to cut out really good shots because at one point a car drove by or people passed by. But we put some punch into it, and we did it,” explains Gioffré.
Three months before being Rocky, Daniel signed up for a boxing gym and rehearsed each punch for realism.. And also fitness. “It’s a few seconds per take, but to film four sit-ups I had to do 100, and for six bag hits I had to do 200. One minute of editing is five hours of recording“.
His Rocky ran along the same stretch of track as the other Rocky, although without official authorization: “I risked my life because in the United States it is a federal crime to travel on a track.” But only in this way did Gioffre manage to the training that Rocky does after Adrian told him, from the hospital bed, “Win… win!” (you know, fan of Rocky III) be… identical!
The documentary was also filmed on the doorstep of Rocky’s first house. “Although 40 years have passed, the place is intact, almost identical, but since it is in a very poor neighborhood of the city, it was very difficult to film; it is not a safe area,” says Gioffré, who reproduced different scenes from all the films in the saga. which were shot in Philadelphia (Rocky III was filmed in Los Angeles, and Rocky IV in Russia).
Thus he arrived at the 40-hectare cemetery where Balboa sits talking in front of Adrian’s grave. But those in charge of the place did not know its precise location, and only gave it a vague reference: the real name of one of the tombstones. Photos in hand, and reading tombs and more tombs, Gioffré located the exact location two and a half hours later. And all for a couple of takes, although “it was very exciting to shoot there.” Mission accomplished!
I am Rocky, the documentary It lasts 42 minutes and is already available on YouTube. In October Gioffré will present it at Doc Buenos Aires, a festival of amateur documentaries, and in February at the Navarra International Documentary Film Festival, Spain. And a few days ago he rented a room to show it on a giant screen in front of his friends and family. “And almost everyone ended up crying…”, he says..
They were the same ones who, as soon as he told them about his project, supported him without hesitation. “But they didn’t think the documentary would be what it was: They thought I was going on a trip to the United States!“.
And no, none of that.
Because as Balboa would say, instead of thinking the way others do, Gioffré thought how he would do it.
And forty years after seeing it in the cinema, traveled to Philly to be Rocky.
One more round…
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Unmissable: 40 years after the premiere of “Rocky”, an Argentine made an exact replica of the film
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