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Meet Gio Toninelo of Rocket House Pictures

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gio Toninelo. 

Hi Gio, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I have been a filmmaker and producer for roughly twelve years, but I have been a lover of the medium since childhood. As a kid, I consistently rented movies from our neighborhood video store and my parents took me to the movies often. I also used to create toy theater shows in my bedroom (complete with posters, stage curtains, and theme music) for an audience comprised of my parents and siblings, who were usually forced to watch on a weekly base. After working as a graphic designer for several years and curating the Action Figure Film Festival (f.k.a. GI JOE Fest), an opportunity to produce my first commercial film came about. Being on set with some of the best crew in Colorado ignited the storytelling spark back. I started Rocket House Pictures because I noticed that for clients seeking good quality video content, there seemed to be a huge void between one end of the spectrum and the other. I wanted to fill a gap in the market by starting a company that could deliver high production value in a more efficient, less expensive streamlined way. Whether we are filming a movie, documentary, commercial, corporate video, or music video, there is always a story to be told. I feel that my job is to explore that out on screen in a way that is both cinematic and provocative. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
I was born in Brazil from Italian parents. Being a successful immigrant in the United States alone is already a great feat that doesn’t come easy. Starting a new career at 38 was also scary. I was so afraid of what I did not know. Success in this business depends a lot on how well and how long you can deal with all the rejection and the times you are told NO. If it’s taking too long, then you are not putting yourself out there enough. The LOVE you have for what you’re doing can easily vanish if you are not truthful with yourself. You need a clear vision. Plain and simple. 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Rocket House Pictures?
Rocket House Pictures is a film and video production company, raising the cinematic bar one project at a time. We love telling stories that connect people beyond race, nationality, and beliefs. And we strive to make films that touch people and help to awaken hearts. I understand now, that video production is not just a job, but a memoir… and we are responsible for what we create, what projects we give birth to, and what lessons we leave behind. I believe as filmmakers we have amazing tools to help the world and it’s important to use these tools correctly. We just finished two short documentaries commissioned by the 501(c)(3) Truckers Against Trafficking, and even though we are based in Denver, we are currently working on a film for Sobi, a Swedish Biopharmaceutical Company. 

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
Luck is all about perception, in my opinion. Things happen to us, and we have to figure out how to make sense of it all. I want to concentrate more on optimism. Luck feels passive to me, whereas optimism is a deliberate and active exercise. It’s the deep understanding that everything is working toward our goals, as well as the fact that doing good things to others will bring good things to you. 

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Image Credits
J. Le Grand
M. Joseph

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