Bruno Tognolini
Work and works of a multimedia writer

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A Curriculum

A Curriculum is a useful source of information to those people who have a good reason to know about a biography or a professional training. It should never be a source of pride. In fact a writer will choose his own way to write it, i.e. he will try not to get bored.


Two High Schools
I was a hardworking student. I took my classical diploma, full marks (60/60), in Cagliari (Sardinia),1969. Ten years later in Bologna, soon after my degree, I got another diploma (primary-school teachers), because of a slight unemployment crises. I've never taught.

Two Universities
In Cagliari I've studied Medicine and Surgery for four years, from 1970 to 1974: then the Mistral wind, that sometimes uproots Sardinian people from their land, took me away too, from Sardinia and from hospitals. I'll never regret neither having undertaken, nor having broken off those studies: a detailed story of the human body is quite an impressive training gym to those who are going to face text's architectures.
In Bologna, from 1974 to 1979, I attended the famous University Course of DAMS (Art, Music and Show subjects). It was an extraordinary experience. I've been doing researches on Media and Communication with Umberto Eco inside the classrooms, as well as with Giuliano Scabia and Gianni Celati on the streets, and "in the space of clashes". What I would be learning for years over the time, I dreamt it there.

My degree
In 1979 I took my degree in Communication and Show, full marks, after discussing my thesis on Dramaturgy with Professor Scabia, and Pedagogy with Professor Canevaro. The essay, called "The Space of Games", dealt with an accurate analysis of children's games as texts in the context of an urban and domestic background, but also as measure devices of the real and imaginary dimension of these spaces. Quite a long time after those years, and in the plan of Cyberspace for children's Cd-roms, the inheritance of that research would crop up again with happy carelessness. As Eliot says: "What you love remains..."

But lessons never end...
In the following years I've been attending a theatre that laid its foundations on the ground of a continuous professional training. I took active part in several seminars, labs and stages: many of them about Dramaturgy and Stage writing, some of them with excellent trainers such as Eugenio Barba, Jerzy Grotowsky, Wim Wenders...

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The group
After the University, from 1979, I worked in Bologna in a Theatre cooperative society called "Centro Teatrale Roselle". Main objects were to encourage and realize seminars, meetings, projects, short seasons, street events: in other words, the heterogeneous theatrical whirl of those years. Fortunately I was also requested to write dramatic compositions inside and outside the group. On two of these occasions I received a national award (though not of the first rate).

The performances
Among the plenty of performances over the years, I remember four remarkable works:

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The prehistory
In 1979, for the TV-Radio Channel RAI Sardegna, I wrote and made a series of microphone radio programmes on poetry, called "VINO TAGLIATO" ("Blended wine"). In 1989 I wrote the script for a documentary, "CAGLIARI", 16 mm, 25min., directed by Gianfranco Cabiddu and produced by "Associazione Industriali Provincia di Cagliari".

L'Albero Azzurro
For four years, from 1991 to 1995, I've been working as coauthor for a TV children's programme called "L'ALBERO AZZURRO", produced by RAI, broadcasted on national territory. In the course of those years I've been writing stories, scenes, nursery rhymes, whole scripts for more than 200 programmes, together with Bianca Pitzorno, Roberto Piumini, Mela Cecchi and other excellent writers for children. No use saying that the so-called 'professional leap' was taken there, but the run-up had been a good and long one.

Home video
In 1993/94, I had the chance to be the texts coauthor for two series of twenty homevideos associated with the same TV programme ("L'ALBERO AZZURRO", a VideoRai and San Paolo Audiovisivi production).

RAISat 2 for Kids
In october '97 starts RAI Sat TV, with its three tematic channels. In RaiSat2, the channel for kids, the afternoon program for 6-12 kids is MULTICLUB, where I write a central survey named "Rubrica Internet". It's a kind of sitcom where forms and contents of digital culture - and specifically web resorces - are proposed with a calm and daily accent, underlining the armonical stream of continuity with all the other experiences of the children. The work will develop into 190 daily programs along all the '97.

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Children stories
I had five books for children published, and the sixth shall come out on Christmas '97:
The outlook
I don't know what I will do with my many, and maybe too many arts and crafts. I
can't figure it out how long good luck and patience -- that now seem to be taking the
multimedia author by the hand -- will last. But I know for sure that I will stubbornly
keep writing books; or, as the ancient knights used to say, I'll dye in the effort.

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In 1993 I already had some years of computer experience behind me, even though the use of computer at that time somehow went beyond the writer's digital needs. I was just one of many 'Windows home brewers', and to tell the truth I even felt a little bit uneasy about that: as if I was split, not in my personality, but so to say, in my ability.

Then the RAI proposal, according to which I was asked to make a new CD-i version of the TV programme for children "L'Albero Azzurro", came out as a beneficial connection between the two parts. So, together with some enthusiastic Philips developers (Mario Fumagalli and Massimo Bertolucci, now CD Italy) I put down the main idea, the interactive design, and the texts of my first multimedia title: "L'ALBERO AZZURRO CD-I", a VIDEORAI and Philips Media Systems (Philips Interactine Media Italy) production.

It turned out to be a very good investment: in 1994, a year later, I was called again by Philips Interactive Media Italy. They gave me the opportunity to write the text for a CD-I called "IL TESORO DELL'ISOLA DEI GIOCHI" ("The Games' Island treasure"), produced by Clementoni and Philips Media Systems (Philips Interactine Media Italy). The cooperation with the other authors was good, and the contribution on my part has been soon ranging from the mere script writing to the planning of games and interactive architecture. In 1996 the CD-i has been reissued into a CD-ROM.

1995. Experiments
In the meantime, together with Renzo Salvi from RAI in Milan, I was venturing on some interactive experiments, those games and freaks which always go side by side with every new cultural form.
One for all: Rimini, March '95, within the exhibition of Show Technologies "MAGIS 95", a Theatre and Interactive Television Experimental Event (I made the project and the script), called "SPACCATRAPPOLE 5- Re dei Rifiuti" ("Traps-breaker 5, King of Rubbish"), produced by A.I.T.C. (Italian Association of VideoCameramen).

The next achievement was planned by myself. In October '95 I walked around in Milan for a month, proposing to the main Multimedia publishers in Italy an edutainment CD-rom, built on original nursery rhymes. I collected quite a good team of authors: ROBERTO PIUMINI, the most highly considered Italian writer for children, GIULIA ORECCHIA, one of the best illustrators; and FRANK NEMOLA, trumpet player and good composer. As for my part, I had to build up the concept and interactive design of the disk, write part of the nursery rhymes, and take care of art direction. "RIMELANDIA" was born: a CD-rom fulfilled with wharp games to play with the words, the sounds and the images of 64 original rhymes.
After one year, lost because of the winding up of the first publisher we met, we had a very good chance for a double edition with the biggest publishers in Italy: Mondadori Newmedia for the CD-rom, and Mondadori Libri per Ragazzi for a book, with rhymes and illustrations from disk. Both book and CD are published on december '97.

1996. CD-rom NIRVANA X-ROM
After years of works for children, here comes the first one for "adults". I've been sent for by Cecchi Gori Newmedia and Colorado Film to build up a project for a CD-rom based upon Gabriele Salvatores' movie "NIRVANA". It's a mystical and wild cyber-punk story, a genre I've been loving and reading for a long time: my treatment is accepted with enthusiasm by Salvatores, the Director, and by both the producers. I started working in june '96 with Massimo Bertolucci, my soft partner from CD Italy, the software house wich developed the product, and I delivered my ultimate screenplay in october '96. In january '97 both CD-Rom and movie came out.

Evidently Nirvana X-rom succeded, because in may '97 the same producer - Roberto Liscia for Cecchi Gori Newmedia - proposes to the same team - CD Italy and me - to project and develop a CD-rom wich shall come along with the movie "STORIA DI UNA GABBIANELLA", directed by Enzo D'Alò upon the book "Story of a sea-gull and of the cat that teached her to fly", by Luis Sepùlveda, best seller in Italy. I will also write the italian words for the six original songs of the movie, written in english by David Rhodes of Real World. The movie will be on the screens on Christmas '98: the CD a little before.

The beginning of '97 sees my involvement with the tumultuous stream that's generating projects for the Worl Wide Web. I've been asked to partecipate to the design of two sites on the Web: the site for MOVIEMENT (more forward); the site for the TV program MULTICLUB, a RaiSat2 production.

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At the end of '96, with the support of Colorado Film Production, Maurizio Totti starts the MOVIEMENT, an association of show artists with the intent to promote the meeting, the collaboration and the excange of projects. Totti proposes me to join the group and to take advantage of the agency services for my work, througth Valentina Conti and himself. I accept.

1997: Approach to CORTO MALTESE
Not long after, in March '97, Maurizio Totti proposes me to collaborate to gather and develop materials for the one wich seemed to be the next movie directed by Gabriele Salvatores, a movie about Hugo Pratt's comic's character CORTO MALTESE. I picked up my old copies of Corto, that I used to read in '79, and I worked to produce schemes, tables, concepts and synopsis, that should be used for the draft of the screenplay. Unfortunately, for reasons that I partially ignore, the "yawl" of Corto Maltese and the movie's venture with it were wrecked in the storm in autumn '97. There will be other chances.

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