The Legacy of a Filmmaker


Gio Toninelo is the producer and cinematographer at Rocket House Pictures. He is an experienced creative with a demonstrated history of working in the motion pictures and film industry. Skilled in Photography, Advertising, Film, Animation, with a keen sense for storytelling. He recently spoke to Canvas Rebel about the legacy of being a filmmaker and the mission behind Rocket House Pictures.


Let’s jump to the end – what do you want to be remembered for?

To me, legacy is the connection to the past, present, and future. As a filmmaker, I strive to create stories that will be remembered and talked about for generations to come. To be a voice for the voiceless and a platform for the unheard while trying to innovate, inspire, and challenge the boundaries of storytelling. I mean, I always think that we are the ones writing the script of this connecting thread to the future and I take this responsibility seriously. It’s our duty to both the ones who handed the baton off to us and to those who we will hand it off to next. Making films to entertain is great, but to teach and break boundaries, that’s what I want to leave behind.

What is it and what’s the story behind why it’s your mission?

We make videos that matter (insert trademark symbol here). That’s what we seek to accomplish with every project. I believe, we as filmmakers, have a responsibility for what we create, what projects we give birth to, and what lessons we leave behind. We have amazing tools to help the world and it’s important to use these tools correctly. 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. Storytelling is our obligation to the future. Give something of meaning to our audience by inspiring, engaging, and educating them with a story, even if it’s through marketing. We want our films and videos to influence the world in some positive way. That’s the least we can do.


Awesome – so before we get into the rest of our questions, can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers.

I’m a video producer and cinematographer here in Denver CO. Originally from Brazil, I moved to Colorado in the early 2000s after going to college in New York. I started Rocket House Pictures not long after and we have been telling unique stories ever since. We produce all kinds of videos, from corporate to music videos, but short-form documentary films are our favorite. For us, documentaries are a great medium to bring awareness to a wider audience and are some of the best resources for information, inspiration and entertainment. They have also become essential to bring light to social issue campaigns in our state. As Rocket House Pictures strives to create videos that matter, documentaries are deeply rooted in our company’s culture. Regardless of the subject we are reporting on, we are always motivated by good ethical and humanitarian impulses. Our work has played at top film festivals around the world including London, Denver, Rome, Tribeca, Berlin and Stockholm.


If you have multiple revenue streams in your business, would you mind opening up about what those streams are and how they fit together?

At Rocket House Pictures we are constantly uploading footage to stock video websites. It’s a great way to give life to otherwise unseen images and to make some extra income. The additional cash we make offsets the cost of replacing some equipment and helps us choose the jobs we want instead of taking any project that lands at our desks. This is not a speedy process though. It takes time to build a stock footage portfolio and some videos will take years to be purchased. But it’s not just quantity that makes a difference: quality is a huge aspect that cannot be overlooked.

What’s worked well for you in terms of a source for new clients?

For us it’s a mix of word-of-mouth and our SEO strategy in organic search results. These two sources go hand in hand. Of course, we know that everybody needs video production in some shape or form and we market video production services to a general audience. We try to visualize our ideal clients. Sometimes, we just want to help a cause or bring light to what someone is doing.

PHOTOS BY: Eric J. Hall

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