We had the good fortune of connecting with Coxy Chiara Rodoni and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Coxy Chiara, what’s your definition for success?
I think success is a journey, not a destination. My dream has always been to make films. I know it ever since the first time my dad took me to the Universal Studios. I remember telling him “Dad, one day I’ll live and work here”. When I got back to Italy after that summer, I started pretending that I could speak English perfectly. I’d roll my R’s and makeup words that didn’t exist. I think mom foresaw my American dream and how bad I wanted it, so she bought me videotapes of films and cartoons in English with English subtitles. I watched them over and over and over again until I could perfectly understand and repeat every word. I’ve learned that with a dream in mind, determination, practice, and discipline, anything can be obtained. 20 years later, my American dream became true and I moved to Los Angeles. I must admit that I had a very different idea of what living in the US meant before I reached this shore. From overseas, I’ve always believed that the US was the land of freedom and of opportunities – which I still think it is – and that Life here would be so much easier and rewarding – which I definitely reconsidered. Starting over in a country that is over 6000 miles away from my hometown and whose culture is so different than the one I grew up in, has been extremely challenging. The struggle has been real and very present. I lost a huge amount of money in bad investments. I had to wait 6 years before I could finally get my Green Card and start working in the film industry, and on top of that, I was an orphan with no family to rely on. I’ve always believed that our only obstacles are the ones we set up in our minds. A battle is never lost until we choose to give up and patience, perseverance, and endurance are virtues one must master in order to succeed. Success to me is enjoying every step of the way.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Hi! my name is Coxy, I’m Italian, I grew up between Milan and Paris and films have been my lifetime passion. When I was a child, my favorite game was stealing clothes from my mom and my grandma’s wardrobes, dress my friends up, and have them play out different characters. I guess that’s where it all started. When I was a teenager I befriended the owner of a small independent movie theater close to where I lived, on some afternoons, he allowed me to sneak into the screening room and watch movies. I think that what sets me apart from others is my passion for my work. I don’t have a family, I’m not married, I don’t have kids. Making films is my true love. I’m excited every time I see one of my projects coming to life when the words I’ve written echo in the air. The set is my happy place, I love directing. It took me a very long time before I could pursue my dream of becoming a filmmaker though. I come from a very modest family and I never had the means to pay for a filmmaking school or shoot my own projects, so my career actually started in the fashion industry. There have been many challenges along the way. I moved to LA in 2013 after losing both my parents. I started with styling and designing costumes for commercials and independent films which gave me the opportunity to be on set, observe and learn from great directors. Eventually, I began creating short narrative stories for fashion brands, aka Fashion Films, then started developing shorts and now I’m working on two features. There have been many failures along the way, there have been moments where I lost all I had but I’ve never lost faith and I kept working, always asking myself: “what can I learn from this experience?” I believe that failures are only blessings in disguise and there’s so much we can learn from them. A battle is never over until you are alive and you fight. So don’t give up! Through Coxy.Agency, toady I create and produce films for brands, companies or individuals who aim to communicate with powerful storytelling. We combine the essence of filmmaking with researched style, photography, art, music, and technology to create narrative stories that can inspire and entertain the audience. Our mission is to inspire humanity, one story at the time.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First of all, I would take them to Disneyland and Universal Studios. I think people should never forget to play with their inner child and these two places are magic. Then, I’d take them to Venice beach, rent rollerblades or a bike, spend some time by the ocean and end the day with a walk on Abbot Kinney and a dinner in one of the little restaurants there (maybe Gjelina or the Tasting Kitchen). On day 3 I’d open the top of my convertible and hit the road for a trip. I’d take my friend to Joshua tree and spend the night at the Desert Yacht club under the stars in the desert. Then I’d drive up north towards Carmel by the sea and Big Sur and spend a couple of days there between the forest and the ocean. The final step of the trip would be Napa Valley for a wine tasting in some of my favorite vineyards. Then back to LA, to end the trip with some fun and nightlife in one of the Houston Brothers’ venues.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
No one has ever achieved something great without the help of others and I’m grateful to so many wonderful souls I’ve met along my path, they have shaped my journey, enriched my life and helped me make my dream come true. First and foremost I’m grateful to my parents. They left this world too early and although I miss celebrating and sharing my accomplishments with them, I know their spirit is always present in me. After them, my shoutout goes to my friends and family, the ones that have always been by my side, the ones that have supported me no matter what, they fed me when I was hungry and paid my bills when I had no money and believed in me. And last but certainly not least I’m forever thankful to my team, which I consider my family as well. They push my boundaries, they inspire me every day and they bring so much talent to every project we do. Another big shoutout out also goes to all the Filmmakers and Artists that have inspired me to pursue my dream. My favorite of all is Federico Fellini.
Other: Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/coxyagency
all photos by: Stefania Rosini