There’s also a pinch of Maremma in the next “Fast and Furious”

Pictured above Leonardo Tonioni (right) on the set Below left Amleto Minucci and right Jonathan Roberti

The Grosseto-born Leonardo Tonioni, Jonathan Roberti and Amleto Minucci, 35, experts in special effects with cars, took care of some scenes filmed in Italy

GROSSETO. There are also three people from Grosseto in the special effects staff who prepare the main characters of the machine for the amazing events in the next episode of the “Fast and Furious” movie saga, one of the most popular action movies in the box office around the world.

Leonardo Tonioni, Jonathan Roberti and Amleto Minucci are three friends in their thirty-five years who grew up with a passion for cars and mechanics. Coincidentally, thanks to the acquaintances of Leonardo Tonioni – for some time in a team working on international film productions – they were on the set of “Fast and Furious”, where they spent six weeks together to assist the troupe in Rome and Turin , where some scenes in the tenth episode were recorded, which will be released next year.

Leonardo left Grosseto ten years ago to pursue a passion that ended up becoming a job and made him travel the world.

“In 2012,” he explains, “I moved to Australia to restore old American cars that I have a passion for. After three years, I decided to go to New Zealand, where I gained experience both with restorations, but also with the cars that participate in track racing. In that environment, I met Kevin Bitters, a South African friend who drew me into his staff, dedicated to special effects for cinemas, specializing in modifying stage cars. This year he offered me to return to work in Europe and I said yes. With the production of “Fast and Furious” they lacked skilled staff and Kevin asked me if I knew people who were reliable in machine modification and welding. I struck out and suggested it to Jonathan and Hamlet ».

Tonioni – who has worked for productions of films such as “The Meg”, “Mulan” (Disney), “The Lord of the Rings” – is now a professional in special effects. If a car, truck or van is to be blown up, overturned, crashed or blown up in the air, he knows exactly where to put his hands. “Today I qualified as a senior technician – Leonardo explains – and I specialize in weakening vehicles to amplify their effects after accidents and collisions that take place on the set of ‘stuntmen’, who replace the actors in dangerous scenes. In fact, modifies. I do the mechanical part of the cars, I assemble compressed air cannons to simulate explosions, I make fixed and hydraulic ramps, in general I perform mechanical work and solve problems with regard to the needs of the director in the scenes he has. Jonathan Roberti is a childhood friend of Leonardo. His job is a blacksmith specializing in artistic interior design, he has a workshop in via Topazio and a showroom in via Sauro. He was called for his expertise in welding and tailor-made work. “In the beginning, I was reluctant – he explains as soon as I got off the train from Turin – because I have my own business. But the curiosity for that world and the opportunity to work on the weekends made me break the delay. It was six weeks of exciting experiences where I worked with a team of Australians, Britons and New Zealanders. Learning a lot and knowing a work approach that surprised me for the many different solutions to be found. How to fly a car through the air in a certain way. A group of engineers prepared the drawings, which we then had to put into practice by modifying cars, vans and trucks. I hope for another experience in the spring of next year, because the environment is stimulating and we learn a lot of professional secrets. Same enthusiasm as the third of the friends. “It was incredible,” he emphasizes, “also because you quickly have to learn to do very different things, which they ask you to do with very little notice.” I worked on the machines, to disassemble them, weaken them or strengthen them. Maybe on the back or on the front to emphasize the event predicted in the script. To be ready to repeat a scene that went wrong, we had to set up identical copies of the same machine. I’ve been in the world of motorsport since I was 13 and I could not dream of a better “training track” ».


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