Educated

Ally Zonsius

1) How did you get into directing?
I wanted to work in production and thought my only chance was to act. I didn’t have anyone to tell me otherwise for a long time. After wrapping my scenes on a movie, I asked if I could stay after and just help around set. I realized very quickly that the other side of the camera was far more comfortable. I tried out everything I could, casting, producing, AC-ing, AD-ing, and after taking a stab at directing some of my own projects, I felt the most happy doing just that.

2) What is your most recent project?
I just finished a spec for Reebok, and a fun 3-minute short called Girls Night, as well.

3) What is the best part of being a director?
Putting all the pieces together. Finding ways to bring the best out of each element, to then piece together a wonderful collaboration.

4) What is the worst part of being a director?
Picking the music. I am so driven by music for work that I do, that when it comes down to finally picking the music, it’s like, nuts.

5) What is your current career focus: commercials & branded content, TV, movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
Commercials and music videos for sure. I love the short form world and how quickly you will go from brainstorming and conceptualizing to a finished product.

Genre-wise, I really enjoy work that is edgy, raw and sexy, stuff that pushes the line of comfort, or just is really true to reality.

6) Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons) and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates with you?
I wouldn’t say I have a specific mentor, but instead, lots of people very close to me that are supportive and have all sorts of advice to give.

7) Who is your favorite director and why?
Rian Johnson. I watched Brick and Looper in the same day and thought, I would love to hang out with this guy’s brain.

8) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
Favorite movie, Super Troopers, easy.

Right now my favorite commercials are the Taco Bell New Chickstar and Mt. Dew Kickstart spots. Before that, it was the brilliant “Mom Song” campaign for Old Spice.

9) Tell us about your background (i.e. where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I grew up in Oxford, MI. I was a big jock before getting into theatre, and was voted most spirited senior year of high school. I moved to San Diego to finish college, where I joined the debate team. For a while I wanted to be a motivational speaker, but I just didn’t know what I would motivate people to do. Then a move to LA soon after graduation, and I have been truckin’ along ever since.