1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
I directed my first short film in 2015 – it was a 10-minute quirky comedy short called Wally’s Will about an unlikeable, eccentric, and aristocratic older lady, who fights to uphold her crumbling old-money empire against friends, enemies, and some unexpected conspiracies. Wally’s character was unapologetically inspired by my grandma.
2) How did you get into directing?
As a producer, I’m on commercial sets all the time and seeing directors do what they do really inspired me. Besides my geographical proximity to great directors, the true engine of my quirky creativity is the phrase “wouldn’t it be hilarious if…?”. Then, once I concur that it would, indeed, be hilarious if… , the gears start grinding.
3) What is your most recent project?
“Literally” is my latest short film featuring a secret force determined to end the blatant misuse of the adverb “Literally”. I enjoyed playing with cop movie stereotypes and laying them on top of the silliest of premises.
4) What is the best part of being a director?
It’s hard to rank what I like best – I love working with actors, I love the crew teamwork and I love making silly things that look really good. I am lucky to work with an extraordinarily talented and skilled team that helps me combine beautiful cinematography with nonsensical comedy. That’s a niche I plan to keep on exploring.
5) What is the worst part of being a director?
As a small time director, the worst part of making films is having to worry about all logistical aspects of a production on top of the creative work that needs to get done. That being said – leading the entire process from start to finish, allows for a creative freedom that makes it all worth it.
6) What is your current career focus: commercials and branded content, TV movies? Do you plan to specialize in a particular genre—comedy, drama, visual effects, etc.?
I’m not particular in terms of medium or run time, but I know I have a particular interest in making dark and visual comedy. By this, I mean that I like finding ways for the cinematography to play a crucial role in delivering jokes – but not necessarily in a “kick-in-the-nuts” type of way.
7) 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 don’t have a specific mentor for directing, but some of the people that give me advice in my creative endeavors are Paul Soter (actor and writer of the Super Trooper movies) , Mike Wallen (Omelet), Dan Ruth (Omelet), Preston Lee (Sanctuary Content), Victoria Guenier (Strike Anywhere), Sara Seligman (production supervisor on NBC Champions and writer/director of Falcon Lake), Christopher Ripley (multi-awarded DP).
8) Who is your favorite director and why?
Edgar Wright. I am in awe of how he is able to marry hilarious scenarios with meticulously planned filmmaking.
9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content?
Favorite movie: Hot Fuzz
Favorite TV Show: The Office
Favorite commercial: “Lotto” by Roy Andersson
10) Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
I was born in Milan, Italy and I grew up in Verona, Italy. Fun fact about me: I was a professional athlete for several years, playing volleyball for the Italian Volleyball League and National Team. Later, I realized volleyball wasn’t my real passion and started a career in production.
From VFX production in Milan, I went to grad school in the US and became an advertising producer. I’ve been doing that for almost 8 years and have worked at Omelet, Innocean, Mullenlowe, BBH and, currently, Wongdoody.
Matteo J. Mosterts
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