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Sallyanne Massimini | SHOOT New Directors Showcase Event
Sallyanne Massimini

Auctiv. The Only Protection Needed.

Sallyanne Massimini

Principato Young Entertainment

1) What was your first professionally directed work and when was it?
The television series Greenleaf on OWN in the fall of 2015. That’s when I got my DGA card! I directed 2nd unit for several episodes, which was a combination of environment work and crowd tiling.

2) How did you get into directing? 
Storytelling has been a dream since I was a child. My old sketchbooks are filled with storyboards and creatures. As a teenager I focused on painting/drawing, and went on to graduate from the Maryland Institute College of Art, becoming a visual effects artist and eventually a visual effects supervisor. I kept gravitating towards the bigger picture; I absolutely loved how music, color, writing, performance, visual effects, etc all fit together to create the final product. As a visual effects supervisor I directed some of the material ranging from background plates to fire element shoots, evolving into official 2nd unit directing for several television shows and eventually commercials.

3) What is your most recent project? 
An anthem for Adaptive Life Company celebrating all the awesome kids who live and thrive with any kind of disability. The goal was to create a feel-good, uplifting piece showcasing what we love about kids: their laughter, joy, strength, and ability to be super silly. Our tag, “Letting Kids Be Kids,” was based off of the game Red Light Green Light and incorporated dance and movement.

4) What is the best part of being a director?
This is a two part answer. Part one is using film as a means to share stories and messages. Part two is watching the final product that stemmed from an idea. There is something magical about witnessing the culmination of so much hard work from so many talented people all working together. Collaboration is key.

5) What is the worst part of being a director? 
Having the unexpected happen at the last second. Actors suddenly become unavailable due to emergencies, snow storms, etc. However, I always try to look at it as something that was meant to be and to embrace the unexpected. Wonderful things can happen spontaneously.

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 love it all!

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 have several mentors and am always learning. I try to be a sponge no matter where I’m at. One of my favorite things Francis Kenny, A.S.C. constantly tells me, is that no matter what, to follow my bliss. A few other things I like to repeat are to always try to be surrounded with people smarter than myself, to always be shooting, I can never be over prepared, and story first.

8) Who is your favorite director and why? 
Kathryn Bigelow because she makes amazing, bad ass movies, and Steven Spielberg. C’mon. Who wasn’t influenced by all of his movies growing up!

9) What is your favorite movie? Your favorite television/online program? Your favorite commercial or branded content? 
Oh these are tough. Favorite movie. It would have to be one of the films that really influenced me as a kid, a film that my family watched over and over and over again…Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, and yes, The Sound Of Music. 

Favorite TV program – Game of Thrones! 

As for my favorite commercials, one would be the Spike Jonze Kenzo spot. It’s just so much fun to watch. The Nike ‘Find Your Greatness’ campaign was also very cool. It was so simple, yet effective. I also really like the Dorian & Daniel’s “Dear Brother” for Johnnie Walker, I cry every time.

10) Tell us about your background (i.e., where did you grow up? Past jobs?) 
I was born in Connecticut, moved to Massachusetts and then to Colorado. I’ve got three siblings whom I’m really close to and we spent a lot of time playing outdoors. That definitely influenced my adventure streak. I love skiing, the ocean, and traveling. Hence I jumped at the chance to shoot a commercial in the ocean for Auctiv Sunscreen. From there I went to college in Baltimore and got my BFA. I then moved to L.A., took classes at Gnomon, which led me to work as a VFX artist! My first main job was at a great commercial house called Sight Effects. I was there for five years before landing at Zoic Studios, another wonderful shop, where I shifted to mostly working on television/episodic content. I then took a hiatus and worked for Sony before partnering up with Francis Kenny, ASC, Richard Crudo ASC and Jarred Land, creating the company Master Cinematographers www.mc4.la. I am now back at Zoic Studios as a director working on live-action projects.


Renee Kurtz, Principato Young Entertainment

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