The rep sat quietly and watched, handed me his card and asked me to meet with them before i left town. They offered me a job, paid my moving expenses and put me on a retainer. In the mid 80s in the midst of this exploding art form of music and film was really exciting and energizing. It created a shift in attitudes at the studios in what eventually became a stepping stone for a new generation of filmmakers such as david Fincher and Michael bay, both of whom launched their film careers from music videos. At the height of my career as video director, i was doing about four videos a month and in various cities around the world. Eric Clapton in London, Bruce hornsby in Austin, Gloria estefan in Chicago; we would go wherever the artists had their longest break on their tour. I would have to say.
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I knew them from my days of playing in a punk/rock band. Cbs refused to give me any money and the band was going up to ny to shoot. I convinced cbs that I could deliver a video within the month. They said go ahead, but still no money. I thought, Oh shit. So i pulled it together with a credit card and a loan from a guy who owned a record store and we shot. The song is called, China and the exec jumped on a plane to see a cut of it, mind you this is 16mm film, she saw it, loved it, bought. Cbs started sending me all over the country to shoot videos for their artists and i ended up. Doing a video for The romantics. A good friend of mine who was an advertising copywriter and who gave me my first commercial, had connections at a production company. Who sent a rep to the set.
The music video was a relatively new concept back then, so what was it like jumping into business this new scene? It seems like it would be quite the wild ride. Is this the case? That was the best thing about doing music videos. When I started, i think mtv was on the air for only a year and its popularity shot off like a rocket. There were no music video execs at the record companies yet. In fact, i remember a guy who came to set who was doing album cover art. It was a wild ride. I started in New Orleans where i produced, directed and shot a video for friends of mine that were signed to cbs records — the red Rockers.
Figuring out how to make a movie and then see it actually take shape in an editing room was and still is a thrill. Then came the opportunity to write and direct. To labor through the writing process, sell the script and then get to direct itnothing better. But the extra pressure is on too, its all on you! Producing now gives me an opportunity to work with other talented filmmakers and get involved with projects that would not come my way as a director. I enjoy the process of producing, not raising money although absolutely necessary, but getting a film into production, sold and distributed. Producing has been an eye-opener and has really made me appreciate the fact that we are in the film business. You kicked off your career working in the world of music video direction, showcasing artists like styx and Eric Clapton (as well as a personal favorite,.
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It was a great time, a great learning experience. You have worn several different proverbial hats in the film business. From writing and directing, to producing and cinematography and beyond. With that being said, what would you say is the gig that you enjoy doing the most? The question is not essay Why?, but — why not!? It really comes down to making a living.
Staying in the business I love until Im ready to quit. I took the jobs as estate they came, however, i always wanted to write and direct my own films. And I did a couple, but they were never to the level of what I had hoped for. They were good films, good entertainment, but not groundbreaking. I always liked cinematography and shot and directed at least 50 of the 100 music videos I did, along with a lot of commercials, but when it came to film, i was hired as a director and that was that. And I was happy to.
I was always right on the edge of the set when they were shooting scenes with him, including the gun fight on royal Street. The whole experience of watching a film being made on this level definitely shaped who i was to become as a filmmaker. Another thing that happened that was important to figuring out how to shoot film. I was sent to get something (I cant remember what) out of Sergio leones trailer for him and when I went in, there were comic books tossed all over the place, opened to certain pages, marked and scribbled. After watching leone films, i realized that he was inspired by the dramatic comic book images within those frames, extreme angles and such.
That was a real revelation for. I thought, this doesnt have to be a difficult process. It tore away the unknown for. I realized how to approach filmmaking — create interesting images within that frame! I had a 35mm pentax, a good compliment of lenses and some old fresnel studio lights and I started lighting people, my girlfriend at the time, and I got into george hurrell the master of Hollywood glamour photos different angles, extreme contrast lighting, black and. I created a rear screen projection with this roll of opaque material hanging off a c-stand in my dining room, with the slide projector set up in the kitchen to get the depth, with scenes of the interiors of European churches and putting my girl.
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My first gig in the film business was working as a production Assistant on a sergio leone spaghetti western, my name is Nobody, that was partially filmed in New Orleans. I walked onto a set on a street in the French quarter and asked some guy for a job and he handed me a shovel and told me to start spreading dirt in the street! I nearly turned and walked until I discovered it was for a gunfight scene with Henry fonda. So i proudly spread dirt. Good thing I hung around. I was asked to come father's back the next day and they assigned me to be fondas assistant. I brought Henry fonda water and tea, carried his saddle for resetting a shot, carried his chair and I loved it!
Back In Anger was the first that is credited for starting this genre, but it was, saturday night and Sunday morning, billy liar, and The leather boys that I loved. I would sit in front of the tv and transport myself into those worlds hanging on every line of dialogue, street scene, bar scene, the grubby apartments. These films dominated the way i started thinking and I started imagining, what it would it be like to do this make movies polythene like these. My parents didnt hesitate when i asked them to buy me a super 8 movie camera and projector. Of course the films that I shot certainly dont compare, but I did shoot some black and white super 8 film, which was not easy to find or get processed. Thats how it started. What as the very first gig you can remember getting in this business? And did that experience help shape you into the filmmaker you would eventually become?
was something about the quality of the film in the way it captured not only what the beatles were all about, their characters, mannerisms, personalties and their music, but it transported me to london and the atmosphere of it all and captured the style. And of course, i was influenced by the girls hysterically screaming at a movie screen! I started talking with a bloody English accent at 12 years old! I was then eager to watch every English black white film I could find. At that time there was no vhs, dvd or you tube. There was however a really cool art house theater, The Prytania theater that is still here in New Orleans that showed a lot of those films, including French and Italian New wave. And the public Broadcasting Station started showing the British Kitchen Sink dramas, a different one every saturday morning.
When I learned that he directed yardage the amazing video for. Hailing from the finest city that America has to offer, new Orleans of course, he is also a legend in the nola film community that we have managed to cover quite extensively over the years. Mostly because they are some of the nicest people working in film today! So, ladies and Gentlemen, please enjoy some amazing words from the brilliant Oley sassone! When did you decide you wanted to join the world of filmmaking? Was it an early passion, or did you just find yourself in this world? It was shortly after I saw the beatles movie, a hard days Night.
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Company, resources, plans products, apps. I first came to learn about filmmaker Oley sassone from a very informative documentary that was somewhat about a guy who has been the creative force behind some pretty amazing t apparently did something extremely shady, and pretty upsetting. That man was the great Roger Corman. And while i cannot say that I condone his first actions showcased. Doomed: The Untold Story of Roger Cormans The fantastic four, id be lying if I said I wasnt going to continue to watch Corman classics on the regular. And as a matter of fact, it was because of him that I learned about the genius that is Oley sassone! Oley is another prime example of a man who has created some amazing art in his career, and also happened to turn out to be an incredibly nice person, who gave us some wonderful and lengthy answers to a few of our questions. This is a guy who has brought us some pretty amazing work in a career that is as expansive as it is impressive.