Photographer Nilangana Banerjee on Balancing Artistic Inspiration & Commercial Photography

Photographer Nilangana Banerjee

One of the greatest challenges for a working artist is finding a balance between their commercial projects and their personal creative projects. Photographer Nilangana Banerjee, who’s originally from Mumbai, India but is currently based in Los Angeles, CA, is one of the rare individuals who has managed to establish an inspiring career as a successful commercial photographer who continues to produce powerful personal projects as well.

As a commercial photographer Banerjee has shot for massive brands including Forever21, Nordstrom, GLAM LA, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Beauty Influence, Hanhoo, Masqueology, Ross, Olivia Care, Dr. Skin Feed and more. In between shooting for international clients, she is also the in-house photographer for the fashion brand Jill Roberts, as well as the beauty and lifestyle company Beauty Architects. At the same time Banerjee maintains a relentless level of dedication to shooting her personal creative projects, for which she’s gained extensive international praise. 

For Banerjee, balancing a demanding commercial photography schedule and maintaining the energy and creativity to continue shooting her personal vision is all about time management and keeping the inspiration flowing.

“I read, research and undertake creative writing of the topics I want to work on in the near future, in order to line up my projects. This allows me to stay engaged and motivated to retain my creative edge and keep productive,” explains Banerjee. 

“I also make sure I shuffle my artistic medium to take the productive break from the photographic medium by parallelly engaging in creating art across different domains like painting, making mixed media projects, composing music, playing the guitar and singing.”

“Hot Cross Buns” by Nilangana Banerjee (winner of the 2017 Chromatic Awards  in Conceptual Category at the International Color Photography Contest)

Over the years Banerjee has earned numerous awards for her work as a photographer, which includes being named ViewBug Photo Contest’s 2020 Community Choice Award winner in the Image of the Month, Inspiring Landscapes, The Wonder of the World and Change of Seasons categories, as well as the contest’s 2020 Choice Award winner in the Monochrome Masters Project category, and their 2019 Peer Choice Award winner in the Image of the Month and Emerging Talent categories. She also earned the 2018 Peer Award in the Fashion category and the Celebrity Award in the Image of the Month category from the ViewBug Photo Contest, in addition to being named the 2017 winner of the Monochrome Awards (conceptual category) at the International Black and White Photography Contest, the International Color Photography Contest’s Chromatic Award winner (conceptual category) and many more.

Banerjee is lauded for her creative eye and her ability to capture photos that lead viewers to think deeply about the subjects she tackles– such as social issues and those concerning mental health. 

One photo series that has made Banerjee stand out in a big way is her open-ended narrative project “The Selves,” which focuses on the psychological craving people have to become an ideal individual and the utter dissatisfaction they experience when judging their existing self to be somehow less than ideal. 

“The Selves” by Nilangana Banerjee

“The Selves,” which Banerjee is continually expanding, was featured in the 2017 Photo Ville global exhibition in Brooklyn, NY and the Dark Arts Exhibition at the Squid Ink gallery in Los Angeles, CA, as well as by the California Council of Arts and at the Black Box Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

“The series ‘The Selves’ is an artistic manifestation of the internal dialogue… a conflict an individual has with their inner selves in the process of choosing who they truly are or who they should be,” explains Banerjee. 

“The message of this series is simple– it aims to provide a face to the abstract psychological headspace of an individual plagued with the necessity to fulfill the un-demanded and unwanted responsibility of being the ideal self.”

“The Selves” by Nilangana Banerjee

Through Banerjee’s lens and visionary art direction, “The Selves” captures the sense of exhaustion and self-loathing that ensues when a person is entangled in an endless effort to become something or someone different. The series is filled with dark, almost gothic elements, with the photos giving way to the overall feeling that the subjects are trying to submerge parts of themselves. 

Growing up in India, Banerjee experienced first hand the way societal expectations lead people to ignore their true nature in pursuit of an ideal, oftentimes at the expense of their mental health.

“I drew my inspiration from being a part of a culture that stresses the need to be one’s ideal self at any cost,” Banerjee explains. “In most societies or generally in the world we don’t see these mental turmoil being acknowledged as real issues unless they present themselves in their aggravated forms.”

As an artist, Banerjee uses her craft as a way to shed light on many of these issues in a palpable and poignant way. 

She adds, “Believing in the quote that a picture is worth a thousand words, I feel that it is important to create art that spreads awareness and initiates the conversation about these preliminary issues which is required for the social stir we need to un-plant these seeds giving rise to an unhealthy society.”

The Selves” by Nilangana Banerjee

Some of Banerjee’s other successful personal series include “The Anomalous,” which was featured on the June 2020 cover of the fashion editorial magazine GMARO, and “The Lullaby,” which has been featured in Daily Style entertainment, Brooklyn PR Girl, Hollywood Patch, So Reckless and more.

“She works harder than anyone else and puts as much into her shoot preparation and execution as she does on her post-production. Her avocation and relaxation is by doing artwork,” says fashion model Daniel Kinske. “Her candid stills are also artistic in her approach to the finishing touches. Her care and attention to detail are the same for all subjects and her direction is very easy to follow and reassuring.” 

When she’s not shooting personal projects that carry powerful messages, Banerjee is busy working as the inhouse photographer for Jill Roberts where she is in charge of shooting the fashion brands products, accessories and clothing line. Along with photographing all of the Jill Roberts products, as well as those for the company Beauty Architects, Banerjee’s role as an inhouse photographer includes handling all of the post-production and editing, as well as wardrobe styling and art direction for the shoots. 

Banerjee says, “Since I work as an inhouse photographer at two companies while simultaneously dealing with numerous brands and freelance commercial clientele, which all run on present project timelines, balancing the time between the commercial photoshoots while still working on my personal creative fine art conceptual project is the main challenge,”

While the process of balancing commercial photography and personal projects is a tricky one, Banerjee has managed to accomplish just that by creating an efficient schedule, something that she believes, along with self-discipline, have been key to her success.

“Planning and effective time management is key… I am able to maintain this balance by having a very planned timetable for myself that enables me to achieve every single thing I want to accomplish on a daily basis and meet all my goals, without compromising the quality of my work,” she explains. 

“I have a disciplined schedule which starts very early and I follow the habit of creating a detailed plan map which I draw out for the following day, the night before. I follow it, religiously every single day and utilize time efficiently. This is what allows me to achieve everything I set.”

While most of us have encountered the image of the artist who struggles to get by as they spend their time doing nothing but following their creative and often sporadic inspiration, it doesn’t have to be that way. More and more artists, like Nilangana Banerjee, are proving that it’s possible to successfully meet the demands of their clients in the commercial sphere while simultaneously maintaining a strong creative output of personal work. 

Renan Pacheco Sheds Light on How He Became a Digitally Influencing Phenomenon

Renan Pacheco
Digital Influencer Renan Pacheco in Mykonos, Greece

As you scroll Instagram, have you ever seen someone beautiful, in an equally breathtaking setting, and wondered how they managed to land hundreds of thousands of followers? These digital influencers indeed have what seems like the best job in the world. By amassing a loyal following, they have the unique position of traveling the world as a digital influencer where their costs are footed by sponsorships from international brands.

Of course, there are millions of exceptionally beautiful faces out there, so what is it specifically that makes a digital influencer stand out? Look no further than Renan Pacheco, a French digital influencer and undeniable heartthrob with thousands of fans across the globe.

I was lucky enough to catch up with this global Instagram sensation to find out what it’s like being a digital influencer, and how he got his start. He is currently nominated for two Monaco Influencer Awards, which will take place in October.

While his insta profile currently boasts nearly 650K followers, Renan was dazzling cameras long before he made his way into his incredibly profitable career as a digital influencer, where he admits that he often earns “a five figure number per post.” Earning a minimum of $20,000 per post is a pretty impressive figure, one that makes it quite obvious that Renan’s reputation for engaging viewers with his creativity is a major profit source for the brands that ask him to come on board as an influencer in their market.

Renan Pacheco for Havaianas Europe

Though he was raised in France, Renan was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil — and you can bet that the combination of his multicultural upbringing and looks work to his benefit as an influencer. Renan was first ushered into the spotlight at the age of 14 when he won a modeling competition.

“A friend of mine sent my Facebook pictures to an online contest and only told me about it when I got selected to attend a catwalk in Paris,” Renan recalls.

“Once I got there, I looked around at the other models that were far more experienced and it seemed like they were feeling no pressure or stress whatsoever. We were all competing for some very valuable prizes and opportunities. It was my first time feeling ‘under pressure’ as a teenager and I’m proud I took it head on… Having 650,000 people seeing every day what I’m doing is something young Renan in that contest with an audience of 100 could probably not fathom!”

That seemingly destined contest win led Renan to land numerous other modeling contracts, at the same time while still a teen in Paris, he went on to make a name for himself as an actor. Back in 2014, he starred in a national commercial for Danone, followed by social media campaigns for Zadig and Voltaire, L’Oréal and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Renan Pacheco with Xenia Adonts at a Jean Paul Gaultier show

Filmmaker Matthieu Khalaf says, “Renan is a ‘one cut’ actor. I rarely ever have to re-shoot something with him or edit things out which is very convenient. Renan is an artist with an engineer-like discipline. He brings creativity as well as punctuality, discipline and work ethic which inevitably compounds to putting him ahead of the pack.”

Over the past few years Renan has played leading roles in films such as “Partons, dans un baiser,” the crime series “Falco,” and the French hit “Nos Chers Voisins,” where he took on a comedy role as the love interest of the lead character. And his ease as an actor and model have definitely lent themselves to his skill as an Instagram influencer.

As Instagram grew so did brand interest in what Renan had to offer. His first contracts were for L’Oréal and French footwear giant Courir.

“I had to post about them on Instagram. Instagram was a very new tool at the time, and my follower count being only in the low 5 figures, the required posts were made as a verbal request,” recalls Renan. “No one thought at the time that there would be written contracts for this one day! My first written contract for an Instagram post was for Kapten & Son, a famous eyewear company.”

For Renan there are undoubtedly perks that include traveling the world, attending posh parties and awards ceremonies, and making a pretty penny for posting on behalf of brands. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have to put effort into what he posts. He has a unique understanding and awareness of what his audience wants to see and makes incredible efforts to deliver. On top of that, he has to bring a high level of creativity to the images and stories he posts in order to serve the high-profile brands that support him.

Renan Pacheco for Harley Davidson

In terms of blending media exposure and creativity into his posts, Renan explains, “My pictures must take both criteria into account. ‘Media exposure’ means taking into account what my community wants to see. ‘Creativity’ means including the story the brand wants to tell. Often, the picture is what will satisfy the follower, and the caption is what will satisfy the storytelling.”

While a photo can say a thousand words, Instagram photos still require some catchy and thoughtful captions, and Renan is a pro at coming up with tidbits that will keep his audience engaged.

“I love reading and listening to audiobooks. I take active notes and like to share them as short nuggets of wisdom to complement my pictures. My followers gave such fantastic feedback that I decided to start posting pictures that complement the caption and not the other way around,” admits Renan.

“Approximately 1 out of 5 of my pictures are now about a story, a painting, an artist, a movie etc. It’s challenging but very rewarding and my community has definitely responded with the best feedback.”

On top of creating engaging posts to serve both the brand and the audience, one of the reasons that Renan has developed such a loyal following is the fact that he interacts so consistently with his audience. For most us, responding to countless direct messages and comments from over 650k followers would get exhausting, but Renan admits that is something that he actually enjoys.

Another aspect of Renan’s ability to maintain such a strong following and keep his career moving forward is the fact that he doesn’t just support any old brand that approaches him, for him remaining authentic and supporting brands that he can whole-heartedly get behind have been key.

Renan Pacheco at a Vampped Event in Palm Springs, CA

“If I don’t like the product, service or storytelling, I have to pass regardless of the financial compensation. People have a sixth sense for detecting what is truthful and what isn’t, and particularly now, I I think a big part of my success is always focusing on my follower experience.”

Renan is an avid traveller and brilliant visual storyteller renown in the social media world for his hard working spirit, integrity, and exceptional track record with leading brands. Outside from all the glitz and glamour, he admits that at the end of the day his favorite part of his career as a digital influencer is, “Meeting different people from all walks of life have been the most rewarding moments across my travels. Their stories, their lessons and most often their pains have been the building blocks for my life since college and I don’t think any other experience could be a substitute to that.”

“The Way We Get By” Star Francesca Ravera Prepares for NYC Premiere of “Espresso”

Francesca Ravera
Italian Actress Francesca Ravera shot by Mario Buscaglia

Italian actress Francesca Ravera, who has made a huge mark for herself in the U.S. film and theater industry over the past few years, recently brought her talents back to her home country where she wowed audiences with her lead role as Beth in the acclaimed production of “The Way We Get By.” 

After a hugely successful run at the Urban Stages Theater in New York earlier this year, “The Way We Get By” embarked on an Italian summer tour with performances in Milan, Turin and Genoa. 

Written by American playwright Neil LaBute and directed by Kim T. Sharp, “The Way We Get By” revolves around Beth, played by Ravera,and Doug, two young attractive singles who meet at a drunken wedding reception and end up having sex at the apartment Beth shares with her control freak roommate. However, the intimacy that commences between the two is far from organic, and the underlying root of that is one of the main complexities of the story that makes it so intriguing. 

“Beth is a sweet and sensitive girl who has been hurt by fleeting flings with boys who only wanted her for her body. Used to being seen as an object or a trophy, Beth tries to connect with Doug the only way she knows how- through seduction,” explains Ravera. 

“I enjoyed exploring her needs, her desire to connect with Doug and be free to love him. I dug into her dreams, fears and contradictions.” 

After waking Beth up with his insomniac fidgeting, Doug deflects her sexual advances and she reveals that they share a surprising bond from the past. Beyond this startling discovery, we also learn that Beth is dealing, or in the moment, not dealing, with a riddled sexual history where, having been previously objectified by men, she’s learned to rely upon her sexuality as her only way to connect.

“The role [of Beth] called for an actor who could commit to the moment while still having a complicated, conflicting history she needed to access as the action shifted,” explains director Kim T. Sharp. 

A sexy and fast-paced rom com about love, lust and life, there’s no doubt about it, Francesca Ravera was the perfect actress to play the starring role of Beth in the production.

“It was fabulous to see [Francesca] unlock one moment after another as she found the foundation of Beth. When the action shifted and Beth was faced with her past it was both surprising and, yet, understandable. Francesca brought Beth’s two worlds together in a richly satisfying way.”

Francesca Ravera
Actress Francesca Ravera shot by Giada Lefebvre

“The Way We Get By” depended heavily on Ravera, and her performances in both Italy and the U.S. did not disappoint.

“In addition to her talent and commitment, she possessed a presence on stage. ‘Presence’ is an elusive quality that keeps the audience engaged even when the actor is not talking, moving or doing business; the audience is simply drawn to the character,” says Sharp. 

“In my experience as a director, it is a rare and intriguing quality that even very talented actors don’t have access to. Francesca’s presence was an essential part of the success of the project.”

For Ravera, who moved to the States a few years ago, where she has little expectations other than to complete her training and become a better actor, coming back to Italy with the production of “The Way We Get By,” which was performed in English, is like coming full circle.

“When I moved to New York I was focusing on what I had to give and offer, as a person, and as an actor. Little did I know back then that so many offers would come my way here in the U.S.,” admits Francesca. “‘I began feeling, every day, overwhelming gratitude, which translated into an urge to give even more. It was about then that this amazing opportunity opportunity came my way, and I was able to bring my work, and the work of an incredible American Playwright, to Europe, and perform it in its original language.”

In addition to illustrious list of powerful theatrical performances, Ravera has been praised internationally for her film work. She recently took home numerous Awards for Best Actress from the Oniros Film Awards, Care Awards, the Diamond Film Awards, Best Actor Award, Milestone Worldwide Film Festival, Mindfield Film Festival Albuquerque, Five Continents International Film Festival, and Los Angeles Film Awards for her titular role in the dramatic film Claire. 

Actress Francesca Ravera
Actress Francesca Ravera shot by Claudio Catania

Directed by Andrea Silvestro and produced by Adrama, which  Ravera previously worked with on the film Ulysses: A Dark Odyssey, where she shared the screen with four-time Primetime Emmy nominee Danny Glover, Claire tells the story of a young woman who is trying to hold on to a failing relationship despite knowing deep down that her fiance no longer loves her.

Claire screened in July at the at the Venus Italian Film Festival in Las Vegas, where Ravera took home yet another Award for Best Actress, as well as the at the Chain Film Festival last month. 

Up next for the actress is the production of Canadian playwright Lucia Frangione’s “Espresso,” which is slated to run in New York in 2020. 

Earlier this month “Espresso” had its first NYC premiere via a staged reading at Urban Stages Theatre in NYC directed by Kim T. Sharp, who directed Ravera in “The Way We Get By,” where it earned powerful and positive reviews. 

UK media outlet The 730 Review writes, “Clever banter and meticulous metaphors abound in Ms. Frangione’s bold and brilliant script, yet no word ever feels misplaced, forced, or indulgently included for the sake of ostentatiousness. The actors confidently give convincing performances, no matter the role they are playing in any given moment.”

Francesca Ravera
Jesse Koehler & Francesca Ravera in the Staged Reading of “Espresso” by ACV Photography

“Espresso” revolves largely around Ravera’s character Rosa Dolores, a first generation Canadian, and her Italian family. In fact, Ravera takes on three pivotal and starkly different roles in the production, the first as Rosa, the co-narrator of the story and the daughter of the now hospitalized patriarch Vito, her grandmother Nonna, and her stepmother Cinzella. 

Ravera says, “This story is inspired by the playwright’s life, and I could feel this. ‘Espresso’ is a generous and beautifully written gift, filled with humanity and passion. It makes you laugh, and cry, and ache and think, and hope. It’s a blessing for me to have been cast in it.”

Ravera plays opposite Jesse Koehler, who interchangeably takes on the roles of Vito, Jesus and Amante, who serves as both the Holy Spirit and a symbol of Eros.

A passionate story about family values, religion, oppression and transformation centered around three women very different women in need of deep healing, “Espresso” is definitely one production theatre goers won’t want to miss. 

 

Guitarist in the Spotlight: Agam Timor of the Barns Courtney Band

Agam Timor
Guitarist Agam Timor shot by Monika Wilczynska

While the frontman in a band usually gets most, if not all, of the media’s attention, the bands we love would not be what they are without the integral contributions of the rest of the members. When it comes to the guitar stylings and overall musical contributions of Israeli musician Agam Timor, his are ones that deserve exponential recognition.

You may know Timor as the lead guitarist for the Barns Courtney band, whom he’s been touring the globe with for the past year. Signed to Capitol Records, the band has skyrocketed to international acclaim in recent years with sold out shows and several of their singles topping the charts.

“After so many gigs together, almost every night, it creates a really warm environment, like a family,” says Timor.

Timor’s rhythmic fluidity, precision on the guitar, and mesmerizing stage presence have proven to be a powerful addition to the Barns Courtney band, just as they have for a long list of other bands over the years. While Timor’s talent has helped bring him into the spotlight, his success didn’t just happen overnight. It’s the result of years of dedication and an inexhaustible passion for what he does.

Growing up in Tel Aviv, Israel, Timor discovered his love for music at the budding age of 6. Quickly picking up the violin, piano and saxophone, his passion for music grew, but it was upon discovering his connection with guitar that he found his true love.

“Since I was 12 I never put the guitar down,” admits Timor. “I immediately fell in love with it.”

Most Israeli citizens living in Israel serve in the military at some point in their lives, and while Timor is no different, he served the country in a rather unique capacity. During his three year military service he was the guitarist and arranger for Israel’s military band.

Timor says, “I enjoyed the fact that although people from different places can be very different, love different things and going through different experiences in life before joining the army . They can still go through a similar experience while watching the show, at the end of the day, people want to feel something. They want to feel the energy and forget about the tough day they had on the base”

After completing his military service Timor was free to take his musicianship to new heights and it wasn’t long before he became a national sensation in Israel. He would go onto share stages with some of the country’s most idolized talents, including singer and actress Ruthi Navon, Momi Levi and Moran Mazor, who competed in Israel’s Eurovision Song Contest, Chen Aharoni, who appeared on The X Factor UK, The X Factor Israel and Kokhav Nolad (Israel’s version of American Idol), vocalist Meital De Razon, and many more. Timor would also go on to perform as the house guitarist on the hit series The X Factor Israel, in the hit musical “Mary Lou,” as well as on Sports Channel 5 Israel, where he played the morning show hosted by Slutzki and Dominguez. Timor actually played the morning show on more than one occasion, often being called in to  play a few songs each time with a new rising artist, and then chatting with the hosts on air about life and music.

Agam Timor
Agam Timor shot by Arielle Kassulke

“I assume that any musician that keeps practicing and listening to music eventually would play great. The difference between being a professional and an amateur is pretty much the attitude and the amount of dedication one has to the project, always aim higher and keep evolving your craft,” says Timor.

Though there is definitely substantial truth in the age old saying ‘practice makes perfect,’ few will make it quite as far as Timor has over the span of his short life no matter how much they practice. At age 26, he has already proven himself to be among the world’s top guitarists. With his virtuosic talent, it’s not surprising that Timor was accepted to the Berklee College of Music, one of the most competitive music schools out there. Not only was he accepted, but he was given a scholarship, a rare award that few receive, and in 2018 he went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude.

While Timor’s strength and versatility as a guitarist has led him to be tapped to play with a pretty long list of heavy hitters in the music industry, it’s not the spotlight that drives him to perform. Behind the scenes, he is a powerhouse when it comes to writing and arranging music, and he’s used his talents in that area to create music for other artists over the years. In 2014 he worked alongside legendary producer Luis Lahav on the album for artist Or Colenberg.

“For this project I recorded all the guitars and arranged the album with my colleagues Amit Shtriker and Tom Lahav. I will never forget this project and how much we felt involved in the recorded music,” recalls Timor. “The most incredible thing is to add your own personal taste to someone else’s music and watch it become something whole.”

Another project that Timor holds dear to his heart was when he recorded the album Beit-Aba with the artist Doron Raphaeli, the founder of the popular music group Tararam.

“We spent days in the studio working on this album, I especially remember the day when we recorded the guitar solo for ‘Aguim’ that it was so late at night and Doron fell asleep in the control room while the engineer and I finished recording the song.”

With a plethora of cultural influences and experience playing diverse genres such as pop, funk, r&b, blues-rock, gospel, middle-eastern, fusion and jazz, Timor brings the full-package to the table as both a guitarist and arranger.

“When I work with artists, I first try to understand their character and what I can add from my perspective that would complement their music. When I succeed in doing that I feel that’s when the artist is being satisfied the most. Add your flavor to the same field.”

Last year Timor made another huge mark in the Israeli music industry when he was tapped to compose the intro for Omer Adam’s show, which was the first concert to be performed at the Sammy Ofer Stadium and was a sold out success. Having competed on the series Kokhav Nolad, and releasing four hit albums over the last few years, Omer Adam is arguably one of Israel’s most famous contemporary artists.

Timor admits, “I got amazing comments about the musical intro to his show and how much it enhanced Omer’s character as an artist.”

Though playing in shows such as the celebrated Israeli musical “Mary Lou” have led Agam Timor to become a celebrity in Israel, and his role in the Barns Courtney Band has led him to play in front of hundreds of thousands of fans across the globe, what Timor enjoys most is the simple art of creating music.

Guiding his life and career by the famous quote, “Do what you love, and you will never work a day in your life,” Timor is an inimitable pro at doing what he loves and doing it in a big way.

Abou Traore Makes a Name For Himself in A Performance Sport Akin to Magic

Abou Traore
Abou Traore shot by Inaeei

While many of us have seen famous soccer players break into dance in celebration of a hard earned goal on the field or a breakdancer who weaves a few ball tricks into their act, the idea of a performance sport that intertwines soccer skills and dance at a professional level is relatively new. Those in the know refer to it as ‘Freestyle Football,’ and former Guinean soccer player Abou Traore is among the top performers in this amazing discipline.

Regardless of whether he’s performing for street crowds or in front of the audiences of thousands of people attending Luzia, the hit international Cirque Du Soleil show he’s performed with since 2016, Abou Traore moves with flawless style, stamina and grace, and the smile never once leaves his face.

After spending a decade playing soccer semi-professionally for the clubs ES Parisienne, MFC Montrouge, Paris FC and Paris Saint Germain, Abou took his soccer ball to the streets in 2011 and began experimenting with a new style of performance art. Blending his athleticism and technical soccer skills with fluid movement, dance and astonishing choreography, Abou’s innovative freestyle football performances quickly turned him into an international celebrity.

Though being chosen as a lead performer in the mesmerizing Cirque Du Soleil show Luzia has undoubtedly put Abou in the spotlight, his groundbreaking talent had begun earning extensive attention well before he joined the show.

Some of the tricks that have made Abou so exciting to watch are his signature moonwalk move, where he glides across the floor with the ball on his head, and his windmill trick, which is inspired by the eponymous breakdance move, but brings the added difficulty of gripping a soccer ball between his flexed foot and shin– only to move it around to other parts of his body as he flows through the move. Take a look at the video here to see Abou’s windmill trick in action.

When asked what gets audiences most excited, Abou says “It is when I mix breakdance moves with the ball. “Every time the audience is wowed because they don’t think it’s possible. Some people think I have glue on my feet to hold the ball, so I did it barefoot to prove it.”

From the moment Abou began performing on the streets, fans couldn’t get enough of him; and they made sure to spread the word through social media. With onlookers around the world capturing countless live videos of Abou working his magic, his profile rose exponentially.

In 2013 the social media buzz around Abou landed him his first “professional” job when the entertainment company Brazil Fever discovered him through a YouTube video. They signed Abou on as a part of the act and he began performing at high-profile events across France as a lead member of the Brazilian Samba performance troupe. At the same time, he was consistently being invited to perform regularly on major television shows airing across multiple continents alongside his brother Iya Traore, who is another key figure in the discipline of freestyle football.

Becoming a celebrated figure on the small screen, Abou wowed German audiences when he performed on the popular RTL TV series “Unschlagbar” aka “Unbeatable,” a challenge series that earned No. 1 ratings and averaged 3.89 million viewers per episode. Japan got a taste of his impressive skill when he performed on Nippon TV, and his presence in France grew even more when he was invited to perform on NRJ12’s hit series “Le Mag.”

Moving from performing for street crowds to international audiences through major televised events, Abou’s journey is a rare and inspiring success story. Since 2016 he has continued to impress audiences across Canada, the U.S. and Mexico with his agility and magnetic stage presence through his performances in over 700 shows with Luzia. He even performed in front of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and last year he was invited to speak at Google about the show.

Inspired by rich Mexican culture, Luzia weaves elements of light (luz) and rain (lluvia) into it’s succession of highly stylized acts, and when Abou takes the stage, audiences know something special is coming. The only performer on stage at the beginning of the act, Abou playfully moves around with his soccer ball revealing a little sliver of his skill.

He says, “The audience is very interested because at first, there is no music, and they are not ready to see football in a Cirque show.”

He is then joined by football freestyler Laura Biondo. Together, the two performers enact a scene of a boy and girl playing ball in the street, each inspiring one another to push their skills further, followed by their solo performances. A soundtrack of laughter and children’s voices plays in the background, and a palpable feeling of wonder and joyful innocence is felt as they move across the stage. The 38th show that Cirque Du Soleil has put on since 1984, Luzia has received rave reviews.

In promotion of the show, Abou has performed live on the Toronto morning show “Breakfast Television,” FOX 31 News in Denver, Colorado, “The Late Late Show with James Corden” on CBS, Access Hollywood Live, and more. He’s also been featured in a plethora of popular newspapers and online platforms including Montreal’s Metro, The Chicago Tribune, The Globe and Mail, The Orange County Register, Redmond Reporter, 303 Magazine, and countless others.

Since the beginning of human history there has been a drive to use performance as a means of expression and a way to unite communities, and that’s no different today. Right when we think that we’ve innovated as far as we can, someone like Abou Traore breaks onto the scene and shows us something completely new and previously unimaginable. Though it is safe to say that most people around the world probably didn’t know much about this performance discipline prior to Abou Traore’s arrival on the scene, with all the attention he’s received from media outlets across the globe for his powerful performances over the last few years, he’s turned freestyle football into something that is now recognizable on a global scale.

From the Screen to Magazines Andreas Holm-Hansen is Red Hot

Hailing from Copenhagen, Denmark international actor and model Andreas Holm-Hansen was born with perfect bone structure, fiery red hair and a freckled and fit physique that effortlessly turns heads.

Over the last few years redheaded models with a healthy dose of freckles have gotten a major boost in the eyes of the public thanks to the work of leading photographers like Michelle Marshall, Maja Topcagic and her 2015 photo series “Freckled,” and Keith Barraclough’s “The Redhead Project,” but the list would not be complete without mentioning the innovative work of Thomas Knights.

In 2014 Knights released the Red Hot 100 book, a photo series that has been called ‘the ultimate bible for hot ginger men,’ and with his good looks and natural red hair it’s not at all surprising that Andreas Holm-Hansen made the cut, which makes him one of ‘the 100 sexiest Red Hot Guys in the World.’

Knights and Holm-Hansen clearly had a successful collaboration as the photographer called him back to shoot his newest exhibition and book “Red Hot II” earlier this year. Not only is Holm-Hansen featured throughout the book, but he also nabbed the cover shot for the “Red Hot II,” which was released in October. You can also check out Holm-Hansen in the highly seductive video that was made to promote the book, which reveals him in all is red headed freckled glory. Anyone who watches the video would find it difficult to say that Holm-Hansen is anything but on fire.

Andreas Holm-Hansen
Andreas Holm-Hansen on the cover of Red Hot II by Thomas Knights

 

In 2012 Holm-Hansen also landed a featured role in the music video for three-time Grammy Award winning artist P!nk’s “Blow Me (One Last Kiss),” which has been astonishingly well-received by fans earning more than 72 million views on YouTube.

As a model Holm-Hansen’s international appeal has been a driving force in his success. Earlier this year he landed a massive campaign for Väla Centrum in Helsingborg, Sweden; if the local Swedes didn’t know him before, they definitely know him now, considering his face is plastered to the outer walls of the popular shopping center, and he is featured on the cover of the center’s Winter issue of Väla Magazine.

Andreas Holm-Hansen
Andreas Holm-Hansen on a billboard at Väla Centrum

From massive billboards to a lengthy list of high-profile commercials, Holm-Hansen’s captivating aesthetic appeal has made him a go-to talent among advertisers across the world. Audiences across Europe will immediately recognize him for his featured roles in popular commercials for brands and organizations such as Miracle Whip, Telmore Play, Eovendo, Synoptik, Danske Bank, Norwegian Airlines, Komplett, The Zulu Comedy Festival and others.

In addition to being featured in a number of magazines such as Tantalum Magazine, Visionarios Magazine, Elléments Magazine and PAF Magazine, he’s also been the face of a number of massive print campaigns including B&O’s H6 Limited Edition, Phoamy, Arbejdernes Landsbank, DSB and Sundhedsstyrelsen’s Stop for 5.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

While his unique look has definitely put him in the spotlight, Andreas Holm-Hansen has a whole lot more than a just good-looking face going for him. Through a series of lead acting roles in productions such as Benjamin Murray’s crime mystery “The Hit” and “Don’t Bring Guns to a Knife Fight,” Jose Rico’s “Blood Legacy,” Jesper Holm Pedersen’s “Shit Happens” and David B. Sørensen’s “Bellum,” Holm-Hansen has proven himself to be a diversely talented actor who can bring virtually any character to life. His knock-out performances to date have revealed him as the rare kind of actor who is capable of captivating his audience regardless of the genre.

One performance that really stands out though was when Holm-Hansen took to the screen in the recurring lead role of ‘Mad’ Mads Steen in the satirical series “Dreaming in Mono.” Presented mockumentary style, “Dreaming in Mono” follows the rivalry of two Nordic ski champions, one of which desperately wants to break a record on a monoski and starts his own team of underdog skiers who actually think it’s possible, they are Team Monoski!

We first encounter Holm-Hansen’s character ‘Mad’ Mads Steen trying to fix his broken down car in the middle of blizzard wearing nothing but his underwear, furry hat and boots, making it easy to see how he earned the nickname ‘Mad.’ Unfortunately for Mad his skiing skills have something to be desired, which makes total sense considering his prior ski experience consisted of using his ski poles to thrust himself across the flat grass-covered lands of Denmark. It’s not a stretch to say that Holm-Hansen is one of the leading comedy highlights in the series, as we continually watch his character lose his balance and flail uncontrollably down the slope every time he clicks into his skis and sets down on actual snow.

Mad could easily be considered Team Monoski’s awkward rebel, but his constant boundary pushing ways eventually put him on thin ice with his teammates. In fact, “Dreaming in Mono” dedicates an entire episode to an intervention with Holm-Hansen’s character where the team tries to get the brash Dane to curb his unsportsmanlike ways, which leads Mad to huff and puff and storm his way all the way back to his hotel room; but thankfully for the team he comes around in the end.

 

Dreaming in Mono
Poster from “Dreaming in Mono”

 

Produced by the Swedish production company Happy Fiction and created by the international creative agency Perfect Fools “Dreaming in Mono” was written and directed by multi-award winner Jens Jonsson, who earned the Grand Jury Prize from the prestigious Sundance Film Festival for the film “Ping-pongkingen” in addition to being nominated for two Guldbagge Awards, which are the Sweden’s equivalent of an Academy Award.

The seven episode series was broadcast by four major TV networks in the Nordic countries, with Andreas Holm-Hansen dazzling audiences the whole way through. The series, which was ironically created to promote McDonald’s in the Nordic countries, but rarely,  if ever, mentions  the fast food chain verbally, also stars Bernard Cauchard (“Superhjältejul,” “It’s My Turn Now”) and Alexandra Alegren (“Gåsmamman,” “Madness of Many,” “Olivia Twist”).

With a rather astonishing list of leading roles in film and television projects, and even more high-profile modeling campaigns already under his belt, Andreas Holm-Hansen is one of the few actor/models we can confidently say will be doting his wide-spread talents upon both industries for years to come, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for this talented Dane.

 

Shayar Bhansali’s Editing on “Against Night” Earns International Recognition

Shayar Bhansali
“Against Night” team from left to right: editor Shayar Bhansali, Elena Caruso (actor), Stefan Kubicki (writer/director), Saba Zerehi (producer), Konstantin Lavysh (actor) and Lucas Lechowski (composer) at AFI Fest in Los Angeles

 

Getting his start as an editor in the world of narrative film with none other than the iconic India based production company, Yash Raj Films International, Shayar Bhansali seemed destined for greatness even at the very the beginning of his career. And, the international success he’s received over the last few years through his work on multi-award winning films including “Wild & Precious” and “Kicks” make it undeniably clear that he’s already made it to the top.

One of Bhansali’s recent projects as lead editor, and one that proves why he is such a sought after talent in the film industry, is “Against Night” from writer/director Stefan Kubicki.

Set in the 1960s, “Against Night” starring Konstantin Lavysh (“Five Days of War,” “Karaganda,” “Juke Box Hero”) as Vitali, multi-award winning actress Elena Caruso (“Paper,” “Cloverfield”) as Marina, and Eve Korchkov  (“Joseph,” “A Night at Christmas”) as Lenka, follows Vitali, a cosmonaut who crash lands in a seemingly desolate stretch of snow-covered land in Mongolia.

Climbing out of the small capsule, Vitali stumbles his way through the ostensibly endless miles of snow and nothingness in the midst of a blizzard until he finds himself at the door of a lamp lit yurt in the middle of nowhere. The home of a reticent and shaman-like man, once Vitali steps into the yurt, the real emotional drama and the film’s underlying story begins to reveal itself. As he drifts into a deep and feverish dream-state, Vitali’s present world intermixes, through a series of flashbacks that serve as a major source of plot development, with painful memories of the daughter and wife he lost in a tragic accident years prior.

“[The film] explores the relationship we have with time and memory,” explains Bhansali. “Part of the challenge with the project was to find a good handle on tone, and to be able to maintain the style and rhythm achieved by production through the edit.”

The numerous awards Bhansali earned from festivals across continents prove that he nailed the task with his work taking home the Festival Prize for Best Editing at India’s 2015 Kolkata International Film Festival and the LAIFF June Award for Best Editing from the 2015 Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards.

Immediately drawing viewers in with a heart-pumping scene of Vitali and his co-pilot struggling to remain calm as their capsule malfunctions and begins to crash, Bhansali’s precise edits created a beautiful and dynamic rhythm for the unfolding story throughout the entirety of the film. Through his edits Bhansali provides the necessary pauses to allow viewers to really understand and feel the pain of Vitali’s loss when the emotional aspects of the dram are at their height.

While “Against Night” was shot with Russian dialogue, Bhansali admits that there were many similarities in his approach to editing regardless of the language. “I’ve worked with other languages before and the interesting thing for me is how similar the process is – I still spend a lot of time watching dailies and making decisions about performance, thinking about structure and the emotional rhythm of the piece and putting together a first cut within the time frame that’s expected for a project like this. The thing that’s a little different is how the director and I end up spending our time – initially a lot more of it was spent looking at dialogue delivery and sculpting performance.”

A film that has had an incredible impact on audiences, “Against Night” actors Konstantin Lavysh and Eve Korchkov earned the Best Actor and Best Actress Awards at the Long Island International Film Expo for their performances in the film. Aside from the awards Bhansali and the two lead actors earned for their work on the film, “Against Night” also won the Cinematic Achievement Award from THESS International Short Film Festival, the National Jury Award from the USA Film Festival, the Maverick Award and the Jury Prize from the Woodstock Film Festival, the Best Narrative Award from the Ojai Film Festival and several others.

You check out the trailer for the multi-award winning film “Against Night” edited by Shayar Bhansali below:

Some of Shayar Bhansali’s other work includes Mattson Tomlin’s drama “Persuasion,” Sahirr Sethhi’s “Zoya,” Shuming He’s comedy “La Bella” and the drama “Loveland.”

About the powerful force Bhansali brings to the table as an editor, “Persuasion” director Mattson Tomlin (whose film “Rene” Bhansali is currently editing) explains, “The work of the director, cinematographer, and the actors very often falls on the editor’s shoulders. A great editor is able to champion the best of the best performances and manipulate even those at their worst into something emotional and resonating. In the case of Mr. Bhansali, I have seen him time and time again act as both a problem solver and a treasure hunter, often finding the key moments to make a scene work in the most unintended places.”

Over the years Bhansali has proven his ability to tackle some of the most challenging stories and translate them into seamless visual productions through his precision as an editor. While he earned his master’s in film editing from AFI, he initially began his collegiate career many years ago studying psychology, something that has proven to be incredibly useful in his work as an editor because it allows him to understand the mindsets and emotions of the characters in the stories he creates with his edits.

“As filmmakers, I believe we are constantly working with the medium to guide the way our viewers feel – and to do this successfully one has to have to be sensitive to the way we think. I’m not sure I realized this at the time but my interest in psychology and the way our minds work definitely helped me shape emotions and characters,” explains Bhansali.

“Whether it’s a fictionalized post apocalyptic world with a robot as it’s protagonist or a based-on-reality story about a soldier fighting in WWII – the thing that makes these movies resonate with me is the humanity within the story and characters.”

UK Artist Katie Bright’s “Pre-Love Past Loves”Lights Up New York’s Melrose Ballroom

Showgirls_by_Kaliisa Conlon
Katie Bright in one of her hand made wolf garments in “Showgirls” shot by Kaliisa Conlon

 

There is an “art” that comes with fashion, be it style or design, which is why the transition from fashion to art was a smooth one for creative mastermind and performer Katie Bright, also known by her artist name, Miss BrightSide. The extraordinary artist recently held a runway performance exhibiting her art pieces at New York’s Melrose Ballroom entitled “Pre-loved Past Loves.”

The show consisted of 7 models, starring Miss Brightside herself, all dolled up and sporting unique dresses each constructed with various soft, plush fur-like, wolf mask designs, all hand sewn and crafted by the artist. Each unique mask represents Miss Brightside’s previous lovers and conveys her love for fantasy, play and storytelling.

The British born, 36 year old artist originally graduated with a B.A. in Fashion, and designed for major Italian fashion brand United Colors of Benetton, as well as celebrated Australian fashion designer Akira Isogawa, whose fashion designs are displayed at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

“Over the years most of the fashion collections I have created have been transmuted from work seen in galleries. Whether it was a colour palette from a painting or clothing informed by a sculpture,” says Bright regarding her designs, which were inspired by other art works.

Bright’s fixation and zeal for art led to her evolution as a visual artist and performer. In 2012, she decided to put together her first solo exhibit “My Fairytale Perspective on Love” with aMBUSH gallery, which was a sensation with over 1,000 supporters. Bright’s phenomenal success confirmed her footprint in the art world and allowed her to pursue her Masters in Fine Art at the esteemed Central Saint Martins in London. The renowned art and design school is known for such distinguished alumni as designer and “Project Runway” judge Zac Posen, singer -songwriter PJ Harvey, rapper MIA, artist Lee Wagstaff, and the illustrious designer Alexander McQueen.

Reminiscent of prominent artists such as Andy Warhol and Banksy, Brightside utilizes iconography and visual imagery to express her message in her art work. She says, “I would describe myself as a performance and installation artist interested in iconography, Hollywood, fairytales and feminine representation.”

However, for Brightside, it’s the subject matter of scopophilia (the pleasure or love of looking) that is near and dear to her heart as scopophilia is the driving force behind most of her art pieces, with the female, in this case iconic Disney characters such as Minnie Mouse, Aerial the mermaid, and Jessica Rabbit, as the objects of desire that are being gazed upon.

Throughout her first exhibit, Brightside used a screen printing technique, applying her prints onto a mirror, to reflect her enchanted, fairytale theme. The artist’s explanation was that, “I would hope the audience could entertain the position of a voyeur or scopophiliac. There is also the view that through my journey the observer could interpret their position of being a woman.”

The visual artist continues to play with iconic imagery and the topic of scopophilia by pushing the subject to new boundaries as Miss Brightside opened her latest New York art performance by coming out to the classic song “I Want to Be Loved by You” by Marilyn Monroe (from the Oscar nominated picture Some Like It Hot), wearing a white wedding dress, along with a blonde short wig, to personify the Hollywood legend.

Check out the live performance below:

“I believe Marilyn Monroe developed a formula. Famous for the bleach blonde hair, Nike ‘swoosh’ eyebrows, a full red lip pout and that iconic mole. Monroe’s ‘perfecting oneself’ beauty regime has been reproduced over the decades; whether blonde or brunette, we all accentuate what God gave us, and for some, to the point of becoming unrecognizable to our own mothers, ” says Bright, who intends to develop a full series of work on the voluptuous icon.

Aside from taking the art world by storm, Miss Brightside also has her designs set to premier this summer at the Surftides Lincoln City Hotel in Oregon, and at Tart Restaurant and Farmer’s Daughter Hotel in Los Angeles. She’s also currently organizing her third art exhibit entitled “Preloved II,” and if her show is anything like her first exhibit Miss Brightside will be sure to make room for new art, and fashion, enthusiasts alike.

From “Swearnet: The Movie” to “The Man in the Shadows,” Sarah Jurgens is an Actress We Love to Watch

 Sarah Jurges
Actress Sarah Jurgens in “The Man in the Shadows” taken by Andrew Cymek

For all the fans that feel a bit sad every time an episode of the hit show Trailer Park Boys ends after only 30 minutes, the release of Swearnet: The Movie probably came as quite a delight. Distributed by E1 Films Canada, Netflix and Dada Films, the 2014 release of the film Swearnet: The Movie pulled together the stars of Trailer Park Boys, with the added bonus of Tom Green, Carrot Top and Sarah Jurgens, for 112 minutes of crude laugh out loud comedy.

When CNT denies the next season of their show due to offensive language, Mike Smith, Rob Wells, John Paul Tremblay and Patrick Roach decide to form their own television network known as Swearnet, a haven for all those anti-censorship swear-a-holics, who just can’t seem to curb their tongue.

It seems the boys are back on top, as long as Wells can keep the new network a secret from his psycho girlfriend Julie, played by Jurgens, who brings the perfect dichotomy of anxiety and comedy to the film. The epitome of that crazy, overbearing girlfriend we’ve all known at one time or another, Julie makes Wells’ life a living hell throughout the film.

“I anchored her destructive behavior in deep insecurity and an insatiable desire for attention and drama. It was such a blast to be able to run wild with her,” recalls Sarah Jurgens.

Most viewers will recognize Jurgens from her more dramatic roles on the television shows Covert Affairs, Lost Girl, Republic of Doyle and Beauty and the Beast, but we get to see a totally different side of her in this film.

About working on Swearnet: The Movie, Jurgens says, “The director, Warren P. Sonoda, created a working environment that was fast-paced and creatively freeing. We were often encouraged to stretch the boundaries of the characters behavior, and the improv really kept me on my toes.”

Viewers will have the chance to see Jurgens in a starkly different role than Julie in the psychological drama film The Man in the Shadows, where she plays the role of Rachel Darwin. The film revolves around Jurgens’ character, a newlywed photographer who is haunted by a mysterious man in the shadows who continually appears wearing a brimmed hat.

Based on hundreds of accounts from people around the world who have had similar experiences with this mysterious presence, The Man in the Shadows premiered recently at the Dances with Films Festival in Los Angeles and is slated to screen again at the Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival on September 22.

“‘The Man In The Shadows’ gave me the permission to explore the experience of being haunted, hunted and stalked,” explains Jurgens. “I was given the opportunity to live in a state of mental unraveling. I enjoyed the challenge of playing a character who was wrestling with truth and illusion, experiencing the slippage of her own sanity.”

The film was also chosen as an Official Selection of the 2015 SCARE-A-CON Film Festival where Jurgens is nominated for a Best Actress Award, and the film is nominated for a Best Feature Award.

A Look at Leading Fashion Photographer Adina Doria and Ivy Levan!

A Canadian citizen who was originally born in Belgium, Miss Adina Doria has travelled the world with a camera since she was three-years-old. Through photography Adina Doria has been able to communicate that which is often incommunicable through words. Doria, who is currently working as a lead photographer for Sinko Branding in Los Angeles, has shot some of the world’s hottest fashion campaigns. Her work has been featured in magazines including Germany’s Huff magazine, Milan’s Trent Prive, LA Fashion Magazine, and countless others.

With her unique vision and unparalleled creativity, Doria’s photographs have provided a spotlight for many models in a way that has led them to great success.

Doria’s work with Ivy Levan depicts the well-known model, musician and actress as a luscious bombshell in a series of photographs that are so striking it is simply impossible for viewers to take their eyes off of her.  When it comes to lighting, Doria uses her artistry to capture Levan’s fierce sexuality in a way that is both cinematic and provocative.

While Levan is undoubtedly breathtaking in each photograph, the way Doria poses her model and incorporates various lighting techniques in accordance with the model’s wardrobe and make-up is a testament to her unrivalled artistic vision.

For example, in the shots where Levan is dressed like a futuristic dominatrix, Doria uses the perfect hint of blue lighting to capture her subject in a way that makes her look like a fierce ice queen. Doria’s use of subtle red lighting in the background of the shots where we see Levan dressed in 50’s-esque pinup lingerie holding a long bone cigarette holder is the perfect compliment to Levan’s blood red lipstick and sultry stare.

Aside from her incredible use of light and impeccable eye, Adina Doria is a magician when it comes to getting the shot. She has a way of accessing her subjects most photogenic angles within seconds of meeting them, a trait which not only makes her one of the best of photographers in the world, but one of the most sought after in the fashion industry.

 

Ivy Levan shot by Adina DoriaIvy_levan_adina_doria_07
Ivy_levan_adina_doria_06
Ivy_levan_adina_doria_11

Actor-Singer Rebecca Codas’ Remarkable Musical Journey

By Harold Norman

Canadian actress and singer Rebecca Codas

Although still at the dawn of her career, Canadian-born actor-singer Rebecca Codas is already recognized as a world class entertainer. Her high-voltage vocals command audience attention, effortlessly drawing her listeners in as she explores the full emotional depth of a lyric. A natural born thriller, Codas’ flawless execution and interpretive manner of phrasing supercharges each individual syllable with rich, empathic warmth—rare and valuable qualities for any singer—and has allowed Codas to appear before sell-out crowds at her own solo cabaret shows in hometown Toronto.

In Codas’ case, this sweet gift manifested itself very early in life. Unfortunately, so too did a bevy of emotional issues that the child was ill-equipped to deal with. 

“Around age 3, I started developing a lot of anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies,” she said. “As a kid I didn’t know how to handle it. Years later I was diagnosed with ADHD which explains it all.”

Yet these bouts of malaise were invariably offset by forays into her youthful passion, music and songs. And she never missed a chance to take advantage of this, albeit no matter how awkward the scenario may have been.

“At my brother’s bris—I was 3 years old mind you—I stole the microphone from the Rabbi and started singing ‘If You’re Happy and You Know It,’” Codas said. “All of those [mental issues] melted away when I was on stage. Relative getting married? School concert need a singer? I’m your gal! My poor brother was forced into so many living-room plays, I think he was relieved when I finally started doing them outside of the house. My parents quickly realized this performer-train was leaving the station and they needed to board or watch me go without them.”

Codas immersed herself in all things related to theater, performing in elementary school musicals (she played the lead in Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat), gained valuable experience with the Toronto Youth Theatre, devoted 5 full summers to the Performing Arts Project, a theatrical training program where she enjoyed invaluable collaborations with some of Canada’s leading stage and film actors. At 16, she boldly entered CBC network’s reality TV talent competition Over the Rainbow, competing against over a thousand others for the role of Dorothy in a planned production of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. Despite the tremendous pressure, Codas joyously rose to challenge and made it into the top twenty finalists. The final step was study at the world-famous William Esper Studio, a distinguished NYC school dedicated to the groundbreaking behavioral-based post-Method Meisner technique. There, Codas, through intensive study of virtually aspect of theater, put the finishing touches on her deep well of stagecraft.

Returning to Toronto, she began preparing for a permanent relocation to New York and came across a golden opportunity for an onstage farewell—the offer to present an evening of solo cabaret at beloved venue Hugh’s Room, an intimate performance space known both for its great acoustics and attentive audiences.

“In Toronto, I’d always been known as a kid obsessed with movie musicals,” Codas said. “But this was my opportunity to introduce my whole self. I sorted the stories from my experiences as a kid going through those mental health struggles. The whole show was about how I came to be who I am and finally releasing all of that—I almost felt like I should’ve credited my psychologist in the show’s program.” 

She assembled a team of her most talented musical friends and began to craft the evening’s flow through song selection and sequence. 

“I collaborated with my friend, Broadway conductor Madeline Benson (née Smith) who flew in from New York to be my music director,” Codas said. “We’d formed a great bond and friendship years ago at the Performing Arts Project, and I knew there was no one else I’d want to do this with.”

Madeline, a music director, arranger, conductor, and instrumentalist based in New York, had made history in 2016 as the youngest woman to conduct on Broadway when she served as in that capacity for the hit show Waitress. Others drafted to participate included performer Paris Martino and the ensemble of Cameron Fox-Revett, Laila Kharouba and Allister MacDonald, but Codas sang the majority of the program’s 17 songs. 

Rebecca Codas on stage

Shrewdly assembled for both maximum entertainment value and sheer emotional impact, it was an intimate set of Broadway and pop tunes from such diverse sources as Bonnie Raitt, Pink and Beyonce, along with a handful of her Toronto colleague’s fine original compositions. Taken together, they represented a unique, symbolic retrospective of Codas’ own spectrum of artistic and personal experience. As the evening approached, her excitement mounted. Every seat in the hose had sold out in advance, and finally it was upon her.

“There’s nothing like the relationship between a singer and her musicians performing together,” she said. “And there’s nothing the relationship between a singer and their audience—they share an unbreakable bond that can’t be recreated anywhere else. You’ll never have the same show twice, how exciting and terrifying is that? The amount work it takes to get to that moment is astounding. But when that moment comes, and you take a deep breath, and you forget all of the work, and just sing.”

The crowd loved it, as did her collaborators, “Performing alongside Rebecca Codas in her cabaret show was a highlight of my career,” Martino said. “Watching a true-talent doing what she was born to do inspires me as I continue my own journey in the entertainment industry.”

Codas had the time of her life that night and it was such an overall success that popular demand led to a second cabaret presentation the following year—one that sold out even faster than the first. Codas, in a sense, came full circle, finally shrugging off the internal discord of her childhood and embracing her fast-rising professional reputation as an exceptional actor-singer in New York. For Codas, the best is yet to come.

“In the past, at times, I’ve been terrified that I would fail,” she said. “Terrified that my fear and mental health struggles would win. But I pushed. The show was a phenomenal experience that I’ll never forget, and it did wonders for my confidence in my abilities. I loved every minute of it! And I am incredibly proud of myself for doing so. Now I know I have the strength to try. Here I am!”

The Art of Celebrity Portraits through the Lens of Monica Schipper

Adrien Brody shot by Monica Schipper

Be it through music, film or fashion, we have a habit of making celebrities larger than life. But no matter the level of hype surrounding them, the facade of celebrity can be dissolved and the human experience underneath can be revealed through portrait photography. While any picture can tell a thousand words, a perfectly executed portrait can tell a hundred stories. It can convey personality, passion and raw emotion in a way other mediums simply cannot, and it’s an art that professional photographer Monica Schipper has confidently mastered. 

A compelling portrait requires two things: an interesting subject and intelligent lighting. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, Schipper first developed her flair for photography with the assistance of her mother, positioning her in front of windows around the house and experimenting with the nuances of natural light. She couldn’t have foreseen it then, but after moving to America in 2008 and rising through the ranks of New York City’s photography scene, Schipper is now bringing that same enthusiasm and technical ability to photoshoots with some of today’s most influential figures.

David Oyelowo shot by Monica Schipper for Variety’s “10 to Watch”

One of Schipper’s first big breaks came in 2013 through seminal entertainment magazine Variety. Each year Variety unveils its “10 Actors to Watch,” highlighting up-and-coming talent marked to be cinema’s next big thing. The class of 2013 was a particularly distinguished group with the likes of Star Wars star Oscar Isaac, Black Panther protagonist Michael B. Jordan (fresh off his Sundance win for Fruitvale Station) and Marvel starlet Brie Larsson, all attending the honorary panel at the Hampton International Film Festival.

Booked by the HIFF as their house photographer, Schipper was briefed to capture high-quality images of the “10 Actors to Watch” for use in the film festival’s press releases, as well as by Variety for content related to their annual event. 

It wouldn’t be the last time Schipper’s work would be featured in Variety. Being a frequent contributor since 2013 to Getty Images, the world’s largest media agency, Schipper and her camera have been granted access to countless high-profile events and personalities. 

“When I’m shooting for Getty Images I often don’t know where my photos will end up,” the photographer says with a laugh. “My work turns up in publications all over the world!”

Through Getty, Schipper was assigned to shoot the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival’s social justice event, Tribeca Talks: TIME’S UP. A collaboration between Tribeca Film Festival and TIME’S UP in response to the national movement for gender equality in the workplace, the event hosted a day of conversations with women who had played pivotal roles in raising awareness for the cause. 

Activists, storytellers, business leaders, filmmakers, lawyers, media figures and more shared their stories and sought the next steps to establish the parameters for lasting change across industries and the pay spectrum. Schipper was briefed to capture strong, impactful portrait images of the speakers who participated in the Times Up panel discussions. The participants included prominent contemporary actresses such as two-time Golden Globe Award winner Marisa Tomei, Oscar Award winner Julianne Moore, Sienna Miller (“American Sniper”), Primetime Emmy nominee Jurnee Smollett, Primetime Emmy Award winner Mariska Hargitay, activist Tarana Burke and author Elaine Welteroth.

Julianne Moore (left) and Jurnee Smollett (right) shot by Monica Schipper for Tribeca Talks: Time’s Up

The portrait studio was a last-minute addition to the TIME’S UP event, requiring focused professionalism and a fair bit of improvisation on Schipper’s part. Finding a flow between solo and group shots within time and lighting constraints was a challenge, but Schipper and her team were well up to the task, adopting a minimalist approach to capture the authenticity and charisma of the featured panelists.

“TIME’S UP wanted something clean and simple so as to not distract from the personalities involved,” explains Schipper. “Working with these amazing people and being a part of something so important was incredible.” 

In 2018, Schipper was hired by iconic fashion brand Calvin Klein to orchestrate a series of celebrity portraits backstage at their Fall Fashion Week, hosted at the New York Stock Exchange. The series boasts a plethora of entertainment A-listers such as supermodel Naomi Campbell, actress Kate Bosworth (“Blue Crush”), Rami Malek who won an Oscar for his performance in “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Oscar nominee Jeff Goldblum (“Jurassic Park”) and two-time Primetime Emmy nominee Millie Bobby Brown, and the results are simply stunning. 

One would never guess that Schipper had to scramble to create the backstage shoot with next-to-no prep time. Not only did she have to navigate the logistics of a high-pressure session in a tiny hallway corner, amidst each of the talent’s entourages, she also had to manufacture a creative solution for the corridor’s unamenable artificial lighting.

“I had maybe a minute to get set up before people started arriving. It was one of the fastest scrambles to prep for a shoot I think I’ve ever had!” says Schipper reliving the moment. “I had to work with what I had, so I used the black wall as a backdrop and bounced my flash off the white wall creating a giant softbox effect.”

Naomi Campbell shot by Monica Schipper

The improvised setup initially raised concern among some of the subjects, namely model Naomi Campbell—no stranger to a photoshoot! But Schipper’s results and professionalism quickly spoke for themselves.

“When Naomi Campbell came through I took one frame of her before she stopped me, citing the ugly overhead lighting,” Schipper tells, “but I explained what I was doing with my setup, and then I showed her my shot, to which she replied ‘Oh! That looks nice, keep going!’.”

The Calvin Klein Portraits series were a resounding success for both the fashion brand and Schipper. The portraits have since been featured in Elle, People, W, GQ, Esquire, Teen Vogue, Pitchfork and BET, to name a few. It is among Schipper’s most memorable shoots to date, showcasing both her technical finesse and her intuitive artistry behind the lens.

“The most interesting thing about the Calvin Klein series was the technical challenge,” the photographer states. “Most people who view them believe they were taken in a full studio setup, not a quick backstage shoot.”

Schipper has gone on to photograph countless big-name events in both the entertainment and political sphere, regularly shooting for the New York Women’s Foundation and the MS Foundation. These successes led to further work with prominent global organizations including the Women in the World Summit, the United Nations Women for Peace Association, International Women’s Day at the United Nations headquarters, Michelle Obama’s Let Girls Learn global conference and many more.   

Having achieved so much already in the world of photography, we were eager to hear what we can expect next from the lady behind the lens.

Photographer Monica Schipper in front of a billboard she shot of Mandy Moore for OptiLight by Lumenis in New York’s Time Square

“I’d love to shoot a magazine cover portrait, to do work where I have more creative freedom and have the ability to collaborate with other talented creatives,” Schipper says. “There’s something special about being able to capture a moment in time. When people look at a photo it transports them back to that moment.” 

Whatever Monica Schipper sets her focus on next, you can bet it’s only a matter of time before it’s seen in publications everywhere.

DAN HAMILL ON HIS UPCOMING TRANSITION TO THE US

Dan Hamill has already established himself as a successful actor, singer and entertainer in Australia, so it’s no surprise that offers from the US to work on a slew of exciting projects have come calling. 

Dan Hamill is bound for the US.

The acclaimed actor and singer, and industry leader, originally graduated from the esteemed Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, the same school which produced Hugh Jackman and Suicide Squad star Jai Courtney. That Hamill is poised to take a place on the international scale of these fellow artists is no surprise to those who have tracked his career thus far.

“I feel super fortunate for the opportunities coming from the U.S. at the moment. On my first trip to the states I remember there was an initial element of fear of the unknown and making that jump.”

He continues “[After actually being there however], there’s a real palpable energy to LA in particular, that really drives you to be counted and go for it! I just feel really lucky to be doing what I love, playing, and continuing that creative journey overseas.”

Dan’s acting experience is only part of his story as an entertainer. His experience as a singer is just as storied and celebrated as his acting career, with each experience informing the other.

His appearances as a singer on the reality singing competition, The X Factor, showcased his ability to capture the audience and industry professionals alike, earning standing ovations from judges and acclaimed singers Chris Isaak and Guy Sebastian. Dan was a finalist in The X Factor and was also a finalist on the singing show Popstars (notably, when he was only 18). Being a finalist on these shows is a heralded accomplishment in Australia as singers are narrowed down from tens of thousands auditionees to 12 or 10 finalists. Hamill is a passionate and skilled performer, and this is confirmed by the accomplishments that he has accrued from a young age. It’s no surprise that these experiences, along with his many acting roles, have positioned him to be in demand by those in the US market, as by those filmmakers at Sol Media in California, and others in Tulsa.  

Dan Hamill singing live on popular television series, ‘The X Factor.’

Hamill notably made a memorable appearance in The Doctor Blake Mysteries, an Australian television series produced by the ABC network. The popular period drama showcased Dan in the role of Steven Morris, the son of the titular character’s former ally – something which echoed the history of the protagonist’s circumstances and signified Hamill’s greater implied presence in the world of the series. 

As someone who excels in both music and acting, Hamill also delivered a memorable turn on House Husbands, sharing the screen with Firass Dirani (from Oscar-winning Hacksaw Ridge) and Australian icon Hugh Sheridan. The show, about fathers dealing with the responsibility of raising children and managing careers in a balance of comedy and drama, welcomed Hamill as a dark and antagonistic force that represented a distinct danger to the ‘house husbands’ and the women in their lives. 

“There’s nothing more enjoyable than playing the villain! … I think we all have light and dark within us, so being able to lean into a darker aspect of self on screen, and really understand how characters become that way, really fascinated me. Villains are never villains in their own mind and bringing compassion and understanding to that, no matter the character, is truly one of my favourite things about this craft.”

Dan’s capacity to access edge in the course of playing different characters was notably signified with his performance in Between Me, directed by Sundance filmmaker Kim Farrant, who helmed Strangerland with Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman. Between Me notably screened at festivals in Cannes and in the United States, planting the seed for Hamill’s international recognition which has led up to the current moment in which he is in demand by filmmakers and producers alike.  

Few actors possess the expertise it takes to play the complexities of love and loss as Hamill did in Between Me, and Hamill’s performance thus distinguishes him from other actors.

Dan on the red carpet at the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Ball. No doubt he’s primed for more in the US.
Dan Hamill with fellow well-known Australia actor, Michala Banas. Dan is often invited to such illustrious events to promote new film releases.

Of course, such recognition was no surprise given the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s leading newspaper, praised Hamill’s performance in Glimpse around the same time, the debut project of the Kin Collective of which Hamill was a founding member. In that production, amidst a cast of characters whose lives are falling apart and who do not communicate well with one another, Hamill and the cast go on to show that encounters with strangers can ultimately bond through their shared humanity, and as a result, we all share more connections that we may initially think we do. 

This international pedigree and diverse selection of showcases on international platforms clearly set the stage for Hamill to be selected from a wide crop of actors and entertainers, and while the details of his projects in the US remain under wraps, Hamill is excited for the future. 

“The future is looking really fun. I feel really heartened and proud of the opportunities that have presented themselves. I’ve honestly worked really hard on myself to be able to hold this space confidently and authentically…Life is very good.”

Nice Work If You Can Get it: Performer paris martino lands her dream job

Paris Martino with co-star Sage Jepson

By Patrick Elliot

As a singer, dancer, an actor on screen and stage, award-winning performer Paris Martino enjoys a diverse artistic diet that includes multiple genres, disciplines and settings. Whether a featured soloist at star-studded galas and fundraisers or as part of an ensemble theater troupe, Paris unfailingly rises to the occasion. Her enthusiasm and wholistic proficiency illuminates every role, but recently she landed a true dream job, playing the female lead in the Weathervane Theater’s production of Tony-winning musical comedy Nice Work if You Can Get It.

“I love musical comedies,” Paris said. “They take us back to the core of musical theatre. While I do love contemporary musicals, every once in a while it’s wonderful to work on a fun, lighthearted musical that provides escapism to your audience.”

Nice Work if You Can Get It certainly delivers that. Set in the Roaring 20s, the fast-moving, boozy romp showcases the timeless songs of George & Ira Gershwin, with 9 of them performed by high-spirited female bootlegger Billie Bendix.

“I played Billie Bendix, the female lead of the show who sings the bulk of the music and had the most scene work,” Paris said. “I prepared for the role by watching many movie musicals of the time. This helped me do research, as well as develop my characterization—it was important to me to move and sound like women of the era did.”

Characteristically, the Canadian-born, Manhattan-based performer not only drew on her formidable natural talent but also the skill and knowledge acquired during the formal training she has pursued since childhood—her mother owned a dance studio where Paris began dancing at age 3! Vocal and acting lessons naturally followed and as a teen she entered the renown regional arts program at Ontario’s Mayfield Secondary School, acting in the school’s theatrical productions while also taking advantage of their dance program.

After graduating, the gifted, ambitious Paris was accepted at the famed Boston Conservatory at Berklee, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theatre and Dance. Additional intensive studies at the Performing Arts Project and New York City Dance Alliance elevated her creative capacity to an altitude that afforded her some high-profile awards, including a 2014 win in the Ontario Music Festivals Association’s musical theatre division and being named National Triple Threat at 2010’s Onstage New York Talent Competition—fiercely competitive events that saw her best 2000 contestants at the former and 500 others at the latter.

It was the Summer of 2020—the pandemic’s peak—and New Hampshire’s Weathervane Theater was one of a very few venues offering live performances, a fact that made landing the part of Billie was almost as challenging as her award competitions.

“I auditioned approximately four times, first at Weathervane’s initial auditions and then I was called back a few times to be a part of the company for that season,” Paris said. “Once I was accepted, the creative team auditioned us again, by having us read and sing songs from Nice Work. It was only after then that we were cast.”

“Preparing for Billie was difficult as she is not a typical ingenue,” Paris said. “She is a bit of a tomboy which was fun to play but it was also challenging, as I had to find the delicate balance between that boisterous energy and her boy-crazy feminine nature.” 

Partly based on the 1926 Gershwin music Oh, Kay, the madcap plot involves a boozy playboy’s wild bachelor party, the problem of where to stash Billie’s 400 cases of smuggled gin and the protagonist’s unlikely romance, put over via the Gershwin’s immortal show tunes.

“I grew up on Gershwin, so I am very familiar with the songs,” Paris said. “I approached the music with that knowledge and cultivated a sound that I believe did the music justice.”

Paris was reliably electrifying in the part, delivering a perfected mix of flapper-era flamboyance, impeccable comic timing and flawlessly expressive vocal delivery. She made it look easy, but the reality was quite different.

“This role was as fruitful as it was anxiety inducing,” Paris said. “Before this, I had never taken on the responsibility that a character like Billie demanded so naturally I was fearful of not rising to the occasion, and even more so as this show was headlining the theatre’s season. The anxiety faded in rehearsal as I found the similarities between myself and the feisty, loud Billie Bendix.” 

Nice Work if You Can Get It rates as any performer’s ideal vehicle, smart, sophisticated, hilariously funny and loaded with some of the most gorgeous songs in Broadway’s rich history. Paris savored every moment of the show’s SRO, 4 week run.

“The experience was incredibly rewarding. I gained so much knowledge, the most important being how to lead a show and take care of myself during such an intense process,” Paris said. “Opening night was wonderful. This was definitely a highlight of my career—and I was also thrilled to star in a show that brought so much joy to people during the pandemic.”

Paris’ exceptional mixture of technical skill, emotional authenticity and high voltage creativity enable to her execute characterizations of tremendous nuance and depth, skills she also brings to bear with dazzling facility as an interpreter of the Gershwin’s   stunning classics “These are some of the most beautiful love songs ever written,” she said. “I was incredibly lucky to get to perform them in a professional setting rather than in just my shower!”

Video Editor Camila Mejía Duque’s Powerful Representation of Queer Films in Media

In a society that maintains a cultural taboo around queer identity and expression, video editor Camila Mejía Duque has chosen to use her platform as an influential filmmaker to create purposeful stories that accurately portray and represent the LGBTQ+ community. Her main objective when working on a film is to tell stories that convey who these people are beyond their sexual orientation—a detail that filmmakers and audiences alike tend to fixate on.

When editing a film, Mejía Duque’s ability to highlight the subtle undertones of a scene helps her bring the director’s vision to life in a way that feels nuanced and true to life. 

Video editor Camila Mejía Duque – Photography by Daniela Gerdes

Over the years Mejía Duque has worked on several award-winning films, such as the 2017 drama “Fragile,” which won Best Indie Film at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Awards, and “The Fat One,” which was an Official Finalist at the 2017 Los Angeles CineFest. Her outstanding work on 2018’s “’64 Koufax” won the Best Editing and Best Film Awards at the 2018 Milledgeville Film Festival and the Best Short Film Award at the Barcelona Planet Festival in 2018, among numerous other awards. 

Through her current position with content distribution company Digital Media Rights, Mejía Duque was recruited in 2019 as video editor for QTTV; a digital platform offering an array of cinematic perspectives for the LGBTQ+ community. QTTV’s cutting-edge films explore sensual themes and rousing coming-of-age stories, and are available for streaming via Amazon Prime Video, Samsung TV Plus and Yuyu TV. 

“Camila understands what the audience wants and what the team’s goals are very quickly,” says Deli Xu, Director of Digital Media Rights. “Her creativity, enthusiasm, and dedication are qualities hard to find combined in one person, and the value she adds to our team is tremendous.”

With an audience of close to 400,000, QTTV tapped Mejía Duque’s editing expertise to entice their subscribers to stream more of their full-length feature films with seductive previews. Mejía Duque’s tantalizing edits strike a balance between sensual and engaging, showcasing the emotional depth of the films without sacrificing the integrity of the full story. 

“I prioritize message over everything, and in an industry that sometimes focuses more on aesthetics, I feel that separates me from other editors,” says Mejía Duque. “I obviously want things to look good, but I will always sacrifice an aesthetically pleasing shot for a stronger performance, or for something that has more meaning.”

QTTV’s 2020 film “Godless” uncovers the sexual tensions and layered emotions between two step brothers, but due to the filial aspect of their connection, their feelings are less than ideal. Given that Mejía Duque’s target audience is mainly homosexual men, she curated an arousing edit which explores the sensitivity of the topic, while providing a sense of appropriation for her viewers. 

“I always want to make the film attractive and appealing to viewers,” Mejía Duque explains. “I really wanted to showcase the fact that there’s nothing ‘perverted’ about the relationship.”


Mejía Duque’s strength in capturing the emotional and sexual chemistry between the characters, whilst remaining authentic to the script was the foundation that led to the clip garnering over 4.2 million views on YouTube. “Godless” was also an Official Selection at the 2020 Flickes Rhode Island International Film Festival, and was awarded Festival Favorite at Cinema Diverse: The Palm Springs Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in 2020.

Behind the scenes with Camila Mejía Duque – Photography by Daniela Gerdes

The way Mejía Duque manipulates the rhythm within her videos leads viewers to form an emotional attachment with the storyline. Her diligence in filtering through endless hours of raw footage to find those magical character-defining shots helps to perfectly portray authentic personalities in  queer films, which can often be misrepresented by the media. 

The flirtatious Danish film “Speed Walking,” released via QTTV in 2020, explores a young teen’s conflicting impulses towards both men and women. Mejía Duque’s carefully curated edits helped to break down social stigmas against nonconformist relationships, and encouraged open conversation between young teens around the world about their right to express their desires freely. 

“It was very important to me that the film show how genuinely confused these kids were, and how normal it is to explore romantic and sexual feelings in your adolescence,” explains Mejía Duque. 

“Speed Walking,” which has over 3.4 million views on YouTube, reached international acclaim at the Chicago International Film Festival (2020), the Danish Film Awards (2020), and the Bodil Awards in Denmark (2020). 

Camila Mejía Duque’s unwavering success in curating sensual content which blurs the lines between gender and sexuality, much like her work with QTTV, has helped people around the world to identify with their own sexual orientation. Through her comprehensive film edits, she continues to defy taboos around queer identity and draw focus to an authentic representation of LGBTQ+ culture in media. 

Director Clément Oberto Creates Iconic Music Videos for Grammy Award Winning Artists

French Director Clément Oberto behind the scenes of Gary Clark Jr.’s “Pearl Cadillac” music video Photography by Robin Mir

As fans, we are often wowed by the visual stories within our favorite music videos and taken away by the lyrics of our favorite songs, but we rarely consider the foundational work that goes into bringing these creative visions to fruition. Behind each and every chart-topping music video is a director working diligently to illustrate the music with a visual story. 

French director Clément Oberto, currently based in L.A., is one of the rare creatives whose vision, drive and talent have led him to become the creative force behind numerous award-winning music videos.

Well known for his passion and clear vision, he has caught the attention of millions of viewers. Over the past 15 years he has directed music videos for internationally acclaimed artists, such as Christina Aguilera, Gary Clark Jr. Zhavia, and John Tejada. Along with stylish music videos for French singer Lou for her track “Dans le bleu du ciel“, which already gained over 5 million YouTube streams, and Canadian pop sensation Anjulie feat. Natalia Lafourcade’s hit “Holy Water”.

One project that really turned the heads of fans and the music industry alike was his remarkable work as the director behind the music video for four-time Grammy Award winning indie artist Gary Clark Jr.’s “Pearl Cadillac”.

The soulful track was taken from Clark’s 2019 album “This Land”, which took home the 2020 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album and reached No. 6 on the Billboard Top 200 chart, making it his third consecutive top 10 album debut. 

Clark wrote the track in honour of his mother and the experience of leaving home to embark on his next chapter. In a collaboration that could only be described as ‘serendipitous’, Oberto, who at the time was journaling about his own relationship with his mother, was approached by Warner Record Executive Producer Devin Sarno; who’s known for his work with iconic bands such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, My Chemical Romance and Green Day.  

“I was diaring about the way my mom had led her life and how I wanted to make her proud, and within 5 minutes after writing this, Devin reached out with the song; asking if I was interested,” he recalls. “There was no way I wasn’t going to book that job. It was perfect timing.”

Oberto shot the video in classic black and white on 35mm film, creating a nostalgic and overall harmonic sensation to enhance the moving lyrics.

“I wanted to create a metaphorical video that would highlight memories of childhood and the passage towards adulthood while reflecting on the support Gary received from his mom,” he says. “I wanted the video to be like the song, poetic and soft, while also giving justice to that epic guitar solo.”

He used smoke and light to add symbolism to the video, which made it stand out and take home 9 awards at renowned global festivals including Best Music Video at the U.K.’s Ramsgate Film Festival and Best Cinematography at the Black Bird Film Festival in New York. 

Oberto having a laugh with Gary Clark Jr. on the set of “Pearl Cadillac”
Photography by Robin Mir

Along with directing and editing the video, he was also responsible for designing the original concept and storyline, while also building a stellar crew.

“I care to create strong relationships with my team. I surround myself with talent that I admire and I communicate a lot with them to make sure we are all on the same page,” Oberto shares. 


“There is nothing better than feeling that everyone gets you, and has your back to make sure your vision comes to life accordingly, or even better than what you imagined. For Pearl Cadillac I proposed the 35mm format and the idea of shooting the car in a studio with plates of the road projected on screens, like they used to do back in the days. This way we’d be able to have Gary laying down on the hood as the car drives by itself, without taking risks for his safety.”  

Clark shared in an interview with Billboard that it was his first video in 35mm black and white film and that “Clément was really passionate about telling the story of ‘Pearl Cadillac’.”

Producer Roger Mayer (“Antibirth,” “The Rambler”), who collaborated with Oberto on the videos for both Gary Clark Jr. and Anjulie feat. Natalia Lafourcade, shares that “Clément adds a flair unlike so many of his peers that elevates the project to an art piece… Working with Clément is a dream, he is a confident and determined filmmaker with a clear vision, and is able to communicate that to everyone working on the projects he’s attached to.”

Oberto’s ability to expedite an entire music video in record time and remain in control while bringing the artists’ vision to life are key factors that have led to his remarkable success.

In June 2020, while the world was adjusting to the unexpected global shifts of Covid-19, he directed the stunning music video for five-time Grammy Award winning pop sensation Christina Aguilera’s tracks “Reflection / Loyal Brave True.” 

The powerful song was the promotional single for the 2020 live action remake of the classic Walt Disney film “Mulan,” which was noted as Oscar worthy by Rolling Stone Magazine. 

Oberto was brought on board, not just for his unique visual identity, but also due to the fact that the entire project needed to be overturned in a matter of days in order to coincide with Aguilera’s highly anticipated live performance on “Good Morning America.”

He was approached by Grammy Award winning video producer Jamie Rabineau, the founder of Lark Creative, who’s best known for producing Kendrick Lamar’s critically acclaimed 2017 music video “Humble.” 

“The main challenge was the timing, combined with the Covid safety guidelines. To make sure everything would be safe and ready for us to shoot in a couple of days, and that we’d go over the post production process in a heartbeat,” Oberto shares. “We managed those challenges by working in confidence, hand in hand with my producer Boris Labourguigne at Left. He really made magic happen and got everything working tightly. As for Christina, it was pure bliss. She was very professional and easy to work with.” 

Proving that he is a highly adaptable and humble director, Oberto applied a simple yet highly effective approach to the aesthetics of the video, using a few pieces of floating fabric in order to shine a light on Aguilera’s signature vocals.

“I usually create concepts and aesthetics to highlight the artist and the song. We spend a lot of time building sets and working on light, effects, transition, framing… We make sure everything feels magical,” he says. “With this project it was more simple, focused on the performance and not that much on the aesthetic. My job here was more about not trying to add complications by demanding, or wanting too much.” 

Reaping over 2.6 million views on YouTube and 5 million viewers on “Good Morning America,” the music video’s end result was flawless, and it once again proved Oberto’s ability to transform an artist’s vision into reality. 

His outstanding directorial achievements on both Gary Clark Jr. and Christina Aguilera’s music videos were created with Boris Labourguigne, who is the founder and president of Left Productions, an award winning video production company with offices in Paris, Los Angeles and London.

Clément is really involved in every project from the creation to the delivery. He’s able to create a really strong relationship with clients, labels, and artists. He puts all his energy and talent to find the best solutions to do the best video possible,” says Labourguigne. 

“He’s also super flexible and can work on a large scope of projects. He loves to be challenged, and is always open to discovering new territories, new talents, new brands, new styles. It is very stimulating to collaborate with him.” 

In 2018 Oberto was also the leader behind the mysterious music video for American songwriter Zhavia’s debut single “Candlelight,” which is a bluesy R&B ballad about persevering through adversity. 

Zhavia, who has over 3.2 million followers on Instagram, had just signed with Columbia Records, one of the most prestigious labels and home for iconic artists such as Beyonce, Adele, John Mayer, Mariah Carey, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd and Pharrel Williams. 

Honoring Zhavia’s artistic mission to motivate her fans to express their emotions while working towards their goals, the video required a thoughtful director who could turn the song into a stunning visual story. 

Record producer Jenna Andrews, who’s known for her songwriting collaborations with Lily Allen, Noah Cyrus and BANKS, approached Oberto not only to conceptualize a video that would personify the heartfelt lyrics, but here again to deliver the project in a matter of days. 

“We had to pull everything together in a heartbeat. We shot overnight, 3h from LA and created the proxies for the editor in the car on our way back to the city, so we could have our first cut on the exact same day,” he says. “It was an adventure, people at Sony and Columbia were skeptical about us delivering in time, but we did.” 

His savvy leadership allowed production to maintain the strict filming schedule, to capture every single shot in record time and to deliver the video only 5 days. 

He shares, “That was pretty wild for me. More than anything I’m happy that I was able to be there for Zhavia, to help the team in that crazy tight deadline and to sign her first single’s music video was really rewarding.”

Upon its release, the single became #1 worldwide on iTunes, along with the music video garnering a whopping 32.7 million streams and trending at #5 on YouTube.

Given the incredible demands that came with the active production, Oberto’s expertise in delivering such a brilliant final result was highly commended, not only by the record label’s executive heads, but also across the music industry. 

“From the very beginning it was clear that Clément was a true visionary, whose concepts and ideas were incredible… him and his entire team were true magicians from the first meeting to the final product. He went above and beyond to deliver under a very tight deadline from the record label and he didn’t let us down,” says Zhavia’s manager and platinum award-winning artist and producer, Thomas Barsoe. “I hope to continue to work with Clément for years to come and can’t recommend him highly enough.”

Oberto’s proven repertoire of success expands far beyond the director’s chair. His entrepreneurial drive also allowed him to grow within the bustling entertainment industry. In 2020 he launched Creative Film Awards, an LA based music video, short film and fashion film festival that focuses on gathering creatives from all around the world and to create a gateway for promising industry filmmakers to gain recognition. 

“The inspiration came while spending years showcasing my films in festivals. I was thinking how I could do things differently by hosting immersive events and promoting the work of the filmmakers through a community behind the festival,” Oberto shares. “I wanted to create a festival that would feel like a label, something filmmakers could feel proud of being part of, and also help them be seen by well established figures of the industry.”

The festival attracted a stellar line up of industry guest judges, including two-time Grammy award winning music video and film director Matthew Cullen, VP Creative Services at Warner Records and MTV Video Music Award winner Devin Sarno, and French actress Loan Chabanol. 

With his proven track record of success, it seems like Oberto has no plans to slow down anytime soon, in fact it’s quite the opposite. He is currently working on “Voices,” his first feature film, as well as on “Greenroom” a podcast with record producer Jenna Andrews, which focuses on mental health in the music industry. The podcast features popular music figures such as Tegan and Sara, Upsahl, Rebecca Black, Parson James, Verité, Kiesza and many more. 


With all this in mind, it’s fair to say that Clément Oberto is an unstoppable industry force whose diverse talents and relentless desire to bring stories to life will continue to captivate a global audience for a long time to come. So stay tuned.

The Ever-Expanding Lens of Chinese Photographer Jiayi Liang

Photographer Jiayi Liang with runway photographer Dan Lecca (left)

Standing ready to capture the magic of any moment, Chinese photographer Jiayi Liang is always looking for her next shot. With professional experience spanning years of brand campaigns, documentary filmmaking, and high-profile fashion photography, Liang has proven that no subject is outside of the scope of her photographic prowess—which she has been cultivating for a lifetime.

From a young age, Liang was encouraged to explore her natural proclivity for visual arts by her mother, who was herself a painter. Growing up in this artistic environment gave Liang freedom to creatively interpret the world through her own eyes. She soon became engrossed in motion pictures, and began her relationship with photography during high school. Since then, she’s never stopped shooting. 

Of course, there are many people who take up photography as a hobby or a means to capture memories. Liang, however, became obsessed with understanding the craft and its nuances; with mastering the interplay of light and shadow; and with capturing emotion to eternalize the moments she experienced.

“When you view a photograph, you can experience the feelings of that moment, even after many years,” Liang mused. “I think the meaning of photography is very important—it is a medium through which the moment becomes eternal.”

Since receiving her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Filmmaking and Cinematography from the New York Film Academy in 2014, Liang has professionally expressed her philosophical approach to photography across an impressive array of projects spanning multiple high-profile industries in New York City.

One of Liang’s more recent and prestigious career accomplishments was her coveted role as a photographer at the internationally-renowned and highly exclusive New York Fashion Week. Each year at New York Fashion Week, more than 250 of the industry’s top designers gather to present their latest collections with the world. Attendance to this high-profile event is by invitation only, and press credentials are given out on an extremely selective basis. Due to the merit of her work, however, Liang was one of the incredibly talented photographers chosen to shoot New York Fashion week.

“Being invited to photograph New York Fashion Week felt like a rare opportunity to document history,” reminisced Liang. “It was also a chance to glance into the future of the fashion industry by photographing the next quarter’s trends.”

From 2019 to 2020, Liang covered runway shows, backstage moments, presentations, private shoots, capturing the collections and styles of international fashion icons on behalf of VRAI Magazine, an American publishing house and digital fashion magazine with international readership. VRAI Magazine recruited Liang as their chosen photographer for both the New York Fashion Week and New York Bridal Fashion Week events during this period.

Jiayi Liang – Official Mori Lee Photographer at New York Bridal Fashion Week

In addition to her undeniable ability to convey the attitude and grace of high fashion through her photography, Liang also has a proven track record of helping big brands bring their vision to life. Suki Eyewear and Mott & Bayard Eyewear, two of the biggest eyewear brands in New York City, called upon Liang in 2018 to manage their photo shoots, promotional video shoots, and lookbook creation on an ongoing basis.

“Jiayi Liang often finds different perspectives and gives her images new meanings,” said Kenneth Ma, Owner of Suki Eyewear and Mott & Bayard. “Each time I finish working with her, I look forward to starting our next project together.”

Through her years at this position, which she currently holds, Liang has earned nothing but praise for her work, which includes seven campaigns for the Suki Eyewear and Mott & Bayard brands. By using her fresh and unique perspective behind the camera, Liang has been able to capture the very essence of these brands and portray them in a natural light, resulting in a win for Ma’s business.

“I’ve been using the images and footage Liang created everywhere for my stores, websites and social media,” mentioned Ma. “I saw a big impact for both of my brands after the photos and videos were released.”

Photo by Jiayi Liang

Liang doesn’t just lend her talents to big clients—she also believes in making an impact in the lives of young artists. Since 2018, Liang has been a photography instructor at the Rising Star Photography Society, a photography club for teenagers based in Princeton, New Jersey. Beyond just teaching technical skills, Liang aims to ignite a long-lasting creative spark in her students.

“It is very important to create the right environment for younger kids, because anything could unexpectedly influence them,” said Liang. “Teenagers have incredibly interesting thoughts and ideas, so I encourage them to practice and explore.”

As Liang continues to push her craft forward, both as an artist and a professional, the lens through which she interacts with photography expands to include new skills and perspectives. With an already inspiring portfolio and list of career accomplishments, Jiayi Liang is poised to capture the imaginations of not only her clients, but also her students and anyone fortunate enough to appreciate her body of work.

Grant Lyndon: Juggling more than acting and his recent award-win

A sit-down editorial profile of Australian actor Grant Lyndon reveals many things for our readers. In this story, sit back, relax and get an insight into the core of what motivates an acclaimed artist and family man. 

Being able to effortlessly move between accents – American & British being his most called upon – award-winning Australian actor Grant Lyndon finds this opens up a wide range of opportunities to be the voice of many iconic brands, in addition to the father’s glittering on-screen career. 

Grant Lyndon and wife Vanessa Gray on the red carpet. Lyndon recently won an award from the New York International Film Awards.

With a newly achieved award under his belt, Grant is quickly standing out more and more by the minute. The Aussie favourite was recently awarded a ‘Best Actor’ prize by the Grand Jury at the New York International Film Awards.

While this may have been for his on-screen work, Grant’s equally known as being the voice of a number of high-rating TV series, ensuring Australians viewers are very familiar with Lyndon’s talents.

It’s apparent to anyone watching the series Aussie Lobster Men that the whole tone and feel of the show would be far less ‘Aussie’ without Lyndon’s distinct narration.

With M&C Saatchi, Grant voiced a whole summer of fresh alcohol offers in their national radio campaign. The iconic and international advertising agency network, founded back in 1995, boasts a $200 million valuation and its success is something for which Lyndon continues to benefit. Once he was in with the fold of their ad execs, the work hasn’t stopped. 

Suffice to say, he’s left an indelible mark on the portfolio of campaigns produced at M&C Saatchi and undoubtedly played an incredibly important role at the renowned company.

Ultimately, it’s clear that Lyndon has the power to make simple words sound much more meaningful than what’s on the page. There’s a belief & confidence in the messages he voices. This is a very strong card for a brand to play, when both building and maintaining a deep relationship with their audience. 

As Lyndon’s colleagues reiterate, the ABC network wouldn’t be what it is, were it not for Lyndon’s contributions over the years – starting all the way back with Rogue Nation. Grant’s role in that series quintessentially encapsulated the great and formative time in Australian history portrayed by the show, and Grant’s role reinforced his reputation as one of the few go-to actors to accurately be able to portray historical figures on screen for iconic Australian historical chapters. 

Indeed, Lyndon was irreplaceable in the highly-rating drama, ‘House of Bond’, which aired on Channel Nine. 

Lyndon in the acclaimed Channel Nine drama series, ‘House of Bond.’

Grant’s deep connection to the role of Warren Jones (after much personal research) and his ability to display the truth of the way that he sees the world thoroughly upheld the artistic quality of Channel Nine’s acclaimed mini series. 

This approach to work allows Grant to connect his acting to his real-life as well. He devotedly helps train beginner actors to reach their career potential. 

When Grant is not playing roles on screen, his belonging to the top-tier of the industry is reflected in regular invitations to run voice-over masterclass final year actors at NIDA, one of the world’s leading drama schools (and where Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett also attended). 

Lyndon’s also a VIP guest speaker at the International Screen Academy for graduates in getting industry ready, and a guest teacher at Toni Higginbothom casting.

Although Grant is inspired by many different facets in his life, the main motivator, as he says are his children. Such is reflected in how he dives deeper into fatherhood with his podcast ‘BusyDads’, where he explains how being a parent wholeheartedly is the center of his life.  

“I’m super excited about what’s ahead for me. I’m at a stage of my life where I’m more comfortable in my skin than I’ve ever  been, and most importantly, my family backs me 100%.”

Lyndon elaborates on the current industry landscape, as it recovers from COVID-19.

“There are so many great opportunities to play roles that are outside of the safe casting choices of the traditional media platforms. The diversity in storytelling that the streaming services allow for, really lights me up inside. Actors now have the opportunity to play characters outside of the known, and are collaborating to create and tell stories that are literally changing the world.”

The Dramatic Talents of Viktoriia and Kostiantyn Vlasenko

While the films “All Lives Matter” and “86 Melrose Avenue” are completely different in scope and story, they do have two things in common– and that is Ukrainian siblings Viktoriia and Kostiantyn Vlasenko behind the scenes. As the costume designer on both films, Viktoriia designed the extensive wardrobe for each project all under the direction of her brother Kostiantyn, who worked as an actor and production manager.

“86 Melrose Avenue” includes costumes inspired by the past and present

A spectacular thriller directed by Lili Matta, “86 Melrose Avenue” also features Kostiantyn Vlasenko in the role of one of Marine. A dramatic film that never ceases to keep the viewer in suspense, the plot of the film is centered around a former marine who suffers from PTSD, and breaks into an art gallery where he takes hostages and forces each of them to face their past and impending death.

As the costume designer, Viktoriia faced an interesting challenge in the way that each of the costumes had to not only correspond to the character’s image, but it also had to give viewers important insights  into the character’s past– a difficult task, but one she achieved seamlessly. 

With the wardrobe created according to Viktoriia’s sketches, and under the direct supervision of Kostiantyn as production manager, the costumes exceeded all expectations of the director, who especially emphasized this when talking about the film. In addition to serving as the costume designer, Viktoriia Vlasenko also played a key role as a make-up artist and special effects specialist for the film.

Viktoriia Vlasenko in “All Lives Matter”

Compared to the previously mentioned film, “All Lives Matter,” which was written and directed by Alonzo Dominguez, has a completely different dramatic tone. A sci-fi film featuring a cyberpunk boy from the future and his girlfriend, “All Lives Matter” offers a dramatic narrative built around a futuristic society’s rejection of the cyberpunk way of life, and the related twists and turns that ensue. The film develops the philosophical idea that even a futuristic society will not be ready to accept people who differ from the mainstream. 

In this film, Kostiantyn Vlasenko again worked as an actor, as well as a production manager, while Viktoriia acted as the film’s costume designer, a familial collaboration which provided yet another film with truly spectacular chemistry behind the scenes. The tailoring of the costumes for the film was also carried out under the direction of Kostiantyn.

Kostiantyn Vlasenko during the filming of “All Lives Matter”

The creative collaboration of the Vlasenko siblings has already been seen repeatedly on set, with the brother and sister taking part in the filming of more than 30 films.  Moreover, as a result of their natural energy and ability to multitask, both of them often combine several roles during filming. Viktoriia, in addition to working as the costume designer, acts as a make-up and special effects artist, where Kostiantyn, who is often acting in leading or supporting roles, also acts enthusiastically as a line producer and production manager, while also  helping his sister to bring her creative ideas to life.

Producer Kim Shapiro Successfully Merges Creativity and Business Behind the Scenes

On set with Kim Shapiro – Photographer: Scott Hansen

It takes a unique individual to not only run a successful production in the modern entertainment industry, but also make sure it’s delivered on time. Being able to raise the necessary funding and keep the production on budget, while also managing an entire crew and ensuring the client is happy with the end result, are all key for a producer, all of which are skills producer Kim Shapiro has in spades.

A talented producer, Shapiro is best known for his ability to bring the creative visions of brands such as L’Oreal, Johnny Walker and FaceTune to life through eye-catching commercials. He has also made a powerful name for himself in the world of music videos as the part of the production team behind Nikki Vianna’s “Mambo,” which has nearly two million views on Youtube, “One Life” from internationally acclaimed music duo DJ Aron and Beth Sacks, as well as Eliya Sinai’s “Girls Like You” and Aviv Terner’s “Azman Azal.”

The music video for the recent hit track “One Life” by music producer DJ Aron feat. Beth Sacks, which was produced by Shapiro, was a whopping success, gaining over 110,000 YouTube hits in just two weeks. 

Since its world premiere on September 26, the dynamic pop video has earned rave reviews within the dance and LGBT community, with thousands of fans from around the globe dubbing the hit track as “the new anthem.” 

“The vibe of the music video is very fun, and yet emotional.” Shapiro says, “It has aspects of the LGBT community as the artist DJ Aron is a very big DJ in this community. The music video also shows a bit of a connection to the Black Lives Matter [movement].”

The track was written during the early stages of the intense Covid-19 lockdown as a way for the artists to give back to their devoted fans while keeping their hopes alive during the challenging times.

Considering the powerful message behind the lyrics, the team responsible for bringing the video to life required a clear understanding of the artists’ creative vision, something Shapiro has excelled in time and time again with all of the artists he’s worked with.

“DJ Aron and his partner Beth Sacks, are both well known and they’re amazing artists,” says Shapiro. “When I heard the song they wanted the music video for, I knew immediately that we were going to make it happen no matter what.”

Known for his focus, diligence and keen awareness of the various wants and needs of all parties involved, Shapiro’s work as the producer behind the project was integral to ensuring that the production flowed on time and came in on budget.

“Some of the challenges were to keep it all on budget,” admits Shapiro. “When I produce any project, I need to consider what the director wants, what my client wants, what the director of photography wants, and to make sure that each of them will get the most out of the shoot.” 

His level-headed approach and effective team management was the driving force that not only led to a phenomenal shoot, but ensured every artist, cast and crew member were completely satisfied. 

Shapiro says, “I feel very good about the end result of the video, I think everyone did an amazing job starting at pre-production and all the way to post-production when we edited the video and released it to the world.”

Don Shapiro (left) DJ Aron and Kim Shapiro (right) on set of “One Life” Music Video shot by Scott Hansen

A real people person at heart, Shapiro knows exactly what it takes to succeed as a producer. With an overwhelming and expansive skill set to his name, he has continued to lead the way for cutting-edge productions in today’s industry. However, it’s his superb business savvy management skills that have set him apart from the rest.

Any good producer will tell you that a detailed budget, which requires constant attention, and the ability to expect the unexpected are essential to managing a production. Through his years of experience, Shapiro has mastered the skill of factoring in every single cost when it comes to budgeting, and he ensures that the money invested is accounted for and well spent. 

He says, “My favorite part about what producers do is dealing with the money, it starts with creating a budget, and then making sure that everything will stay on budget as we move on with the creation of the project.”

His cosmic repertoire of success, which extends to writing, directing and producing, has propelled him to become a highly sought after figure amongst many international brands. Over the years Shapiro has been a key contributor to commercials for multi-billion dollar companies such as Johnnie Walker Scotch Whiskey, the leading French cosmetics company L’Oréal and the recent “Landing on the Moon” commercial for Artgrid, which was inspired by the first spaceship launch to the moon in 1969. 

Launched in 2019 by the founders of the music licensing giant Artlist, Artgrid is one of the world’s largest websites for stock footage, where top cinematographers from around the globe can share their artistry in an authentic way.

He explains, “We booked a location that was built over a 100 years ago and we made everything look as if it actually was from the 60’s.”

To pull off this kind of detailed shoot required a team of experts, and it was Shapiro’s outstanding reputation that landed him the job, alongside his brother and business partner Don.  

He adds, “Artgrid approached my brother and I to produce this project because they saw other stuff we produced before, and they knew that we’d be the perfect team to produce for them.”

The global impact of Covid-19 meant that the director and client were unable to travel to New York for the shoot. 

However, with never being one to shy away from a challenge, Shapiro used his razor-sharp creativity to think outside of the box and adapt to the project’s unique shooting demands

“The main difference between this project and other projects I produced is that this time, my director and client were not physically on the shooting day, they were in Israel, a different country, and they saw everything through a zoom call.” 

Considering the technical skills required to bring a global team together, it was Shapiro’s genius ability to manage every department online that ensured a seamless shoot. 

He continues, “Something very interesting about it was that we had to connect the camera wirelessly to the computer so they’d be able to see exactly what the camera sees live. It was also very interesting to see the director direct the commercial from another country.”

Artgrid were so blown away by the tremendous success of his work, that they re-signed him to produce their next promotional video, which is set to be released later this year.

Artgrid official “Landing on the Moon” commercial produced by Kim Shapiro.

With a long list of incredible achievements to his name, it’s fair to say that Shapiro has truly established himself as one of the industry’s leading production experts.  

His reputation precedes him, with colleagues and friends praising not only his diverse array of talents, but also his light-hearted and welcoming approach to every cast and crew member he meets. 

“Working with Kim is always a fun and yet very professional experience,” says “One Life” production manager Scott Hansen. “He makes everything run smoothly on set and with a very happy mood amongst everyone that we work with.”

A man of many talents, Kim Shapiro has undoubtedly set himself up for an exciting career full of longevity, passion and success.  

“I’m interested in producing projects that I have the feeling that’ll get a big crowd and that I’ll have fun making. I believe that if you enjoy what you do you don’t need to work a day in your entire life, and for that reason, if I can choose, I’ll choose the projects that I’ll enjoy working on the most.”

Everything you ever wanted to know about Hollywood's who's-who.