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The Directors: Bianca Poletti

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Epoch Films director on her love for VO, digging deep into brands and her passion for playful work

The Directors: Bianca Poletti

Bianca Poletti is an Argentine director born in San Diego, California. She is based out of Los Angeles where she graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Film Studies.

As a narrative director, Bianca utilises her passion for dance and movement to explore the many different facets of the human psyche. Her films exist in dreamlike worlds full of ethereal lighting, color, and youthful Gen Z imagery. She brings her love of fashion and architecture to her work, always implementing pieces of the story into her vivid production design. She casts with an emphasis on personality and chemistry, choosing to work with people who effortlessly add depth to story and dialogue through their unique point of view.

Bianca has directed numerous music videos, commercials, and short films, with her first feature being an anthology produced by James Franco. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Directors Library, Shots Creative, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Nylon magazine, LBB, Shoot online, Ad Age, Girl Gaze, and Vimeo Staff Pick. Her latest short film, RADICAL HONESTY premiered at this years SXSW 2022 film festival, and got a Vimeo Staff Pick online premiere. 

With a background in Fine Arts photography, she has shot for an extensive list of high profile clients including Sacha Baron Cohen, Sean Penn, and Zoe Saldana and was recently published in Marie Claire. Her photography lends itself to her directorial work, allowing her to create visually striking projects that are playful with a strong point of view. 


Name: Bianca Poletti

Location: LA 

Repped by/in: EPOCH FILMS / US 

Awards:

ADC Finalist for ‘Imperfect Harmony’ Facebook 2022

SXSW premiere 2022 for short film ‘Radical Honesty’ 2022

Vimeo Staff Pick + Online premiere 2022 for short film ‘Radical Honesty’ 2022

Shortlisted 1.4 awards for ‘BE SEEN’ Planned Parenthood 2021

Shortlisted YDA awards ‘BE SEEN’ Planned Parenthood 2021

Best romantic comedy Indie Film Fest ‘Fertile’ 2020

Best comedy Dumbo Film Festival ‘Fertile’ 2020 


LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them?

Bianca> VO for me is huge. If it's strong and captivating, whether it be emotional, poetic, or witty, it can really elevate a spot and help mold things in a seamless way. Truly making you feel something. 

I get most excited by scripts that have a youthful narrative story element to them. If there’s room to bring characters to life in a charmingly awkward and human way, or scripts that have a surreal visual element to them. Those are the types of worlds that I truly love exploring. 


LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot? 

Bianca> For me, creating a treatment is a way to explore different ideas that I’m playing with and fully flesh them out mentally and visually. I’ll usually just listen to the agency on the first call and hear what they want, and where their minds are at with the concept. They’ve spent such a long time with the material, I want to make sure that when working on the treatment I’m respectful of what they’ve already created. Then from there, I’ll dig in and start brainstorming different ideas, pulling images at the same time, making music playlists to set the tone a bit, that’ll then help inspire certain ideas and thoughts, and then I’ll really dig in from there.  


LBB> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Bianca> Super important. I always dig deep into whatever brand I’m bidding to direct for, through their website, their IG, and their recent past work. I think it’s super important to know what the client's comfort level is and see where you can keep some of their core values while also pushing the envelope creatively a bit. 


LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why? 

Bianca> There are multiple relationships that are important when making an ad. Firstly the relationship with the agency, building and having trust between the two is super important during production. Secondly, your crew. I tend to like to work with the same people when I can, we’ve developed such a strong friendship and working relationship over the years. Working with the same AD and DP for example instantly puts me at ease, and I know things will run smoothly and look beautiful. 


LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Bianca> I’m most passionate about work that’s playful within the Gen Z, youthful world. Anything that has an awkward, human, comedic humorous element to it and or anything that’s visually captivating in a magical way. 


LBB> What’s the craziest problem you’ve come across in the course of a production – and how did you solve it?

Bianca> Oof… Well, I just wrapped a shoot where one of the lead actors had to know how to swim - well - and they said many times that they were very comfortable swimming and being in the water. Come shoot day, they were terrified of the water and had never swam before in their life. In the moment - although frustrating - nothing good can really come from freaking out or getting upset. So the agency and I quickly rewrote her scenes, and It ended up working out really well. 


LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?

Bianca> I always like to think that we’re on the same team. We’re in it together and our ideas can be a lot stronger as a unit. So, during production, I’m very collaborative and try my best to hear everyone out. However, if there is a scene that I feel strongly about, or a casting selection or location that I feel strongly about, I will fight for it to be considered seriously. I think if you’re bringing on a director because you like their ideas, eye for visuals, casting, locations, etc… then it’s important that they're heard. I’ve been super lucky that every job I’ve done so far has been really collaborative and positive overall. 


LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Bianca> Absolutely, always. I was raised by an immigrant single mother, and I know how hard it can be to break into the industry. So, I’m always trying to help younger directors in any way that I can. I mentored a handful of very talented directors a year ago through this really wonderful program called Minorities in Film. Check out Alaazabara and Abraham Felix’s work, they’re super talented! There’s also an incredible program for young Latina photographers called Las Fotos, that I strongly support. 


LBB> How do you feel the pandemic is going to influence the way you work into the longer term? Have you picked up new habits that you feel will stick around for a long time? 

Bianca> Oof.. Well, I kind of hope zoom calls never go away ha. It took me a minute to get used to them and now I think it’s so much more personal then hopping on a briefing call without seeing anyone’s face and being able to connect with them a bit more deeply. So, long-term I hope that continues to stay.


LBB> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why?

Bianca> Planned Parenthood “BE SEEN”

This was a really special one for film, and also explores themes that I’m very interested in. Emotional stories that don’t have to be sad, they’re real but hopeful. A lot of the scenes used in the locked cut are shots that we just shot 50/50 when the talent didn’t know that we were filming them, and I always love trying to find and capture those moments that hopefully feel a little less rehearsed. 


FB “Imperfect Harmony”

This spot felt the closest to my personality and the themes I really like playing with within the commercial world. Gen Z talent, playful, cinematic, and has a musical element to it. During pre-production and filming this spot felt the most to me like a mini-film, and anytime that I can try and make an ad a short film, I’m super happy. The two things I love most when directing is casting, finding unique faces and talent in a non-traditional way, and finding locations that we don’t see all of the time, that have an interesting architectural element to them. This had both of those for me. 


"Radical Honesty" Short Film 

This short explores the comedic side of my personality. I deeply love dark, awkward humor. White Lotus, I Hate Suzie, Search Party etc… Humans are messy, clumsy, charming, awkward and I just think that’s so beautiful. I love making spots and films that explore what it means to be human, through a comedic lens. 

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Epoch Films, Wed, 04 May 2022 07:45:00 GMT