Lights, Camera, Ali Zamani
Lights! Camera! Ali! At age 26, Ali Zamani has launched a career as a screenwriter/director/filmmaker, and as his projects continually propel him full steam ahead into the Hollywood and international scene, we’re proud to have captured just a small glimpse into this remarkable artist’s life. With his first job as a video store clerk, who would have thought that his path would eventually lead him through graduate school and eventually founding AZ Productions? From music videos to movies, Ali covers all territory; whether scouting sites, hiring crew members, or editing his films, Ali sees his works all the way through wanting always to add one more special touch or creative twist. Now with years of professional work under his belt, Ali has much to show for his dedication to the art of film making. For more information on Ali Zamani and AZ Productions, read on to learn more in this week’s edition of The Mideast Connect!
Los Angeles, CA
California State University, Northridge
MA in Mass Communication emphasis in Screenwriting
Northbrook College, Sussex
BA in Film,Video, Media and Society
HND in Video Production
Various music video productions plus different crew positions on many Hollywood movies.
Middle Eastern: Iranian
About the company
AZ Productions produces artistic, high-quality films that represent youth culture through real-life compelling stories.
As young independent film makers, the founders of the company aim to provide media for other young passionate film makers to refine and expand their skills in whatever aspect of film production it may be.
AZ Productions also aims to aid young, talented, but otherwise unknown music artists in producing high quality videos to advance their careers.
AZ productions was founded by Ali Zamani back in 1998 when he was still a film student at Northbrook College. AZ productions was later registered as an LLC later in 2004 after he graduated, and since then the company has grown extensively producing several music videos, commercials and having one feature film in production.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
In my every day-to-day work I try to push my creative mind to a different level and not to be scared to dare to experiment my vision above the norm.
From pre-production to production to post-production, AZ Productions does it all from A to Z. Everyday duties include script development, meetings with artist, brain storming concepts for music videos and commercials, location hunting, hiring crew for production, directing, editing etc.
Most notable milestones
Being able to fulfill the dream job that I always have had since childhood.
Graduating with my Master’s of Arts was definitely a milestone since I was never great in school. I proved to myself that even the most difficult things that I felt was at that time in my life, I achieved, and personal achievements are a sign of strength in a person’s characteristics.
What’s the niche?
I treat everyone the same on my set and I never lose control and stay always positive no matter what. As a director you need to be the role model for the rest of the crew and cast.
What’s the biggest challenge?
Being a storyteller, the biggest challenge is how to bring your vision to life. That challenge is what makes me drive, being able to see the end result on the screen.
What’s in store for the future?
More music videos and hopefully soon feature films.
More feature films. Coming from a screenwriting background I’m always looking for new and fresh stories that I can bring to life. The particular project which is a wish list and I would love for it to be on the big screen one day called “Once Upon a Time in Sweden,” a feature film that is still in pre-production stage although we have shot a few scenes from the screenplay.
Best way to keep a competitive edge
Do the best you can and work your hardest.
Guiding principle in life
Life is too short, so take advantage of its everyday joys.
Yardstick of success
Goal yet to be achieved
Make one of my screenplays into a feature film.
Best practical advice
Never give up.
Supportive words from a family member or friend on your venture
Be the best you can be in whatever career path you choose.
My mother. She was successful, but at the same time loving and caring.
What motivated you to get started?
The passion for telling stories.
Like best about what you do?
Love working with people and making my vision come to life on screen.
Like least about what you do?
Time….I always want more time on set to be able to do more to perfect my work.
At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What was your first job?
Video store clerk
Person most interested in meeting?
Martin Scorsese. Why? Because of his passion for storytelling.
Leader in business most interested in meeting?
Jerry Bruckheimer. Why? Because as a producer he dares to venture out of the norm.
Three interesting facts about yourself
- Raised in Sweden
- Grew up in England
- Live in LA
Three characteristics that describe you
Three greatest passions
Who would you like to be contacted by?
Interview by Myriam Bouaziz
Introduction by Sara Ortega
Edited by Valerie Enriquez