GLORIA Signs Director/VFX Specialist Alejandro Damiani
From the release:
Los Angeles and Mexico-based branded entertainment production company GLORIA has strengthened its roster of directing talent by signing on multi-talented filmmaker and VFX specialist, Alejandro Damiani.
With his extensive background and expertise in visual effects, industrial design, post-production, creative directing and filmmaking, Damiani has conveyed his craft and unique storytelling vision across multiple platforms, from his captivating commercial work including a Cannes Lions-winning spot for Gandhi Bookstores and Ciclope Silver-awarded ad for Sears, to his visceral title sequence for Fede Alvarez’s Evil Dead remake, to his politically charged, pro-immigration-themed sci-fi short M.A.M.O.N (Monitor Against Mexicans Over Nationwide), which has racked up over 9 million views and has been screened in more than 200 film festivals.
It was through M.A.M.O.N., in fact, that Damiani landed on the radar of GLORIA Co-Founders/Partners Eric Bonniot and Pablo Cruz, who themselves were working on a similarly themed short film for Jarritos with fellow GLORIA Co-Founder and actor/director Diego Luna.
“The Jarritos short film we produced and Diego directed had a pro-immigrant message so I was curious and started canvassing similar content,” Bonniot recalls. “I saw that M.A.M.O.N. piece and thought it was really creative and really well-done, but I had no idea who had done it. Pablo then connected the dots and said, this guy’s an amazing filmmaker and we wanted to approach him about a project that we were doing. After meeting Ale in LA and just seeing his other work, I was immediately drawn to his passion and, of course, his diverse background was a great thing.”
Throughout his career, Damiani has showcased his versatility and hands-on approach to each project, whether wearing dual hats as a VFX supervisor and director on a variety of films and spots, as a creative director at VFX/creative studio Aparato in his native Uruguay or being deeply involved in the production design process from the start.
While VFX has played a pivotal role in his work, Damiani says that it serves as more of a natural element rather than the driving force of the narrative. “VFX provide a great visual opportunity, but I think that they cannot be the core of any story,” he explains. “That’s why I try to utilize them organically throughout. The fact that I have experience with VFX makes me able to choose the exact moment in which to use them, so I can primarily focus on the real elements like the actors, the timing and cinematography. I always try to avoid the phrase, ‘We’ll fix it in post-production.’ You have to get it right before post-production, and let the visual effects be the catalyst to get the production to another level. To me, VFX is not a problem to solve, but another element, an invisible asset that naturally manifests in my mind.”
According to Bonniot, Damiani’s unique directing approach, vast creative palette and narrative-first focus make him an ideal fit for GLORIA, a company that prides itself on a roster of directors who all have an innate ability to have a point of view and be able to tell a story, whether it’s a two-minute short, 30-second piece or a feature film. “Ale brings an energy and a passion to anything he touches,” the GLORIA Co-Founder says. “Whether it’s a board for a 30-second spot or a feature script that he’s working on, I’ve found him to bring an equal amount of energy and enthusiasm for projects of all different types. Of course, he also brings a unique visual effects perspective. Ale’s background in animation and design is a real key component and it meshes well with our other directors, who all share a common ability to tell a compelling story. He takes a smart approach but also brings lightheartedness that you can see in his work. I’m really excited to get in the trenches with him, and work with him on branded content and commercials and we’ve already got him cross-pollinating on a few of our other longform projects. I think it will be a good long-term fit.”
Along with his GLORIA-related work, the filmmaker is also currently involved in several other projects including directing the Latino comedy feature-film Upgraded for Fox and writing and producing an as-yet-untitled TV series he describes as a “dark comedy with supernatural drama.”
With his commitment to significantly expand his creative output in the US, especially in advertising, Damiani has a solid foundation in GLORIA’s LA homebase from which to further establish himself Stateside. GLORIA Co-Founder Pablo Cruz adds, “Ale Damiani’s work is unique to Latin America but his talent exceeds the territory. I admire that he’s not only an amazing filmmaker but a very talented craftsman. We’re thrilled to work with him on GLORIA projects and all the other work that will come out of this amazing relationship in the US and beyond.”