Diana Piruzevska

NOW Magazine - Class Action - - CLASS ACTION | CONTINUING EDUCATION -

Film­maker and pho­tog­ra­pher

I shoot mu­sic videos, doc­u­men­taries and short films. One of the first mu­sic videos I shot was for Nelly Fur­tado. I helped codi­rect and edit and was a cin­e­matog­ra­pher for the video of Wait­ing For The Night. It came out in Jan­uary 2013. That’s the most awe­some thing I’ve done. I have my own pro­duc­tion com­pany called Naked Eye Me­dia.

Af­ter high school I went to Hum­ber Col­lege to study jazz trom­bone and ar­rang­ing. I’ve played trom­bone since I was 11. I’ve played with Down with Web­ster as part of their horn sec­tion, and with funk bands and rock bands. While I was do­ing that, I started do­ing pho­tog­ra­phy for other mu­si­cians and bands. I man­aged to get on set as a stills pho­tog­ra­pher on a Cana­dian Film Cen­tre shoot, and it was so cool, I re­al­ized that mak­ing movies was what I wanted to do.

Af­ter Hum­ber I went to Ry­er­son Univer­sity’s Chang School to take film stud­ies.

The pro­gram has been su­per-help­ful, es­pe­cially when work­ing on re­ally low­bud­get stuff. It touches on ev­ery as­pect of film­mak­ing: edit­ing, sound record­ing, cin­e­matog­ra­phy, film the­ory, film his­tory and all the hands-on skills you need.

I was in my late 20s, so I didn’t want to spend another four years with a bunch of 17-year- olds dis­cussing the mean­ing of art. I just wanted to learn skills and the­ory; it was great to study with peo­ple in my age group. I took four classes a week.

I didn’t think I’d be in­ter­ested in mak­ing doc­u­men­taries, but one course fo­cused on short doc­u­men­taries. I love to film events that hap­pen in ev­ery­day life and then sculpt them and dis­till them down to es­sen­tial el­e­ments to tell a story.

My best ex­pe­ri­ences were on the Fur­tado set. Dur­ing the very first shot, I was sit­ting there look­ing through the cam­era, the mu­sic was play­ing and I was watch­ing her sing­ing and thought, “That looks like a Nelly video. Wait a minute – I’m frig­gin’ mak­ing one!” I’m like, “Wow, I’m do­ing this.”

The other side of that is that you have ab­so­lutely zero money. No bud­get. I made a mu­sic video for $13. It was for jazz folksinger Jeff Glad­stone. We were sit­ting around hav­ing drinks, and six days and $13

I was in my late 20s, so I didn’t want to spend another four years with a bunch of 17-yearolds dis­cussing the mean­ing of art. I just wanted to learn skills and the­ory; it was great to study with peo­ple in my age group.

later we whipped to­gether a crazy, kooky video and now it’s be­ing screened at a film fes­ti­val. To take pure imag­i­na­tion and zero re­sources and make some­thing fun and beau­ti­ful is re­ally ex­cit­ing.

The worst ex­pe­ri­ences are the stress­ful ones lead­ing up to the first time you shoot. Are we go­ing to find enough peo­ple to help? Do we have enough money? Are we go­ing to make it hap­pen? Is this idea too big? How are we go­ing to pull this off?

Be­ing re­spon­si­ble for or­ga­niz­ing ev­ery­thing is just so in­tense. When it doesn’t feel like it’s com­ing to­gether, you feel like an id­iot for hav­ing such a big imag­i­na­tion, but once you start shoot­ing, all that stress and anx­i­ety goes away. That’s a relief.

A direc­tor must be able to think cre­atively. You need lead­er­ship skills and the abil­ity to con­vince a group of peo­ple – like, a lot of peo­ple – to help you do some­thing for free. Some­times you’ll pay them, but some­times you’ll have to con­vince peo­ple to do some­thing crazy. That takes a lot of per­sua­sion. It’s a very spe­cific skill.

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