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Meet Stephanie Stanziano

Today we’d like to introduce you to Stephanie Stanziano.

Stephanie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Looking back at my career, I can honestly say that the things that got me to where I am now are being nice to EVERYONE, and pure luck.

I grew up moving around a lot, but with a relatively normal, loving family. My dad had started his own business when I was pretty young, and with that came lots and lots of location changes. He is a wireless telecommunications person (I didn’t really know what that meant until I googled it, so no shame if you have to do the same) and started his company from scratch. I watched him work harder than anyone I’ve ever met. He was determined to make himself and his company successful and he did that tenfold. He provided my family with an incredible foundation to become our own success stories and to be truthful, my entire work ethic and the passion I have to be great at my job is entirely because of his example.

I think that my parents wanted me to be into a more typical career, behind a desk with a set salary and a 401K, but I wanted to be like my dad and forge my own path.

I got into the film industry later than most. I had graduated college and tried to go the corporate route and found it to be incredibly limiting when it came to my creative passions. There was no job I could find that could give me weird flexible hours and combine my obsessive planning skills while letting me be around innovative, artistic people. That was until a family friend of mine Mike Bayman offered me a job to work on a short movie he was directing.

From my first step onto his set, I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I made as many friends as I could, kept in contact with everyone I met, and continued to make connections until I was, and have been, working enough to support myself and a life I am pretty proud of.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Working freelance is NEVER an easy road. You spend a lot of your time worrying about where your next paycheck will come from, and praying that people will like you enough to bring you along to projects with them. I am a planner by nature. I like knowing where and when my next job will be and learning how to trust that this is my path and that the universe is on my side is something that I still struggle with today.

I am incredibly lucky to have an incredible support system of friends and family that push me to make my dream a reality. One in particular is my sort of business partner, Corey Crandall. I say sort of because in production, it is almost impossible to work with someone on every single project you do, but somehow Corey and I have managed to get each other onto majority of our work.

We have found a team in each other. His strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. He reminds me everyday that I am exactly where I need to be and there are not enough words to thank him for that. The road in production has been a bumpy one for sure, but I know for a fact that my road would have been a lot more hellish if he wasn’t there with me.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I mostly work as a UPM/Producer in this industry. My specialties include being able to put out any fire that comes my way with a smile and laugh.

I like to think that my attitude and genuine appreciation for every department on a set is what sets me apart from most. And generally speaking, I think what I’m most proud of is how many people I have worked with, and so look up to, that continue to want to work with me.

Professionally speaking, my proudest moment to date was getting my first Producer credit on a feature film titled “Dembanger” Brian Frager, J.P. Castel, and John Berardo saw something in me that I had yet to see in myself and decided to bring me onto their team to create this movie.

The bond that we formed and the family we created on that set was unlike anything I have ever been a part of in my life. That (soon to be very successful) movie was hands down the best thing that’s ever happened to me professionally.

I love my job. It is stressful as hell and definitely has given me some grey hairs, but there is no feeling in the world like being able to help in the creation of someone’s vision.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
To be honest, I don’t know. I don’t think I’ve figured out how to define what successful is for me yet.

I’d like to think when I’m able to buy a house and live a happy life with a family of my own that will be the pinnacle of success for me. But success in this industry is something I have yet to figure out.

I think I’ll feel successful when people see my name and know that the product they’re about to watch is something of quality that will make them feel something they weren’t expecting when they first sat down.

Heck, if people recognize my name at all I think I’d feel pretty successful, no matter what they were about to watch.

I don’t want to put a cap on what I feel success is for me. I want to continually grow, and learn, and work with some unbelievably talented people that push me out of my comfort zone.

There is so much room for boundary pushing in this industry and just being able to be a part of it is incredible.

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Image Credit:
Gabrielle Sundberg

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