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Rising Stars: Meet Alessandra Manias

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alessandra Manias. 

Hi Alessandra, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I worked for more than 15 years in Italy in Marketing Communication and Production Design doing photo shoots, artistic installations, exhibition stands, videos, ADV, and more, starting from the concept development, through budget and costs management, to the full production and direction processes. At the top of my career, I moved to Los Angeles because I wanted to have international experiences and work in film. I honestly thought it was impossible because I didn’t have any contact, I just sent 1 email with my portfolio and the same day I was called for an interview. So… In 2016 I started working for the entertainment industry right away, making movies, music videos, Tv series, and theatrical pieces, getting outstanding results while bringing with me the remarkable European style everyone seems to love. I am totally in love with this job because I can mix my knowledge from the architectural world with the psychology concepts I studied throughout the years so that everything I do can be said to have a “soul” and to “come alive”, whether on the screen or in real life installations and creations. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
There was nothing smooth, and still not. My experience in Italy was not in Film so I had to re-start from zero and build my reputation in the USA at 36 years old. I lived hard times, I had to learn super-fast and work crazy hours. Coming from another Country and never having been before in LA it means also not knowing anything about how to rent props, where to buy materials for the set etc. I had to be smart and fast and very determined to start working immediately to achieve good results. 

The world of entertainment is also very difficult in general because you never know when the production will start, I have already done over 30 productions in the last 6 years, I do meetings almost every day for new projects but are always uncertain. Fortunately, I have been a freelance and entrepreneur all my life, so I know how it works. 

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a Production Designer and Art Director mainly for Film, but also, I work on productions for music videos, shows, theatres. Beside this, I am also an Artist, an abstract painter, and I create physical collections, acrylic on canvas, and digital paintings for NFT. My main job consists of designing everything you see in a movie. I start from the screenplay, and I design the style of the movie and then each room/set/location you see. I am Italian and I keep with me the experience and knowledge I learned in my Country about the meticulous care of details. I studied Architecture but I never liked the fact that it takes a long time to realize a building or a house. Working on movies is like creating magic in a very short time, I can change a location in a few hours, build incredible atmospheres in days. I am very glad to have the opportunity to work with international Directors and crew because I learn every time a new perspective of the work, coming from different traditions and backgrounds. At the moment my goal is to work on bigger productions, but I am still grateful that the projects I have already done have international awards and I got my first nomination as best production design for the film “The Runner”. 

Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
I am a creative person but basically also a Nerd, I study something new every day and I am very curious in general. I find inspiration by visiting Art Galleries, Museums, Art exhibitions, and everything is original and creative. I follow the Design and Fashion worlds because they are all connected. Every time I can I travel, and I try to go to Italy once a year. This year 2022 I was lucky to spend a whole month in my Country and I visited The Biennale of Art in Venezia and the main cities, just to take a breath of pure Beauty. I invest a lot of time also in my personal and spiritual growth, because I am first a human being and I want to become the best version of myself in every aspect of my life. I also like to express myself in other artistic ways such as painting, writing poems and now I am working on my first movie as a writer. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Pierluigi Malavasi
Michelle Danner
Ekaterina Sheyno

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