We had the good fortune of connecting with Nick Azzaro and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Nick, how do you think about risk?
I see risks as opportunities for creativity and personal development. When making films, I’ve learned that embracing risk results in more original outcomes. Daring to do something you haven’t done before can lead to surprising results because it allows you to think outside the box and push your artistic boundaries. And the quality of your work can only benefit from it. Some of my most rewarding accomplishments have emerged from situations where I chose to take calculated risks, and it’s all about stepping beyond your conform zone while learning to trust your intuition.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
When I was little, watching films helped me get through the loneliness and isolation I had to experience due to health issues which affected my life until the end of high school. At some point along the way, I realized I could make my own films, and I soon found my voice through storytelling. No matter how invisible I felt, I knew somebody out there was watching. Growing up in a small town in Italy, I figured Hollywood was the way to go if I aspired to have a career similar to all the filmmakers I admired.

I came to LA in 2017 to attend film school, where I first studied filmmaking and then specialized with an MFA in cinematography. I was recently selected by the Academy of Motion Picture among thousands of applicants for their Gold Rising program in the cinematography production track. All these educational opportunities have been critical in shaping my knowledge of the craft and allowed me to improve my skills through priceless on-set practice. Overall, it’s been a crazy journey, and I’m in love with films more than ever before.

I love telling stories visually. There’s something incredibly fascinating about how the camera captures the world around us and how we can shape what the lens sees to tell a story. I’m obsessed with lighting and color, and I constantly research how these tools affect the way we feel as an audience. It’s exciting to show up at a location for the first time and consider all the countless possibilities we have in terms of blocking, camera angles, and lighting to transform the space into the world of the characters.

Whenever I work on a new project, I prep as much as possible. Knowing the story like the palm of my hand allows me to constantly make informed decisions on set, even when we’re rushing. And making movies is all about making decisions! It can be a stressful process, but I know that all the challenges that come my way are meant to shape me into a better filmmaker. It’s a wonderful way to develop your creativity while stimulating self-growth. Through all the projects I shot in the past years, I’ve learned countless techniques, refined my own style, and networked with many talented filmmakers with important things to say. I feel privileged that I got to know their stories and was chosen to bring their vision to life in projects ranging from dramas and period pieces to sci-fi, horror, and music videos.

Regarding my own projects, I gravitate toward drama and science fiction. I like to set my stories in the future and investigate the relationship between technology and the human experience. My short films have played on the big screen in venues like the TCL Chinese 6 in Hollywood and AMC Burbank 16, screening in numerous film festivals, including the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts and HollyShorts. My latest sci-fi short film Retrieval is available to stream for free on DUST.

My goal for the near future is to get into the world of feature films and series. Ultimately, I want to collaborate with directors and producers to craft visuals of strong emotional resonance with the audience.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love Los Angeles with all my heart. There are many awesome places to see, but my personal favorite is the Getty Center. There’s just something special about its atmosphere. It has an incredible art collection, beautiful architecture, and one of the best views of the LA skyline!

Catching a concert at the Hollywood Bowl is also an LA must, as well as visiting the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Zuma Beach in Malibu is my go-to spot whenever I need to unwind and enjoy the sunset by the ocean.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am where I am today thanks to my parents and their immense support. They recognized my artistic predisposition at a young age, and they did everything they could to allow me to develop the knowledge and skill set that I treasure today. They supported me throughout my journey in film school, and they’re my number one fan. I am truly thankful for their pivotal role in my pursuit of a career in film.

I also want to thank the many filmmakers I met and collaborated with throughout the past years. Getting to tell stories together has been instrumental in shaping my skills and perspective. I’m looking forward to many more formative experiences, let’s make some movies!

Website: https://nickazzaro.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nickazzaro

Linkedin: https://linkedin.com/in/nick-azzaro-605191149

Other: https://imdb.me/nickazzaro

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