SANTINO CAMPANELLI

Director / Writer / Producer / Composer

Director / Composer / Co-Producer: Bully

#NotAnotherBullyMovie

Director Statement: 

My father and I had never made a film before, but we'd always had the desire. Having both been bullied in our younger years we learned a lot about overcoming the worlds obstacles, overcoming oneself, as well as the importance of knowing how to defend yourself, and keeping good company. With my career in music and limited film knowledge, and my fathers DIY business acumen, we knew we could bring his scrappy little story to life and hopefully inspire others on both sides of the screen.

Why do you make movies?
Because I’ve been a creative, broke egomaniac most of my life and I just love seeing my name on the big screen… 10 times in various small roles because I couldn’t afford to hire someone else to be the “Closing Credits Animator”… and because it’s fun as hell. 

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What story do you want to tell?
Well, two days after my first feature won its first award; my wife and I got back to our apartment in LA and unfortunately she woke up a bit under the weather. So that morning I ran out to the pharmacy to get her some medicine, but since it was pretty early I just kept some sweats and a hat on and was dressed pretty low key. Walking back from the pharmacy a man on the street corner looked me up and down and with little pause he said “Hey there! Are you looking for a better and higher paying job??” and without breaking stride I looked in to his soul and replied “I’m an award-winning filmmaker, bitch.” I have no idea how he reacted to that, largely because I’m not sure if I said it out loud or just thought it in my head… but I felt pretty good about it. My wife felt a lot better afterwards too… but that’s probably because of the medicine I brought her… Award-winning Husband over here! Am I right?! 

What’s your story?
Well I was super fat and awkward, then I made sure I wasn’t anymore. I started a metal band, it broke up. I started another… it broke up, too. Started a rock band, we toured and played with tons of big acts like Motley Crue, Papa Roach, Buckcherry, etc… and that was fun until it wasn’t.

Then I went solo in hip hop, performed with acts like Machine Gun Kelly, Redman, and even the Jonas Brothers. As a result of all of these projects I learned how to direct and edit my own music videos, that's how I got in to film. Since long before I descended from the heavens on a golden chariot of fire and tacos, my pops had always wanted to make a movie. So after many years of nagging him, he finally wrote BULLY, and I had the audacity to think I could shoot an entire feature film after having shot a few music videos. Now I’m an award winning filmmaker, bitch, lol. On a serious note, my father is my best friend and I love that we’ve been able to do this together and realize our dreams together, its been a pretty wild ride so far! 

What do you want to achieve in your craft?
I gotta make enough loot to purchase my folks a beach house on the California coast as a way to pay them back for having always been so supportive of my creative lunacy. That's the deal, lol. Otherwise, I just want to keep getting better and trying new things with new people.

What would you tell a young person with aspirations to be a filmmaker?
Spend as much time as you can doing what you love and with who you love. It’s all way too short to do anything else or to care what anyone else thinks. Be grateful. Be happy. And remember, as my pops always quotes…"if you do nothing, nothing happens." So get out there and always be the hardest working person in the room with a big ole stupid grin on your face.

What has been your biggest struggle as a filmmaker?
Figuring out what to wear on set! I mean… I want to look like a bad-ass all day, but a blazer just doesn’t breathe well in a 90+ degree boxing gym with no AC during a summer heat wave, and only The Rock looks cool sweating that much. Well… that and finding the right people to trust. It’s very hard to progress in almost any industry entirely by yourself, you need to surround yourself with the right folks and forge the right relationships, which becomes harder since you’re so protective of your creative babies. But the right connections can change your entire world… just like the right pair of pants. Always remember, cotton breathes better. 

What do you see as the biggest struggle going forward?
Trying to figure out if that beach house should be in Malibu or Santa Monica, or maybe further south… I mean Malibu is beautiful, but...the traffic.