Faculty Blog: Joseph Mastantuono

 SVA Faculty member Joseph Mastanuono teaches Color Correction as a continuing education course. Last month his film As You Are won the Special Jury Prize at Sundance. Now, he’s hosting a special screening for the SVA community. Join Joseph and his brother tonight (2/15/17), 7 PM at 209 East 23rd St, Room 502, for a free screening of their film, followed by a Q&A. Here, he discusses his journey of producing a Sundance winning film.
In August of 2015, after many years working in post-production as a colorist, I started the crazy journey of producing my first feature, As You Are. Producing a feature was such a surreal experience for me, especially the first day of filming, which involved setting up a 60 foot crane at the high school I graduated at 17 years ago. After a grueling but incredibly rewarding production, and submitting a *very* rough edit, we were accepted into the Sundance Film Festival!


Most of the crew was excited to go to Sundance, but I was terrified! All we had was a rough cut, and one we didn’t love. I had no idea how we would get everything together in time for our January 11th delivery deadline. We had already been crunching, and we had hardly any money left for post-production. I called in every favor I had accrued in 13 years of post-production, and we assembled a team that was willing to work over christmas to get it done. Colleagues came out of the woodwork to help get this done, and that was something I’ll never forget. The relationships you build in the business really will pay off. That week booming your classmates’s film can pay off ten years from now.

I think that the short timeframe was actually fortuitous, we simply didn’t have time to second guess ourselves. Every decision had to simply be final, and we’d have to live with it. And we didn’t have much choice as we rode a car service to the last fed-ex open in the city. Four months later, I found myself at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival, jumping onto the stage to hug my brother, who directed the film, as he accepted the Special Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category.

Making a film is only step one. We’re finally releasing the film in theaters next week, and I’d love to invite the SVA family into a sneak peek to see our film. We are having a special screening for students and faculty on Wednesday the 15th, followed by a Q&A with the Director & Writer of the film, and myself in Room 502.

Filed Under: Faculty Blog