Feature Article – NOW Magazine August 2014


I shoot music videos, documentaries and short films. One of the first music videos I shot was for Nelly Furtado. I helped co-direct and edit and was a cinematographer for the video of Waiting For The Night. It came out in January 2013. That’s the most awesome thing I’ve done. I have my own production company called Naked Eye Media.

After high school I went to Humber College to study jazz trombone and arranging. I’ve played trombone since I was 11. I’ve played with Down with Webster as part of their horn section, and with funk bands and rock bands. While I was doing that, I started doing photography for other musicians and bands. I managed to get on set as a stills photographer on a Canadian Film Centre shoot, and it was so cool, I realized that making movies was what I wanted to do.

 

After Humber I went to Ryerson University’s Chang School to take film studies.

 

The program has been super-helpful, especially when working on really low-budget stuff. It touches on every aspect of filmmaking: editing, sound recording, cinematography, film theory, film history and all the hands-on skills you need.

 

I was in my late 20s, so I didn’t want to spend another four years with a bunch of 17-year-olds discussing the meaning of art. I just wanted to learn skills and theory; it was great to study with people in my age group. I took four classes a week.

 

I didn’t think I’d be interested in making documentaries, but one course focused on short documentaries. I love to film events that happen in everyday life and then sculpt them and distill them down to essential elements to tell a story.

 

My best experiences were on the Furtado set. During the very first shot, I was sitting there looking through the camera, the music was playing and I was watching her singing and thought, “That looks like a Nelly video. Wait a minute – I’m friggin’ making one!” I’m like, “Wow, I’m doing this.”

 

The other side of that is that you have absolutely zero money. No budget. I made a music video for $13. It was for jazz folksinger Jeff Gladstone. We were sitting around having drinks, and six days and $13 later we whipped together a crazy, kooky video and now it’s being screened at a film festival. To take pure imagination and zero resources and make something fun and beautiful is really exciting.

 

The worst experiences are the stressful ones leading up to the first time you shoot. Are we going to find enough people to help? Do we have enough money? Are we going to make it happen? Is this idea too big? How are we going to pull this off?

 

Being responsible for organizing everything is just so intense. When it doesn’t feel like it’s coming together, you feel like an idiot for having such a big imagination, but once you start shooting, all that stress and anxiety goes away. That’s a relief.

 

A director must be able to think creatively. You need leadership skills and the ability to convince a group of people – like, a lot of people – to help you do something for free. Sometimes you’ll pay them, but sometimes you’ll have to convince people to do something crazy. That takes a lot of persuasion. It’s a very specific skill.

Feature Article – JazzFM 91


 

This week’s featured artist is multi-disciplinary artist Diana Piruzevska, who participated in Jazzology in 2007.

A graduate of Humber College’s Jazz Studies program, she focused on trombone performance, composition and arranging and received several awards and scholarships in the process. Upon graduating from Humber, she performed with a variety of musical groups ranging from big bands and salsa bands to pop and funk groups.

 

While studying music she began to explore other forms of art with a particular focus on photography and creating album artwork for other musicians. Her desire to work in film began while she was studying at Humber and became interested in film scoring. However, after working on film sets as a stills photographer, she realized that she wanted to have a more “hands on” role in creating films and went on to study film production at Ryerson University. Being a music video director is the perfect marriage of these two art forms, allowing Piruzveska to combine her love for music and film as a passionate storyteller. Credits to date include Nelly Furtado’s “Waiting for the Night,” Adrean Farrugia’s “Mourning Star,” Sara Dell’s “Don’t Wanna Want It,” and Jeff Gladstone’s “One Little Accident Away,” featuring Sophia Perlman and Terra Hazelton.

In 2008 Diana started her own company, The Naked Eye Media, and has been producing photography, artwork, and film/video for artists and musicians all over Canada. Her photography subjects have included Justin Bacchus, David Braid, Jon Challoner, Wynton Marsalis, Myriad 3, and the Heavyweights Brass Band. Diana is continuing to pursue her vision of incorporating music and other art forms into her life and practice as a way of breaking through to the emotional root of basic human experience.

 

A graduate of Humber College’s Jazz Studies program, she focused on trombone performance, composition and arranging and received several awards and scholarships in the process. Upon graduating from Humber, she performed with a variety of musical groups ranging from big bands and salsa bands to pop and funk groups.

 

While studying music she began to explore other forms of art with a particular focus on photography and creating album artwork for other musicians. Her desire to work in film began while she was studying at Humber and became interested in film scoring. However, after working on film sets as a stills photographer, she realized that she wanted to have a more “hands on” role in creating films and went on to study film production at Ryerson University. Being a music video director is the perfect marriage of these two art forms, allowing Piruzveska to combine her love for music and film as a passionate storyteller. Credits to date include Nelly Furtado’s “Waiting for the Night,” Adrean Farrugia’s “Mourning Star,” Sara Dell’s “Don’t Wanna Want It,” and Jeff Gladstone’s “One Little Accident Away,” featuring Sophia Perlman and Terra Hazelton.

 

In 2008 Diana started her own company, The Naked Eye Media, and has been producing photography, artwork, and film/video for artists and musicians all over Canada. Her photography subjects have included Justin Bacchus, David Braid, Jon Challoner, Wynton Marsalis, Myriad 3, and the Heavyweights Brass Band. Diana is continuing to pursue her vision of incorporating music and other art forms into her life and practice as a way of breaking through to the emotional root of basic human experience.