Wake The Town
Stuck in Motion
Contemplative Reptile
  • International Edition
  • USA Edition
  • UK Edition
  • Australian Edition
  • Canadian Edition
  • Irish Edition
  • German Edition
  • French Edition
  • Singapore Edition
  • Spanish edition
  • Polish edition
  • Indian Edition
  • Middle East edition
  • South African Edition

The Directors: Bianca Poletti


Czar Brussels' director on magical visual elements, digging deep on treatments and why filmmaking should be fun

The Directors: Bianca Poletti

Bianca Poletti is an Argentine director born in San Diego, California. She is based out of Los Angeles where she graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Film Studies.

As a narrative director, Bianca utilises her passion for dance and movement to explore the many different facets of the human psyche. Her films exist in dreamlike worlds full of ethereal lighting, colour, and youthful gen z imagery. She brings her love of character-driven stories, fashion, and architecture to her work, always implementing pieces of the story into her vivid production design. She casts with an emphasis on personality and chemistry, choosing to work with people who effortlessly add depth to story and dialogue through their unique point of view.

Bianca has directed numerous commercials, short films, and music videos, with her first feature being an anthology produced by James Franco. She was shortlisted this year for SHOTS 2023 Best New Director category. Her work has been featured in numerous publications including Directors Library, Shots Creative, Deadline, The Hollywood Reporter, Nylon magazine, LBB, Shoot Online, Ad Age, Girl Gaze, and Vimeo Staff Pick. Her film, RADICAL HONESTY premiered at this year's SXSW 2022 film festival and got a Vimeo Staff Pick online premiere as well as winning a GOLD at CICLOPE 2022. Her most recent short film I AM WHOLE premiered online with Directors Library, Short of The Week, Girls in Film, Curation Hour, and premiered in person at this year's FLUX series at the Hammer Museum. 

Name: Bianca Poletti

Location: Los Angeles, CA 

Repped by/in: Epoch US, Bacon Copenhagen + Oslo and Stockholm, Frenzy Paris, Zauberberg Germany, Czar Brussels, OPC Canada, and MOFA Australia

Awards: Winner Ciclope GOLD for Radical Honesty 2022, Shortlisted for  Shark Awards 2023, Radical Honesty, I am whole showcased at The Hammer Museums FLUX series 2023, Directors Library, Short of The Week and others. Radical Honesty was selected as one of SXSW 2022 favourite short films and showcased with three other films with the Houston Film Commission, it was also selected by VIMEO as a Staff Pick and premiered online with DL, Short of The Week, No budge, Directors Notes, Film Shortage, Omeleto and others. I was also shortlisted for this years Shots Awards 2023 for Best New Director. 

LBB> What elements of a script sets one apart from the other and what sort of scripts get you excited to shoot them? 

Bianca> I get really excited about scripts that have a narrative arc, and a magical visual element to them. Something with a story that’s touching, human and comedic because it’s about people being themselves, and scripts that have movement or a magical realism to them. Every script truly is unique, and if it’s not, I believe it’s our job as directors to help separate them from what we see daily, to push the boundaries creatively. 

LBB> How do you approach creating a treatment for a spot?

Bianca> I really like to dig deep and spend A LOT of time on treatments. I always start with creating a writing playlist, just a few songs, but something to get me into the mood of the world I’m about to step into, then I start pulling imagery and scenes from films that fit within the world to spark some inspiration and ideas on where to take things visually. Following that, I’ll use the images and music I’m listening to to guide the visuals and writing that follows. Treatments can be incredibly stressful, but also really fun, I LOVE playing with new storylines, problem solving, trying to figure out how to make something visually different within the few seconds we have for a spot. The process of it is very exciting to me. 

LBB> If the script is for a brand that you're not familiar with/ don’t have a big affinity with or a market you're new to, how important is it for you to do research and understand that strategic and contextual side of the ad? If it’s important to you, how do you do it?

Bianca> Yes, definitely. I won’t research the brand immediately, I’ve found that if I do, I get too in my head about what they would want, instead of pushing the creative boundaries and creating something original, that might not be safe but will be memorable. Once I’m done writing, then I’ll go into research mode and deep dive into their branding, their voice, what it’s about, and tweak some small things where needed in my approach to match their voice and brand. 

LBB> For you, what is the most important working relationship for a director to have with another person in making an ad? And why?

Bianca> The relationship between myself and the agency creatives + team is really important to me. It’s never been me against them in my mind, it’s a collaboration and stronger ideas come from us as a whole. Of course I won’t agree all of the time with the agency creatives ideas, BUT I do think it’s important to hear them, and work together from there. Feeling connected with them just makes everything more seamless and fun. I think we forget sometimes that filmmaking should be FUN, we’re using our imagination to create worlds and highlighting voices that are not heard enough. That’s all very exciting and empowering. 

LBB> What type of work are you most passionate about - is there a particular genre or subject matter or style you are most drawn to?

Bianca> Oof, SO many! I’m really interested in story. Scripts that have a full narrative arc to them, that play with human emotion in all of its forms. Comedic, but not in an overly aggressive way, more in the tone of ‘The Worst Person in the World.’ Comedy based around humans being charmingly messy and finding themselves. Deeper pieces that explore relationships, from romantic to family connections. One of my favourite spots is a WhatsApp ad by Nicolas Larsson called ‘One’. I love how it explores young love and the eventual highs and lows of it all.  And lastly, anything that has a grounded magical element to it. Dream sequences, playing with reality vs a dreamworld, these are themes I really love exploring. 

LBB> What misconception about you or your work do you most often encounter and why is it wrong?

Bianca> I think that because I’m a woman, people assume I can only tell stories from a female perspective and voice. It’s very easy as a female director to get stuck in a beauty world and I’d love to get past that barrier, and that my gender not factor into the types of stories I get to tell. At the core of everything we’re all just humans and we have all of these experiences from so many different walks of life, there are stories there from everyone that play outside of gender. I think it’s a mistake to assume women can only tell female driven stories while men can tell any story. We all can do both. 

LBB> How do you strike the balance between being open/collaborative with the agency and brand client while also protecting the idea?

Bianca> It’s a fine line, but I’ve always kept a very open line of communication with the agency. I don’t like creating barriers where they have to go through my EP, then through my producer then through my AD to have a simple conversation. I like to connect with them and keep the conversation open all the way from pre-production to the days of the shoot, that way there’s a base layer of trust built between us. I will fight for my ideas to be heard and that can be hard sometimes, especially when the original concept changes so heavily during pre-production, but I have learned to really push back when it’s important to the piece, and when to compromise when it’s only important to me for my cut. It’s a relationship from beginning to end, everyone needs to be heard and sometimes compromises need to be made, and magic can still be created from that. 

LBB> What are your thoughts on opening up the production world to a more diverse pool of talent? Are you open to mentoring and apprenticeships on set?

Bianca> HUGE fan of this, I was raised by a very hard working single immigrant mother, who was treated very differently than I was growing up because of her accent and the colour of her skin. This is something that deeply bothers me and I’m very stubborn about making sure diverse voices are always heard and helping them in any way that I can. A lot of younger filmmakers have reached out to me and I’m always trying to connect them to people I know or help in any way that I can. We need to hear different voices in film and in the ad world, it’s important to see and open ourselves to stories from all across the world.

LBB> Which pieces of work do you feel really show off what you do best – and why? 

Bianca> Radical Honesty (short film) It shows my narrative voice, and love for dark comedy and charmingly messy humans. 

I am whole (short film) It allowed me to explore my love for coming-of-age films, and create something short, concise, and visually magical.

Facebook ‘Imperfect Harmony’ (spot) This is one of my favourite spots that I’ve done so far, it feels closest to the worlds I love exploring. Youthful, cinematic, a hint of comedy, while also playing with music in a strong way. 

Royksopp ‘Le Reve’ (Music Video) I really love the simplicity of this one, and the line it crosses between our imagination and reality. 

view more - The Directors
Sign up to our newsletters and stay up to date with the best work and breaking ad news from around the world.
Czar BE, Mon, 17 Apr 2023 13:52:45 GMT