The first thing you should know about Anna Martemucci is she and her husband Victor Quinaz have been making films for some time. While Shane Dawson fans may not have recognized her on The Chair (voting of which is happening right now), she’s a proven professional and multi-hyphenate who’s been honing her craft of scripted filmmaking, and knows what it is to run a collaborative production.
After years of creating, producing and acting in the vast majority of the videos put out across the years, Anna has taken up directing feature films, with her directorial debut Hollidaysburg releasing digitally earlier this year, which The Los Angeles Times calls “amusing, moving, well-played stuff.”
In our talk with Harley Morenstein, he notes — and rightly so — that for all the production hassles he’s taken on with Epic Meal Time, the #1 YouTuber right now is still a guy with a camera (PewDiePie, of course). That said, it’s clear that Anna’s taking a path that, for an independent, is vastly more difficult; in the YouTube space, scripted shows have a much higher overhead than vlogs, which makes them a riskier investment. It’s why you see Kickstarter and Indiegogo overwhelmed with scripted series needing crowdfunding.
It’s also why the shows that have managed to achieve success are either from studios, have well-known YouTubers already behind it, or are themselves using the vlog form, something PERIODS. Films themselves have done (with a twist) with their Lil Women series.
“I’ve found that the web has allowed me to connect with young women wanting to become creators and directors,” Martemucci says. Which, when you consider that gender equality in film is a major issue that won’t be going away anytime soon, these sorts of connections are vital to the future health of the arts.
Getting started off with PERIODS. led to Breakup at a Wedding, directed by Quinaz, which Martemucci produced and co-wrote. After being stuck in development with traditional production outlets, Anna and Victor decided to make the film on their own, which is “about Anna’s fear of marrying me,” Victor quips.
Breakup at a Wedding was shot in 11 days, completely DIY, and after some funding kicked in by Anonymous Content (True Detective), the film landed in front of Chris Moore, who remembered it when he was planning on casting for The Chair.
Working on Hollidaysburg while being on a reality TV show was “a rollercoaster,” says Martemucci. “Sometimes you want to throw up, sometimes it’s the greatest day. It’s probably the best/worst experience of my life.”
When it comes to her future online, “I want to make work that I’m proud of however I can,” Anna says. Encountering Shane Dawson’s fans, the particularly fervent ones gave a feeling of being “the pre-hated new girl. They’re watching the show and they’re in love with Shane, and they’re looking at me thinking ‘who are you?'”
The funny thing is, they should get to know her. Anna’s making an impressive turn in her career where so many have been stuck in the middle of the pack.
Check out the voting for The Chair right over here.