Dave Zani is a triple threat in the entertainment industry—a writer, director and producer who is known for working in numerous genres including comedy, horror, science fiction, children’s shows, animation and commercials. Moreover, Dave has experience working on video games such as “Max Payne,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “L.A. Noir.” Dave runs his own production company called Old Mill Entertainment LLC which has produced two films to date, “Scared Topless” and “Shark Babes.” Dave was happy to discuss his experiences working in the entertainment industry.

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The business 

Blasting News (BN): What made you strive to enter the film industry?

Dave Zani (DZ): My mother adored all type of films and had introduced me to them from an early age. Her go-to films were the Universal classic monsters, Alfred Hitchcock movies, Disney stuff and she also really loved the Bishop's wife. My father would allow me to play with his high-8 video camera and I would enjoy making little movies in my room with my star wars action figures.

Dave Zani owns Old Mill Entertainment which mostly produces horror, science fiction and comedy films. / Photo via Clint Morris, October Coast PR.
Dave Zani owns Old Mill Entertainment which mostly produces horror, science fiction and comedy films. / Photo via Clint Morris, October Coast PR.

When I was in elementary school and into high school, It always seemed easier to me to do a school project in the form of a video presentation, I felt like it was something I could actually enjoy doing. That mantra just seemed to always be the reason, it just seemed more fun and easier than doing normal things.

BN: How many projects have you had a hand in?

DZ: I have written and produced two feature films. “Scared Topless” which is currently running on Showtime, Epix and the Movie Channel and “Shark Babes” which ran on the Microsoft Live store.

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I am proud to have had these films directed by the great Jim Wynorski, horror and b-movie legend. Currently I am directing an animated piece that is still in development. 

BN: How did you get involved with Rockstar Games and “Grand Theft Auto”? 

DZ: At that time, I was working at Showtime as a media coordinator. I was also producing my own animated shorts on the side and entering them into film festivals across the country and a few international.

At one of the film festivals I met, who would end up being my future boss, one of the directors at Rockstar Games. He thought my animation was cool and enjoyed the handmade style it had. We remained friends on email and one day he said "We have some openings why don't you come in" and before I knew it I was working on “Grand Theft Auto 5.”

BN: What’s your all-time favorite project?

DZ: I would say my favorite project is this animated piece I am working on now because I’m taking everything I learned in the past and incorporating it. Of course, I also enjoyed my movies and games!

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The company 

BN: What content does your production company, Old Mill Entertainment, prefer?

DZ: I seek content that gives me that special feeling of curiosity. It’s the corner stone emotion of our species. Unfortunately, I cannot look at unsolicited scripts.

BN: Where do you envision yourself in ten years?

DZ: I would like to have an animated show. I am currently developing is like “South Park."

BN: What advice would you offer to people aspiring to get into the movie industry?

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DZ: Just start making stuff. No one is going to come around and give you opportunities out of nowhere, you have to create opportunities for yourself. If you want to make a movie then go and make a movie with whatever you have, if you can only afford a crappy camera and nothing else just make your film and the next one will be better.

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