This year AZ Productions turned some heads at the Davey Awards. We won 5 Awards in total and we have to admit it feels good.
Submitted by our sister company, Assurance Advertising Agency, it came as a complete surprise to us and we are excited and humbled by this prestigious recognition.
Here are the awards we won.
2012 Silver Award: AZ Film Studios Blog – Websites – Branding
The Davey awards are something like the Oscar for up and coming Ad Agencies. A David versus Goliath contest in advertising if you will. Every year thousands of submissions are sent in just to be recognized as a small agency or freelancer that does big things.
When we started working on the Luxor account we knew we had to do something that spoke of our creative style, and were extremely effective and stayed within budget. No small task by any means. Luckily we had a team of people from Luxor, Assurance and especially our own wonderful crew to make it go brilliantly.
A special thanks go out to Brian Villim, cinematographer extraordinaire. Director Ali Zamani had been working with Brian for over four years so when this project came up he was adamant about using Brian behind the camera (not that there were any objections). We never could have won the award for cinematography without him and hope he knows it.
These awards don’t belong to just one member of the AZ, Assurance or Luxor Las Vegas & MGM/Mirage families… but to everyone who worked on the projects. Our teams worked fast and diligently even with twelve to sixteen hour days and little to no sleep. Bravo, gang.
Thank you to everyone who worked on these projects. Thanks to the Luxor for trusting us with your account and thank you to Assurance for landing the account and developing the concept, and a special thank you to the Davey awards for recognizing our efforts.
Now, it’s on to bigger and better!
Producer Zeus Zamani and the writer and director of You Got Served bring you: Battlefield America[..]
LeeLee is a talented young musician who knows how to bring it to a video!
When working with AZ studios on her Boom Bada video (which currently boasts over 34,000 views on VEVO) she couldn’t help but shine on camera in her own tough-yet-sexy sort of way. Her voice is sweet to the ears and the production behind her is sure to get any club up and jumping.
After a little research I found out that this interesting lady started out singing in church! She then went on to be top of her class at the world-renowned performance art academy she attended in her youth. More recently she’s worked with artists like Baby Bash and Jimmy Klev! I knew there was more than met the eye with this girl, so I coordinated an interview to find out what makes her tick.
Q: What originally got you into music and how long have you been making it?
LEELEE: I stumbled on it somewhere between church and school. I guess you can say I’ve been making it ever since I could get my heart broken (in middle school).
Q: Where is your hometown?
LEELEE: I like to think I have two. I grew up in Santa Monica, California; and beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada.
Q: Who are your main musical influences?
Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and anyone else who’s doing what they love day in and day out while still keeping it exciting. Beyonce works amazingly hard, Rihanna is sexy and fun, and Lady Gaga has turned her music into art. I want all these things to rub off on me in my career. (The talent not the ladies. Haha!)
Q: Who or what has influenced your life to take on this highly competitive career?
LEELEE: All the people who believe in me! That, and the fact that I am in love with what I do! To me it’s a no brainer, it’s just what I do.
Q:What problems have you run into in your musical career?
LEELEE: Not many, but the game is hard. I have to constantly remind myself that I can do it—motivate myself. Like most people, I want to make my family proud and do well. But the one thing I’ve had to learn along the way is that in this business you have to take the good with the bad. Not everyone will like what you do or create. I just try and remind myself that I’m doing the right thing in my heart, even if some people don’t agree. Like my beloved Mark says: “You don’t want to look back and think ‘I should have tried’.”
Q: Where have you triumphed in your career?
LEELEE: My greatest triumph is and will always be my music, which is a direct representation of me. I’m very proud of what it has allowed me to achieve and where it has taken my life. I also feel I triumph every time I influence the people listening to my music to dance, or cry, along with me. I love my fans more than they love me.
Q: What motivates you?
LEELEE: My family, my fans, and my heart.
Q: What are you planning for the future?
LEELEE: I plan to grow and change with every piece of music I put out. I want to be a work of art, just like my music. And most of all I want to have fun. So…I guess what I’m trying to say is: some amazing surprises are in store! So stay tuned!
I can honestly say that everyone here at AZ can’t wait to see what she does next.
I absolutely love the book The Rum Diary by Hunter Thompson. Actually, I like everything I’ve ever read by Hunter Thompson. If you’re like me, then you were amped when you first heard that Johnny Depp was working on this project. And now it’s finally here.
If you haven’t read it, then know that the book is a wonderful romp through the mind of a young journalist who has, for better or worse, taken a job at an English Language paper in Puerto Rico. Being that this book is based in the late 50’s/early 60′s there is a strong theme illuminating ever so subtly: the colonization and exploitation of Puerto Rico. But still holding true to the Gonzo style there is plenty of realistic/vivid drunken debauchery and excitement throughout.
The movie was re-written for the screen by Bruce Robinson and I feel he did a fairly good job considering this is a Hollywood interpretation of a book from a wildly creative and brilliant mind.
I feel as though Robinson kept as much of the integrity of the book as possible, without freaking out the studio heads, which in-turn turned it into a more typical Hollywood story. Trying to market to the tastes of the general movie going public is hard, and more so when it comes to Thompson’s no-holds-barred style. So I applaud Robinsons work.
Robinson also added some psychedelic scenes which aren’t in the book for those Fear and Loathing fans that are sure to inundate movie theaters with their loud and obnoxious drug abuse.
If you have read the book, you know that the love interest in this story was not only a secondary focus but far less “Hollywood.” This was my biggest disappointment with the movie. The book was nothing close to a love story, but that’s pretty much all you get with the movie. I guess this is to be expected considering two hours is not much time to get an audience intrigued, but that doesn’t make me like this aspect of the movie in any way, so it’s a moot point.
My favorite part of the movie was seeing the character interpretations by some of my favorite actors. The cast was excellently picked, specifically the role of Sala (played by Michale Rispoli). I don’t think anyone could have played the roll better.
My overall opinion on the movie is that it’s great. This film is filled with adventure, conflict, romance and intrigue that every movie go-er will find worthwhile. But if you want this film to go from great to amazing: I’ve heard tell of a game being played all over the country that can get it there. And it involves actual rum.
Now, I’m not condoning getting drunk in public but the rules go like this: sneak bottles of rum into the theater and take a shot every time the characters in the movie drink. I may or may not be telling you this first hand, but “they” say you’re wasted by the end and you feel far more in touch with the movie. Make sure to bring a designated driver or go to a theater near a bar.
The book, as usual, is far better. I recommend you take a peek when you get a chance; it was, after all, written by one of the greatest writers of his time.
With a seriousness that rivals that of a general in war, Zeus prides himself on getting productions done with the least amount of problems and as close to under budget as possible.
But what is it that makes him tick? How does he keep going in such a competitive field? Well, why don’t we ask him!
I’ve been producing since 2006, so it’s been almost 6 years. My first project took me and my brother, Ali Zamani, to Sweden to shoot parts of a feature film he had written and was planning to direct.
1) I’ve always loved working on projects; the satisfaction of seeing an idea develop into a living/breathing entity has always been great for me!
2) There are no two projects that are exactly the same; as a producer you can never “see it all”! The new challenges and obstacles you face are never ending, making each project I work on an enlightening adventure.
3) The human contact, interaction and networking aspects of the film industry are all things I definitely love and have always excelled at.
A big part of being a producer is the ability to understand and appreciate the importance of relationships with other individuals. In this industry you must embrace the fact that every single individual and position is just as important as the next.
I don’t really have three things but, if anything, I would have to say it’s that as a producer you never ‘clock off’. It’s a lifestyle commitment rather than a job, which is fine 90% of the time, but I wish I could just clock off now and again!
Every single project has had its own great memories and experiences; however there is definitely a couple that spring to mind. Producing the video for Tyler the Creator was great in that we had to order large hissing cockroaches, stage a vomit and even a suicide by hanging. That stuff is just fun to me.
The biggest challenge to date I would say was producing the feature film project “Battlefield America”. This is a dance movie which we spent 2 months in pre-production for, and shot in 27 days.
I worked for an average of 14 hours per day without a single day off in that period. Every day presented itself with logistical challenges and obstacles so it was a huge learning curve for my career.
Overseeing a large budget production, 15 million to be exact, and managing my personal crew of about 50 members was definitely not easy! Working with children was also definitely no piece of cake as anyone in the industry can tell you. So many restrictions, rules, laws, etc.
But – we were able to come through and complete it. It’s now being screened at various studios (I am not allowed to say which ones) and will hopefully be released theatrically January or February of 2012!
The plans of the future definitely include producing more feature films, including a project written by and directed by my brother, Ali Zamani. We’re planning to put together projects which involve shooting in different parts of the world and would need collaboration with production companies/producers in other countries.
If you would like to get more information on upcoming projects feel free to leave a comment below.
If you’re interested in reading some of Zeus Zamani’s producer journals we’ve featured on the blog click below to read them!