Paul “Pizza” Pianezza

Current Location: Los Angeles, CA
Hometown: Sherman, IL

UIS Degree: B.A. 2012 (Communications)

Current Position

Career Highlights
“I grew up loving film and wanting to make movies, so when I moved to Los Angeles I decided that that’s what I was going to do. After a few years I started getting chances to work with directors, such as Sam Raimi, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Guillermo del Toro, Mathew Cullen and others. There have been multiple moments when I’ve been in a room collaborating on projects and get a sense of validation. It’s incredible. I’ve also been involved in creating pop culture by working on music videos for the Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, Green Day, Kygo and Ellie Goulding. It has been really rewarding.”

Memories of SSU/UIS
“I was on the soccer team and grew up watching the Prairie Stars, so getting to play on the team was a dream come true. Other than that, being a part of the first Capital Scholars was a blast. There was a sense of adventure and being the first of anything has a great, exciting, nervous energy about it.”

How did UIS change or prepare you?
“While at UIS, I found many of my professors to be extremely open to different ideas. While I was in school, I did a documentary on Sam Walton where we drove to Arkansas and I was fully supported by the professors and UIS. Also while a student, I worked at Public Access where I received some of my first experiences with television. These experiences helped me explore the world of film and television and find out that I not only enjoy it, but wanted to make a career out of it.”

Interesting Fact
“I love the movie ‘Death To Smoochy’, which I watched for the first time at UIS. I find myself constantly defending it, it’s amazing! That movie and everything Kevin Smith was in was always on in my dorm or townhouse at UIS. I also still go by ‘Pizza’ as opposed to Paul. While at UIS, I was able to write ‘Pizza’ on my papers and my professors knew it was me.”

Posted on July 20, 2017