Accomplice Media
director Alberto Belli has attracted audiences of millions worldwide with his
riotously funny short films.

Earlier this year, Alberto Belli’s short comedy For Your Consideration became a
worldwide viral sensation. A hilarious spoof of Les Miserables and actress Anne Hathaway’s desperate pursuit of an
Oscar nomination, the film, generated millions of views on YouTube and was
featured on The Today Show, Inside Edition and similar shows around
the globe. The young director then topped that with It’s Not Porn. It’s HBO. a wry take on the acting life, which
tallied more than 3 million views in a month. Belli, who recently joined
Accomplice Media for advertising projects, talks here about life, viral fame
and what it takes to become a successful director today.

Did you always want to direct?
When I was a kid, I played around with my dad’s video
camera, but in college I studied computer science. Being a director seemed too farfetched.
But then I found out about the film program at USC and applied. My parents
thought I was crazy, but that’s changed. They see how happy I am.
As an Italian guy who grew up in Mexico, how
did you fit in at USC?
Not too well. I was the awkward guy who did comedy. Everyone
else wanted to do super deep drama. I liked making people laugh. It felt right.
Your Anne Hathaway film, “For Your
Consideration” became a big hit. Did that surprise you?
I was shocked. The actress, Emma Fitzpatrick, posted it to
her Facebook page and within an hour, people she didn’t know were sharing it.
It got onto Twitter and pretty soon celebrities were Tweeting it. Then I was
contacted by EW. They did a big
“making of” story. Emma was on a lot of TV shows. Katie Couric’s Oscar special,
The Today Show, Inside Edition.
Where did the idea for “It’s Not Porn. It’s
HBO” come from?
I had heard a lot of stories from friends who are actors
about the stuff they have to do on auditions. Then I was watching TV one day
and I wondered about a girl in a sex scene. What would she tell me if I asked
her how she got the role? I thought it would be funny to play with that
concept.
It’s a very polished, well photographed
film. Did you have a lot of resources to work with?
It cost $250.
Were you surprised by its success?
I would have been happy with 50,000 views. I thought it
would never replicate the success of the Anne Hathaway piece. But then it
became even bigger. I began hearing about it from friends of friends. Someone
saw it in New Zealand. Friends living in Paris and London called me to say that
they’d seen in on the news.
And now you’re trying your hand at
advertising. What interests you about that world?
I love commercials, especially commercials that tell stories
while being funny. I liked the Darth Vader spot that Volkswagen ran during the
Super Bowl a couple of years ago. That’s my kind of humor.
Is this a good time to be embarking on a
career as a director?
Yes, I think so. There are a lot of opportunities. Twenty
years ago, if you were coming out of USC, you’d direct a short film and hope
someone hired you to direct a feature. That doesn’t happen anymore. Now, people
who direct virals are getting jobs. Today, it’s very easy to share videos and
to reach an audience that would have been impossible 20 years ago. If you made
a short film back then, it would never have been seen in New Zealand. So, yeah,
I think it’s a great time to be a director.
What are you working on now?
I’m directing a show called Pop-Up. It’s produced by HLG films and Paperbag Princess
Productions, who also produce the show Leap
Year
for Hulu. It’s about two young women, played by Jessa Zarubica and
Rachel Morgan, who open a pop-up shop in Venice on a street filled with unique
characters, including a guy who runs a lemonade stand and also serves as the
mayor, a magician and a mute poet. The cast also includes Jacob Zachar (Greek) and Aviva Baumann (Superbad). We’re hoping to finish by the
end of the year and expect it to be online next year. 
I just got hired to direct another web series called Bird’s World with Rebecca Reid (New Girl) and Lauren Cohan (Walking Dead), and created by John
Patrick Shanley (Doubt). I’m also
directing a holiday web campaign for the brand BCBG.
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