Young Filmmaker Begins His Studio and His Dream

LCHS Junior Francis Pollara’s filming career is on fire. He is only 17 and already involved with his own film company, working at Universal Studios, managing a job as technical director for USC’s Trojan Vision and interested in filling a position for one of Hollywood’s budding directors.

“I started filming in ninth grade,” he said. “We had to make a health video on the effects of smoking and alcohol. I liked the challenge of making a video. I went out, bought a camera and ever since have been making my own movies.”

When he was a sophomore at LCHS, Pollara began filming a documentary for the YMCA’s Youth and Government program.

“It was one of my greatest documentaries,” said Pollara.

He put his logo, FPP for Francis Pollara Productions, on the video and it was distributed to the members of the program. From there he received numerous calls from people asking him to help them with film projects, and that is when Starlight Studios was born.

“I named my official company after my street in La Cañada, Starlight Crest. I thought it’d be cool to incorporate a part of my life into my films.”

Syndicated Records was created next, a company focusing solely on music, and eventually contributing to Starlight Studios’ productions.

Pollara has 15 partners in his Starlight Studios company. If he can’t make it to a production he’s been hired for, he sends one of his partners who will film and edit the project, then return it to Pollara who adds the logo. The firm receives 20 percent of every film’s profits.

Pollara likes to envelop himself in as many opportunities for his film career as possible.

“Last summer I took classes for high school students at Universal Studios,” he said. “I gained enough experience from the classes to be referred to be a teachers assistant at the New York Film Academy (NYFA), located in the back lot of Universal Studios.

“NYFA allows me to use the studio’s back lots and develop my skills with the sets in Universal Studios.”

Pollara not only works at Universal, but at USC as well. He is the technical director of Trojan Vision, a USC public broadcast show for Southern California, available to two million people.

“I get to maintain cameras and control the set environment on studio, which is fun and a great experience,” he said. “I got to meet the young film maker, Jason Reitman, writer and director of ‘Thank You for Smoking.’”

The executive producer of the USC show introduced Pollara to Reitman, who then interested Pollara in a position working with his company Hard C at his new Hollywood office.

“Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes,” said Pollara. “When editing or filming a movie, you hold the power to put your vision into motion. You can let your imagination run wild and when finalized it’s amazing to see it portrayed onscreen.”

Currently involved with Media Arts at LCHS, Pollara enjoys working with the familiar drama students at the high school. The theatre program has many skilled students and Pollara likes using them because he feels it benefits the entire community.

To contact Francis Pollara with Starlight Studios or Syndicated Records, e-mail him at or call by courtesy of Francis Pollara(LA) BUDDING FILMMAKER ? Francis Polara being creative in his studio.