Francis Pollara doesn’t brandish his Emmy walking down the hallways of his school, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. He covers it in his jacket, tucked into the crook of his arm, like a football. “This feels so conceited,” Pollara said as he began unwrapping it.
The 21-year-old La Cañada High alum won a College Television Emmy Award for a commercial he produced with three other students at the school. The commercial, titled “Trigger Happy,” is about friends playing freeze tag with cameras at school. It was filmed entirely at the art center with Pollara’s friends and colleagues playing the parts.
Pollara and the film’s three other producers — Saman Keshavarz, Y-C Tom Lee and Romson Niega — received their awards at a ceremony Saturday night.
“Francis is great,” said Ross Lamanna, the chair of the film department at the art center. “He’s an exemplar of the school. He became sort of a de facto leader in his group. Guys who want to produce are always really popular.”
Pollara also ended last month with a best music video award at South by Southwest, a music and film festival in Austin, Texas, for his work as a producer in the band Cinnamon Chaser’s “Luv Deluxe” music video. Both videos can be found on Youtube, searchable by “Freeze tag” and “Luv Deluxe.” The latter has more than 700,000 views.
The music video wasn’t even submitted for South by Southwest.
“South by Southwest [officials] contacted us after seeing it online and inquired about if we were interested in submitting it in the festival,” Pollara said. “We made a submit tape and sent it out as soon as possible. We went to Texas and won the award.”
In “Luv Deluxe,” Pollara used a new type of camera that affixes to the head of the character and sees everything from that character’s point of view, which helped director Keshavarz achieve his idea for the video. Pollara said several people have asked to buy one.
“It started with rails and a helmet, and it came into a design,” Pollara said.
Pollara’s next project has involved flying all over South America and other continents to work with supermodels along with cinematographer Affonso Beato. Beato is one of Pollara’s teachers at the college and has worked on several films.
Lamanna gave all credit to Pollara and his co-producers for their vision and talent.
“We let the students be creative, and we believe in the people who work here owning their intellectual property,” Lamanna said.