Danielle Galella is a native of Long Island New York, but has lived in the south for over ten years. She loves to travel and has been to ten countries, her most recent being Colombia (which she just returned from).
At the age of 22, she’s done it all: catering, event planning, medical tech, business development, licensed realtor, sales, and entrepreneurship. However, she has found her true passion in the areas of film and creative work. Her current main focus includes building her reel as a filmmaker and working with emerging performing artist Lyrik. Danielle has devoted herself to gain Lyrik’s recognition as an artist, highlighting her interest in working in creative industries.
Make Muse: You do a ton- you’re a traveler, a freelance worker, a creator, and more. If you had to narrow down who you are and what you do into 140 characters, what would you say?
Danielle: I am Danielle and I am currently on my journey to a freelance lifestyle. I have various interests and skills including marketing, real estate, production and talent management. I love collaborating with other creatives but my inspiration will always be to power my passion for travel.
Make Muse: What is your role in film? What kinds of projects have you worked on?
Danielle: I got into film almost a year ago now and my role has ranged from production assistant to producer/director. I have worked as a production assistant for some larger scale productions which include a commercial for Disney Vacation, America’s Got Talent and American Idol. I have also produced still shoots for a local magazine and a boutique where I work as the marketing manager. I just finished producing and directing my first local commercial and am in the pre-production phase of my first music video for a performing artist, Lyrik who I work for as her talent manager. I have also produced and styled several photoshoots for her Electronic Press Kit. The principal photography for the music video will start early next month.
Make Muse: What are things you like and dislike about being a producer?
Danielle: There are 2 things I have always loved to do: tell stories and plan a good event. It seems so obvious now but I never thought about film when thinking about how to combine what I loved. Producing is just like planning a good event, and the sole purpose of it is to tell a story. I love that I am able to combine these aspects and also have the potential to influence and enlighten large audiences with my work.
One thing I have realized I dislike is when you are doing a paid job sometimes your creativity has to be compromised due to budgets, timelines or a picky client. It isn’t a good feeling putting your name on something you are not 100% happy with.
Make Muse: You recently attended the Beaufort Film Society Festival. Can you tell us a bit about that?
Danielle: I had such a good time at the Beaufort International Film Festival. I was able to attend the opening ceremony and one day of screenings. Having the opportunity to meet with others in the industry who are already established was so exciting. I got leads for directing two possible documentary projects at opening night and added a contact from New York, where I am from. Watching the screenings was so captivating. There was a student film on Gun Violence that was amazing and another on the struggles of a female cop as she responds to a call about a local teen from her neighborhood who she ultimately shoots when he goes for her gun. The film confronted police brutality and racial issues and really resonating with me. The fact I was able to talk to the director and ask her questions about her work was such a great opportunity and served as some new found inspiration.
Make Muse: What is your dream creative project to work on?
Danielle: I don’t currently have one single dream project. I know that I want my work to focus on confronting social issues and promoting change. This would include various topics such as racism, women’s rights, white privilege, the broken education system, using food as medicine and humanitarian efforts in Latin America.
Make Muse: Through your travels, you’ve gotten to see women around the world that you’ve photographed or filmed. What have been the biggest things you’ve noticed about females around the world, both similarities and differences?
Danielle: Females are strong and dedicated workers all over the world. However, when I see a female entrepreneur abroad whether she be a street vendor, a restaurant owner or a merchant, I feel a bit more respect is due as these women are fighting all the battles of just being a woman in a place that is not as supportive of females in these roles as the one we live in.
Make Muse: What sparked your wanderlust?
Danielle: I was three the first time I went on vacation out of the country with my family. We went to Mexico and in the following years went to Aruba and much of the Caribbean. I always loved these vacations but I think what really sparked my wanderlust was a trip to Iceland I took with my dad when I was 13. I feel like this trip is really what showed me to appreciate new places and cultures and that visiting a new country was so much more than a vacation.
Make Muse: What do you consider your greatest muse for your creative works?
Danielle: I would say my travels must be my greatest muse. Through my travels I have learned to appreciate other cultures and realize things that can be improved in ours. Traveling is also the first reason I picked up a camera- I always wanted to borrow my dad’s to take a picture of something beautiful to remember.
Make Muse: Who are some of your favorite female artist, filmmakers, and photographers?
Danielle: One of my favorite females of the industry is Barbara Walters. I read her autobiography when I was 16 and loved how she was one of the first women to accomplish so much in Journalism, at the time that is what I was interested in. After learning more about her she is an obvious role model for my career.
Make Muse: How do you live a life promoting female empowerment?
Danielle: I love supporting and sharing female owned brands and companies. I also love connecting with female entrepreneurs and collaborating with friends to help them grow their ideas.
Make Muse: What advice would you give to younger girls who want to pursue their creative passions?
Danielle: I would tell any young girl who might even not know what their creative passion is yet to not give up searching. I always used to say I had no creativity whatsoever. I wasn’t good at art or music and I thought that was the end of my creative career. I enrolled in a school for business and later changed to communications thinking I would do consulting. It wasn’t until a mentor of mine shared stories of his career and I was introduced to the film world that I realized I too could be a creative.
Author: Maura Sheedy