After more than a decade honing his craft on various aspects of film production, Nick Sasso, one of the most in-demand visual effects artists in New York, is combining his myriad skills into Haymaker. His upcoming directorial debut will feature Nomi Ruiz, D.B. Sweeney, Udo Keir, Zoe Bell, John Ventimiglia and Veronica Falcon.
The New York native's resume extends to some of the most popular shows and brands in the country. Sasso has been the director, visual effects supervisor, or retouch artist for ads by Mercedes, Chase, BMW, Ecko and, most notably, Absolut Kanye, a collaboration between Kanye West and Absolut Vodka. Sasso conceptualized the narrative and co-edited the popular viral spot, featuring the rapper endorsing “be Kanye” pills that allow anyone to become the ubiquitous superstar.
After linking with MTV and their Rock the Vote for an ad with Christina Aguilera, Sasso became embedded in the beauty and fashion world, blending an edgy street sense with high-end visual components to Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Dior, L'Oréal, Vogue, Maybelline and Revlon, among others.
Television would soon call, as Sasso began working on vaunted series such as The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire and Mike Nichols' Emmy award-winning Angels in America, alongside a series of spots for Sony PlayStation. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pink Floyd's heralded double album The Wall, former member Roger Waters enlisted Sasso to conceive and direct numerous videos that were shown on Waters' epic The Wall Live tour.
It's fitting that Sasso, a longtime DJ/producer who recently completed his debut album and has been a resident DJ for Tommy Hilfiger, would work with artists like Waters and West, two musicians who have always looked outside their fields for other creative pursuits.
Sasso would eventually link with screenwriter David Rayfiel (The Firm, Three Days of the Condor, Absence of Malice) for crucial mentorship, absorbing lessons in narrative both technical and creative from the veteran. Sasso has also directed well-received stage productions of Sam Shepard's 1980 play True West and John Steinbeck's classic Of Mice and Men.
Like Robert Rodriguez and Wes Anderson before him, Nick Sasso realized early that the best directors are the ones who have already mastered different parts of filmmaking, from screenwriting to visual effects to music composition (Sasso composed much of the film score for Haymaker himself).
Sasso has channeled all his diverse work for different mediums into Haymaker, currently in post production and set for completion this spring.