Robby Piantanida | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Robby Piantanida


Just over five years ago, Belhaven University art student Robby Piantanida borrowed a camera and equipment to shoot a short film for his college film festival. Today, the 23-year-old makes his living producing video and motion-graphics projects in the Jackson area as the owner of Borrowed Productions. And yes, he still occasionally has to borrow equipment.

"I didn't even own a camera until a year and a half ago," Piantanida says.

"When we first started, we literally borrowed everything."

On a day-to-day basis, standard jobs for Piantanida are commercial and music video shoots, with occasional work in logo animation, motion graphics and short films. But beyond the jobs that pay the bills, he has big dreams for the future of his company.

"My goal is to eventually shoot features," Piantanida says. "I'm constantly seeing stories played out as movies in my head."

Asked whether his dream might take him out of Jackson, the filmmaker shakes his head.

"My eyes aren't set on big-budget Hollywood," Piantanida says.

"I want creative control, and I want to work with people who know how to use creative control. Besides, the experience of a local or low-budget shoot is addicting--moms providing the food, the crew inventing props. ... I love it. It's a very tactile experience."

The Tyler, Texas, native already has one feature under his belt: "The Sound of a Dirt Road." Piantanida produced the film for under $1,000 and shot it on mini-DV, yet it still placed as a finalist beside big-budget productions at the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Bridgestone Media Group selected the film for distribution.

The Crossroads Film Festival has featured several of Piantanida's productions, including the music video for Taylor Hildebrand's song "After the Fall," which won "Best Music Video" last year. This year, Piantanida debuts his documentary "Jackson Is Art," which follows the art education of attendees at a Jackson Community Design Center summer camp, and two music videos.

As an artist and a businessman, Piantanida is ready to accept and adjust to whatever opportunities come his way.

"Ten years ago, I didn't see myself here," he says. "It's a great lesson that you're not in charge of your life. It just comes down to how you act on your life."

If anything can be said for Piantanida's outlook on life, it's that he always has room for one more dream.

"If I could see myself anywhere in 10 years, I'd see myself on the moon," he says with a grin. "Seriously. Don't fail at your dream of being an astronaut if you really want to be an astronaut."

For examples of Piantanida's work, visit his website at

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