Musician/Director Jimmy Giannopoulos Modernizes The Mob Movie Image

I’ve known Jimmy Giannopoulos for around 12 years. Back in the day, we both worked service jobs in the Lower East Side of Manhattan while pursuing our various creative endeavors. After I met him, he was becoming successful with his band Pretty Good Dance Moves (his Instagram handle is still PGDM). He also had a band with actor Penn Badgley called Mother. But he’s probably most well known for his band with Zoe Kravitz, Lolawolf, and there are probably a ton of other musical projects he has participated in over the years that I’m missing.

In 2018, I saw Jimmy while he was Dj-ing at a bar called Bonnie Vee. I had heard from a mutual friend that he was directing a movie, and when I found out it was really happening, I was so excited! I followed the trajectory of what would become The Birthday Cake very closely. Each time a new big-name celebrity would be announced for the cast, I became more and more proud. I know this dude. I remember when he worked at The Living Room, and now he’s doing the big job! He’s making it happen! The pride probably shows through in this interview, but I don’t care. Jimmy modernized the mob movie with his debut feature. I implore you to watch The Birthday Cake as soon as you can. Read this interview first, though. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Ideas, imagination, and a gang, you can probably make a better movie than someone who spent 10 million dollars.”

JIMMY!

Hey!

Dude, I am so psyched for you! Because we’ve known each other forever, so when I first heard that you were making a movie, I was really excited. So, I’m really glad we’re at this point.

Of course. I remember talking to you about it at Bonnie Vee.

Oh yeah, when you were DJ-ing over there!

We were trying to get it together then.

Yeah, it was in really early stages. Since I know you, I wanted to talk about your history a little bit for people who don’t know. You started out doing music, so did you always want to be involved in filmmaking?

That’s a good question. As far as trying to build something and express ideas and the creative challenges therein, they are quite similar. Music is a lot faster, obviously. It’s instant, especially these days. You’re in there, you’re working, you’re manipulating the world. But, when I was a little kid, I used to make skateboarding videos with my friends before I was even into music. I was always interested in the visuals.

I guess I’ve wanted to do it my whole life. I never actually understood what it took to make a film. Working with SAG and all that stuff, I didn’t know anything about that. I just know my camera, the story, the actors, and where we wanted to shoot. That was as far as I could get. Then I learned all about the process. As far as the creative stuff goes, whether it’s working on a play, music, film, or producing a political campaign, whatever it might be. A lot of these things live in the same world in my mind.

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