top of page

Oh, The Places You’ll Go: Freelancer Edition


Vincent Perella with his camera

From a young age, schools present their students with limited career paths. If the students express an interest in an industry (such as in the arts) for which the school could not make a step-by-step guide, it would be deemed a risk or unrealistic. The corporate world would be portrayed as a field that would make one financially stable—told that the only path to success is climbing the corporate ladder. Young creatives looking to pursue a career in the entertainment industry are often not provided with any direction from their high school and college advisors.

In a series of interviews, I will discuss with NYC-based creatives their journey in the industry and the different paths they took to get where they are today.


I had the pleasure to sit down with Brooklyn-based writer, photographer, and social media strategist Vincent Perella. At the young age of 25 he carved out a social media manager position for himself at Indiewire. He has covered some of the biggest events in the film world such as: Sundance, The Golden Globes, The Oscars, and many premieres. He also works as a freelance digital editor for an independent magazine, ODDA, interviewing celebrities such as Angus Cloud, Michael Cimino, Taylor Schilling, and many more. In two short years of living in NYC, Vincent has solidified his standing in this hard-to-navigate industry.


—---------


A: What are some of the responsibilities of the Social Media Manager at Indiewire?


V: So going into the job, it was baseline a social media manager job. My day-to-day consists of planning the content across all our social channels (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Youtube), writing the copy for that, coming up with graphics, and coming up with an innovative way to repurpose editorial content when certain things are trending, or I think a certain story will perform well. The role evolved. My higher-ups liked what I was doing; they asked what I wanted to make out of this job and would try to evolve to get there.

We evolved the role into a red-carpet correspondent; paired with that was also after-party photos and stuff for corresponding events such as premieres, film festivals, and award seasons.

I just hit my one-year anniversary with the company, so we are now…having a discussion over my title and where we want to mold me towards a little bit more than social media manager. So updates to come:)


A: Could you also give us a breakdown of your position as Digital Editor at ODDA?


V: The Odda team is really small. It's a global magazine, and the people running it are ten or fewer, including me. ODDA is really fascinating, we do two print editions a year, and each edition has 300-400 pages yearly (it's like a thicc boy). Apart from print, we run digital stories year-round. We cover everything from fashion to entertainment, highlighting up-and-coming talent in the art world. It's really cool having my toe dipped into culture in every possible sense.


As a digital editor, apart from the print world, I am usually the point person running all the online stories. Often I help with pitches; I have a cool hand in sourcing talent. I do most of the digital interviews, I help with the planning of the editorial shoots that go into it, and I coordinate with their team and PR; planning the launch and rollout is cool. It’s really fun.

To sum up both roles, Indiewire is like the hub of all my interests in the movie and tv world, which is what I have always been passionate about. ODDA is really cool too, because I can get a taste of the fashion and art world.


A: How do you prepare for these interviews after filtering pitches for interviews and selecting the celebrity/influencer?


V: I immediately jolt out questions I can think of off the top of my head. Most of the time, if I agree to interview someone, I know who they are. First, I write down questions that I find interesting. Then I google their name and click on the news tab to see what projects are on the horizon to keep it as current and relevant as possible. The best/worst part of these interviews is that I am limited to 10-12 questions, so you have to narrow it down, which could be tricky. I approach it as finding the best story; I’ve never had an issue when asking a question and asked to scratch it, which is good.


A: When you do red carpet events for Indiewire, how do you keep tabs on all the people you’ll potentially meet?


V: That's a great question. With ODDA, you talk to one person and know you’re only talking to one person going into it. With Indiewire, when I’m going to a movie premiere, they’ll give me a list of expected attendees for the carpet, but they don’t all stop for the press. Typically, I approach it by picking the big names and preparing a couple of questions hoping to get them. And for the people I don’t prep questions for; it’s easy to come up with something off the top of the head.


One thing I found advantageous with larger groups, such as at the Emmys, was asking specific questions to relevant talent, but I was asking a lot of people the same question. One question I asked was, “If you could put your character in any other show nominated tonight, what would it be and why?” That was cool because we could make one article of their answers and conceptualize the storyline—the same thing with social videos.


A: How long have you lived in NYC? What was the process like getting your foot in the door?


V: I’ve been living in NYC for just over two years. Getting my foot in the door was a lot of work in college, in internships. Throughout college, I bartended to fund my move here; that was always the lifelong dream. I had four internships in college; one was at a small PR agency, two were at Boston Magazine, and the fourth was at Vice in Williamsburg. They all were pretty similar, social editorial focused. My first job out of college was at an agency doing socials for the New York Times. It wasn’t a sexy job, but most media people will say, “you need the agency experience to get started.” I was like, alright, let me get this under my belt. It was kind of a sucky job, and six months into it, I had to get out. I started to apply for jobs, and Odda came across my lap first. I was obsessed with the magazine, and I was bugging the editor-in-chief for a couple of months to give me the opportunity to show him what I could do. For a month or so, I helped him do socials and did a couple of interviews for digital. They didn’t have a digital editor, and after a month of doing this, he asked if I wanted it. It was never a full-time opportunity. I continued to work at the agency and used Odda to keep me excited about my day-to-day work life. It was an excellent resource for connections and building my portfolio with writing samples, and I grew from there.


In January 2022, I saw a job listing at Indiewire for this role, and went into it like, “I’m going to fight to the death to get this; I don’t care what it takes.” I applied for the job, found out who the hiring manager was on Linkedin, and messaged her. “Hey, girlie, I would love to hop on a call with you and learn about this opportunity.” That went really well. It was seven interviews and two tests, it came down to another person and me, and I got it.


To answer the question on how I got both those opportunities, it was having a strong resume and being knowledgeable about both those spaces. ODDA, which I was always passionate about because it covered so many spheres of culture I was interested in. What worked so well with Indiewire, I am so addicted to movies and TV, and I think they picked up on that.


—-----


When Vincent isn’t conducting interviews on the red carpet, he continues to put his creative ambition to work through his photography. Looking through his portfolio, you’ll start to recognize a number of faces, such as Jennifer Coolidge, Anne Hathaway, Dylan O’Brien, Jenna Ortega, and many more. Captured right off the red carpet or at exclusive events, Vincent has a collection of unique portraits that feel spontaneous and raw, unlike most photos captured at these highly covered events. These celebrities are captured in a radiant and natural moment. With the vintage look amplified through the slight grittiness and overexposure in his photos, these candids resemble a ‘90s college vibe rather than a staged photo op.


Pictures by Vincent Perella (From Left to Right; Bella Thorne, Dylan O'Brien, Desus Nice, HoYeon Jung)


—------


A: Taking a look at your Instagram, there are a lot of familiar faces. How did you get started with your photography, and how do you approach celebrities at these events?


V: Before these jobs, I always had my camera on me. If it was taking pictures of friends or at a restaurant/bar, I was always strapped for aesthetic purposes. It started with ODDA, a lot of these events celebrities were sprinkled around. I said, “I like taking pictures of my friends, but let me try to get some celebs in the mix and see if I can pull it off.” I would straight up walk up to people and ask if I could take their picture. No one has ever given me a problem with it except [name censored, not spilling that tea]. A lot of these portraits come from after parties and big events. If you go to a movie after a party, they are expecting people to take pictures, which makes it pretty relaxing. I am pretty outgoing, so if I see someone I want to take a picture with, I will just go up and ask.


A: What is your favorite film you have seen while working the red carpet?


V: If I had to pick one, I would say Tar. It was my #1 of the past year.


A: In your recent red carpet coverage for Knock at the Cabin, you chatted with Dave Bautista about potential DC characters, and he brought up an interest in doing a rom-com.

How would you pitch the actor to be in a rom-com?


V: It’s hard; Dave is a beast. I can’t picture him being soft, cute, and funny in a rom-com. If I could pitch him in a rom-com, I think it would be cool if he could be a character of himself. I think it could be interesting if he were some sort of wrestler in the film, but behind closed doors, he is a miserable, sad man who needs someone to pick him up.


—-----------------


Check out his most recent coverage with Indiewire at the Independent Spirit Awards. He chatted with Paul Mescal, discussing his commitment to the independent film industry. As well as getting Jamie Lee Curtis’ input on the current nepo baby conversation.


To see more of his work, check out his Instagram @vincentperella or his website below.



You can also find his work on Indiewire’s website.



Interviewed and Written by Ashley Murphy

Photography by Mark Bluemle




bottom of page