N.I. is a short film written and directed by (VFX Emmy-nominated) Sallyanne Massimini about a romantic encounter that goes horribly wrong...with a high tech twist.

In association with Palo Pictures, N.I. stars Giorgia Whigham (The Punisher, 13 Reason's Why) David Meza (Millenials, In Echo Park) and features original score by The Angel.  

It is the first narrative live action to be filmed on the RED Digital Cinema's Hydrogen phone.

  • Sallyanne Massimini
    Niles Canyon, Imaginary Mary, Greenleaf, Step Up
  • Sallyanny Massimini
  • Sallyanne Massimini
    Niles Canyon
  • Giorgia Whigham
    Key Cast
    "Samantha "
    Netflix's The Punisher, 13 Reasons Why
  • David Meza
    Key Cast
    "Aaron "
    In Echo Park, The Millenials
  • Susan Hanfield
    Key Cast
    "Voice "
    Je Suis, The Three Elizabethes
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Sci-fi, drama, thriller, horror
  • Runtime:
    5 minutes 38 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 25, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Sallyanne Massimini

Storytelling has been a part of Sal’s life since she was a child; her old sketchbooks are filled with drawings of magical worlds and their stories. She went on to graduate with B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art with an emphasis on painting and drawing but dipped into the world of visual effects her senior year. She moved to Los Angeles, where she still resides, and became a visual effects artist and supervisor. After accruing credits and several Emmy nominations on series like True Blood, Banshee, Fringe and Once Upon A Time, Sal transitioned into 2nd unit directing for the television shows Greenleaf, Imaginary Mary and Step Up. The short film Niles Canyon, directed by Sal, written by David Paul Francis and edited by Dmitri Gueer received an Audience Award for the California Women’s Film Festival, one of several projects she has teamed up with Dmitri on. One of her most recent commercials for AUCTIV was selected for the 2018 SHOOT Annual 16th New Director’s showcase; other commercial clients include Adaptive Life Company, Steadicam and Uovo. 

Sal is currently a producer and 2nd unit director for the Neil Gaiman/Starz television show American Gods. Additionally, Sal is partners with Jarred Land (CEO of RED Digital Cinema), Francis Kenny ASC and Richard Crudo ASC in Master Cinematographers (www.mc4.la), a multipurpose company focused on creating revolutionary innovations; the most recent are the STEADICAM AIR and the SQUISH. No matter what the medium is, storytelling is the root of everything for Sal, be it a film, a commercial, a photo or a drawing.

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Director Statement

In the current climate of constant scientific discovery there is so much focus on the advancement of A.I. and how it will define and shape the future. In N.I. (Neo Intelligence) I explore what a new, more advanced form of A.I. would be like, how it would integrate with human society and how it would react to the ultimate test, the integration of human emotions.

Visually, Caravaggio's chiaro scuro technique was an inspiration, pushing us to embrace darkness. Filmed primarily with just the light from the phone the actress carried as her prop and story point, we weren't afraid of letting everything drop off to black. Sound design and score also played a key part in the short, defining the space and story.  

I was lucky to have access to prototypes of the RED Hydrogen phone. A big decision was what to shoot with, and because this piece becomes about technology I thought it'd be apropos to film on brand new technology, being the first to shoot a live action narrative with the Hydrogen. We filmed one of the cameras in H4V (holographic) mode for a behind the scenes segment, in addition to key takes and story points, and as a fun way to compare both modes - the short itself was filmed in its regular/2d mode. The reason was to utilize and experiment with the specific benefits to both modes. It was really refreshing to be so nimble as far as the gear goes, not only did we use the phones, but we used the Steadicam Air and the Squish, some of the new camera inventions from the company Master Cinematographers that I am a part of, where the focus is on streamlining filmmaking. 

Every completed movie is a miracle; this short film couldn't have been made without an amazing team. Collaboration is key and part of the magic. It was always so exciting to see what each artist brought to the table, every step of the way. A goal is to always work from a place of passion, to work with people who share that passion, and to enjoy the ride along the way. I think we definitely achieved that. 

Sallyanne Massimini