To Top

Meet Amir Valinia of AV1 Productions in Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amir Valinia.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I started college. Based on what my parents wanted I went in as an engineering major. I took a radio class and became interested in communications. So I switched my major to communications Radio/Television. After college, I realized it’s hard to get a job with a BA in communications so I started creating my own projects and not making any money. I finally got a job at TCI communications as a producer making small cable TV commercials.

One day a rap label walked in and they wanted to make a TV commercial for their upcoming album using posters and graphics. I suggested to them that we could shoot a commercial similar to a music video incorporating part of their song. They like the idea and we went with it. Soon after finishing and delivering the spot I got a call from Shaw Brauch of then Pen & Pixel graphics. Back in the late 90’s, they were the top place to get an album cover done. All the main rap labels went to them. Master P., Snoop Dog, just to name a few. Shawn told me he really liked what I did with the commercial and they were gonna send me more of their clients.

Slowly I became friends with Shawn and since I wasn’t happy at the cable station and wanted to start my own company again, we discussed me renting space from them and running my production company from there. After moving in one of my very first clients was Cash Money Records who represented Lil Wayne, Juvenile, Birdman… From there I became known in the industry as a hip hop music video director. Budgets got bigger and bigger. I was shooting a lot of music videos.

By 2003 I was asked by one of my clients, rappers Kane & Able, to shoot a movie. We shot a very low budget movie called “Da Block Party” that became a big hit in the urban hip hop market. After that did a few more low budget movies and ran into some producers that wanted me to direct SyFy Channel movies. They were cheesy plots. One was a mutated Alligator head and 30ft. snake body, another a pre-historic alligator, and another about a sugar company trying to make their sugar addictive and the side effect were it made people into zombies! LOL

To date, I have directed over a dozen movies published around the world. My latest project is called Flashes the director’s cut which will be releasing towards the end of the year. It’s about a guy that flashes into 3 different realities. He is an architect in one, a rock singer in the next and a killer in the third world.

Hope this isn’t too much. You can use what you need! LOL

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I don’t think anything in life is just handed to you. There have been many challenges but to me, the challenges are what makes us stronger and they make us who we are. One of my biggest obstacles was losing my girlfriend in 2013 about 2 weeks before we went into production for the movie Flashes. My producers wanted to push the movie back but I convinced them I was sane enough to go through with it. In fact, it made me see the story in a whole new way. Not just another Science Fiction movie but a true love story.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
AV1 Productions in a production company that specializes in entertainment… That being said we do also provide high-end video services for corporations such as Verizon, Oracle, HP, Mass Mutual and more. As far as what I know for, I would say mostly for directing music videos and movies.

I’m most proud that we have been in business since 1996 and still going. I’ve seen many production companies come and go.

What sets me apart is that I LOVE what I do. I always tell everyone when I’m on set I feel like I’m on vacation.

What were you like growing up?
I was a very shy boy as a kid. I like electronics and taking them apart! LOL, I guess that’s part of why I was an engineering major in the beginning when I started college.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in