directing

Satu Runa, creator of "Hessians of Burbank"

Pollen Pictures Teams Up with Satu Runa for 1/2 Hour Comedy Series

LOS ANGELES, July 17, 2017- Producers Amanda W. Timpson  and Andrea M. Reyes of Pollen Pictures have teamed up with actress-writer Satu Runa to develop a 1⁄2 hour comedy series, Hessians of Burbank, for television.

Hessians of Burbank centers around Miriam: a thirty-something metal-head who escapes her soul-sucking desk job and heads for Hollywood on a quest to realize her lifelong dream of becoming a VJ. The show, created by and starring Runa, follows the lives of aging metal-heads refusing to evolve for anyone or anything as the world passes them by. It is an insightful, poignant homage to the bygone years of VJs and music videos- when heavy metal ruled the Earth.

“The minute Satu pitched this project to us we were interested. There’s something so universal about Miriam’s journey. Not everyone dreams of being a VJ, but everyone struggles with these ideas about identity, especially at a time when so many are encouraged to “follow their passion” at all costs. Hessians explores that cost with humor, honesty, and an unapologetically metal attitude. We’re thrilled to be working together on this project and can’t wait to introduce the world to Miriam.” -Amanda W. Timpson
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Hessians is a reflection of the MTV generation. What happens to our idols after they fall? What does it mean to return to your roots after you’ve settled for conformity? Pollen Pictures understands the story I want to tell, and I’m honored to work them.” –Satu Runa

With a character-driven point of view in the style of Amazon’s FleabagHessians’ biting humor ties in the musical humor and fantasy elements of Mozart in the Jungle with the playful snobbery and philosophical musings of High Fidelity (2000). This is the first joint venture of Pollen Pictures and Ms. Runa.


About Satu Runa: Actress Satu Runa (The Coalition, Rizzoli & Isles) started out interviewing rock bands on public access in Jersey City, NJ. She worked in production at Fuse Networks, Vh1, and has been on-camera talent for Fangoria TV. A graduate of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Satu directed and starred in the pilot for 1⁄2 hour comedy Queen Gorya (2014) after a successful Kickstarter campaign. Official Site: www.saturuna.com Twitter: @SatuRuna

About Pollen Pictures: Pollen Pictures is an independent production company developing and producing engaging, provocative projects for TV, film, and digital platforms. Founded with the belief that storytelling is our most powerful tool for inciting change, Pollen Pictures is dedicated to diverse and inclusive storytelling both in front of the camera and behind. Official Site: www.pollen-pictures.com


Official Press Release: http://www.saturuna.com/hessians/

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“And They Look Great Doing It”

I recently passed by a professional actress on my way to a meeting. She positively beamed with radiant energy and light, knocking out everyone around her. Her perfume was fresh and floral, her clothing stylish and feminine. In a town where people err towards casual, I had the immediate thought: “that’s what I want to be.” Having chosen to put on my “filmmaker garb” for the day, I was left to wonder about the state of women in film vs. the all-seeing eye of fashion, and the practicality vs. expectation of our wardrobe.

Being an actor (and musician) my entire life- I listen, I watch, I learn. I take on particular habits, hairdos, styles. I emulated the artists I admired until I formulated my own style. When I became a New York actor, that particular style changed over time to a more sleek, stylish professional look with gothic undertones. I feel the most comfortable in this respect. As time went on and I started writing and directing my own work (sometimes acting in them), I started to learn about branding – as we have all done-  with the boom of social media.

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Me  (2005). 2nd year in New York. photo by Michael Chinnici

This always agitated me as an actor because I hated the idea of forcing things to be simple so people could understand (there is very little people understand about my first impression, unless they are familiar with the history of Nova Scotia, Trinidad, Finland, theater, and metal). It was far easier to brand myself as musician- the music speaks for itself. “Branding” became somewhat of an identity crisis more than anything else, and I longed for success so I could get to a point where branding didn’t matter so much.

And then I saw the W Magazine article interviewing Ana Lily Amirpour and Julia Ducournau (two highlighted horror directors emerging from TIFF this year with feature films), and the second I saw their photos, I could immediately relate to them. I realized that as a director – like being a musician: your work is your brand. This is the club I belong to. This is the movement that I strive to be a part of. It’s clear that women directors no longer have to shove themselves into a “male director costume” in order to be taken seriously. We can be as fashionable and presentable as actors. I will say this- when I directed and acted in Queen Gorya, I was in a revealing gothic outfit for the entire shoot, and I was treated with nothing but respect. The director is the chef, and everyone wants to do a good job and get home as fast as possible. No time, no room for a lack of respect.

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“The Chic Women Changing the Face of Horror Movies” –W Magazine

IN COMES the new wave of intellectual, or “mature” genre films. Karyn Kusama’s The Invitation. Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night. Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In. I’ve been writing films since 2010, but only recently honed in on writing feature length screenplays. On this journey, as all writers do, I have been finding my “voice.” After years of accumulating a strong interest in high-end genre (horror, sci-fi mostly), I realize that these are also the stories that I tend to write most. It’s an exciting time, as science fiction is due to catch up to horror, and for fans and creators alike, we are frothing at the mouth for films like The Arrival.

I have found my new inspiration, my voice, and certainly a great place to be. I have peers that I look up to and can compete with that happen to be female, for a change. And it’s a thousand times easier to believe in yourself when you see someone who is the same sex doing the work you want to do.

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Asia Argento

So when it comes to fashion? I got it covered. Like when I just started out- I took my cues from Asia Argento for a particular character I was working on. It stuck.

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Director/Actress, Asia Argento (I love her)

It will all balance out in the end. Back to the rewrites.

-Satu Runa