Viner Interviews

parabox Interviews - Meagan Cignoli


After a brief summer break, we are back at it asking our favorite Viners everything that we've ever wanted to know.

For this installment, we chatted with the always fashionable Meagan Cignoli, getting the lowdown on her newly established empire and getting the scoop on her favorite 90's celebrities. So let's get to it!

What is it like to now have your own studio to work in? How has that changed what you have been able to do?

I've had my own studio for 10 years. This one is a bit different, because it needed an office for employees, whereas the others did not.  So really, the question might be better said, what is it like to have an office and so many full time employees? I didn't realize I would be writing so much in my life, although I deeply enjoy it. 

I spend a lot of time managing other people but I think I'm getting the hang of it and finally enjoying it as well. It was painful in the beginning because I've never had a boss and I don't like to be managed. I am uncomfortable asking of other people what I don't myself want to do. I think the thing that maybe most changes what I'm able to do now is size of productions. Some are very small tabletop productions. I was used to fashion shoot productions, 10-20 people kind of things. Now we have productions that require 35+ people, motorhomes, grip trucks, 3 sets of producers, etc. It's great to have so many people who know what they are doing, on your team, waiting to help make what you are directing even better. 

What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?

Travel, being outside in the park, massages, tennis, time with friends, playing with the puppies. We have two pugs - Stevie and Pickle. 

What’s the most challenging yet rewarding project you’ve worked on?

This made me laugh, I think because the one I'm working on seems the most challenging, but I suppose that would be the case with whatever I was working on at any given moment. I let them all challenge me, we never take the easy way out. Every time we write a treatment I say, "ok. How can we make this better", which also means, how can we make this much harder on ourselves. 

What’s your favorite meme?

I'm still not really sure what a meme is. Is it like another word for GIF? I don't have a favorite GIF. 

Which client of yours has been the most fun to work with?

Downy was always a lot of fun. I worked with two really creative people to make the rubiks cube happen and it was intense, but great. 

How has Vine made you a better person? Worse person?

Vine has made me a better person, because I'm now in a better position to help and hire and empower others. 

It has made me a worse person, because I feel it is quickly making me old, this career is so all encompassing and happening so quickly that I am guilty of giving it my everything without balance. 

Where do you see Vine going in the future? What impact will that have on what you do?

I think it will stick around. I think it will continue to increase in popularity, especially with Twitter being a driving force behind the platform, and even if it doesn't it has enough people on it to continue breathing life into it. It seems to continue to evolve, as the users continue getting creative with the medium. 

Our work is far more than Vine, so I'm not worried about its rise or fall. 

We love the Vine Setting Love on Fire; what sparked (pun intended) the idea for that? How many matches were used for the Vine?

That vine took about 6 boxes of matches at least. The idea was sparked by a heavy push from me to start creating more creative content for our audience and for our sanity. We took a month and a half and worked almost without stopping on hiring new creatives and training them by working on creative content that we could slowly use throughout the summer.

Britney Spears or Lindsey Lohan? N’SYNC or the BackStreet Boys? 

Both Brittany and Lindsey are talented and beautiful, I've always had a soft spot for them both.  I'll choose Lindsey. For  Nsync and backstreet boys, I don't know the difference between the two.

Can you juggle?

Oh goodness, all I do is juggle. My entire life is juggling 20 balls in the air at a time. But physically no, I've never tried, though I'm sure I could with a little time. 

Tell us about your craziest vining experience.

Craziest vine experience - winning a Cannes Lion. 

Most fun vine experience - Nick Megalis had a little get together about a year ago with myself, Lopriore, Rudy and Jerome. We spent the night vining and for me this was the ultimate vine experience, because you have five idea people in a room who all are so into it; who have more ideas than can ever be shot. We made one for everyone's channel. I've been around visual artists all of my life, but I feel very fortunate for the times I get to spend with such funny people who are also very bright. I learn a lot about life from them. 

What’s your favorite gas station?

I don't drive and I don't actually think there is a gas station in Manhattan, although now that you mention it, there must be. 

What is your go-to order at Long John Silver’s?

I feel terrible to leave another question unanswered, but I've never been. I don't think we have this either. 

Meagan, you don't ever have to feel bad about not going to Long John Silver's, we don't! 

We'd like to thank Meagan so much for her time and insight into her life and leave you with one more of her beautiful and inspiring Vine creations. 

parabox Interviews - Brittlestar

In the 2nd installment of our viner interview series, we talk to one of the funniest Dads on Vine, Stewart (Brittlestar) Reynolds. He chats about his run-ins with the paparazzi, keeping secrets, and being Burt Reynolds' cousin. Actually we made that last part up, but we can only assume it to be true since they have the same last name. 

Lets get right to it:

You remind me a lot of a guy I know. Do you get that a lot?

Since that bastard, Drew Carey, lost a bunch of weight I get compared to him a lot.  I was told that Paul Gross (actor that plays the mountie in the TV cop Show Due South) was mistaken for me once, though I'm not sure if he's ever been mistaken for Drew Carey.  Though I feel strongly that all three of us have said 'come on down' before at some point.

What’s it like working with your sons on Vines?

I'm always blown away by their concepts and little technical things like plotting out scenes and visual composition of each scene.  We usually have a ton of fun... which I think is sadly unusual for some dads and their teen kids.   I love it.  It's not always easy though.  You know, because they're kids and I'm an immature adult.

Tell us about your craziest run-in with the paparazzi.

I've yet to have a terrible experience with any paparazzi... though last November I was taught some very basic choreography and then danced out of the Disneyland castle in California to take selfies with Pluto in front of TV and other cameras as a 'Social Media All Star'.  That was weird.

What is the best thing about Vine? The worst?

Best? Anyone with a camera on their phone/tablet can create and share a moment, feeling, whatever.  Letting people be creative keeps them sane.  

Worst? It doesn't seem to count towards my Klout score so I can't get more free body wash.

Why did you first join Vine?

My youngest son, Gregor (GregorR on Vine), heard about it a week or two after it was released in the App Store and started showing me Vines he thought were hilarious.  I thought they were hilarious too... I also thought, "Pffft, that looks easy.  I can do that."  It looked like a fun and easy way to capture an emotion that others could watch and say "Hey!  That's how I feel!"

Would you rather ride an elephant or a camel?

Elephant.  Without question.  Roomy.  Trustworthy.   Wang-esque nose.

We noticed you wear a lot of nerd shirts in your vines. Are you a true nerd or just a poser?

I love technology.  I'm not a gearhead.  I don't lust over specs but I love the potential uses of it.  Does that make me a nerd?  I love early 80's tech stuff because it was such an exciting time. It suddenly felt like the future was here or was just around the corner.  That period of time was the beginning of the digital revolution to me.  People just figuring our how they could use technology to do what they wanted it to do.  That time was the birth of Digital DIY, and I like to celebrate that through the wearing of stylish chemises.

How would you summarize Vine in 6 words?

Engaging contemporary haikus in video form.

Can you keep a secret?

Why?  What do you know and who have you been talking to?

Tell us your biggest secret.

I can eat 10 buttertarts in one sitting with no remorse. (buttertarts are little sugar, butter and raisin tarts)

Do you have a process for vining that you typically follow? What does creating a Vine look like for you?

I've been revising my Vine creation process constantly since I started.  My own sense of humour is sometimes a bit too subtle or dry to really convey itself well in a Vine, so I need to really distil it down to an emotion and then amplify that emotion to the point of ridiculous.

I'll usually start with a concept/scenario that I hope is familiar to a lot of people.  Then try to find one element of that concept/scenario that I can really exaggerate. 

What’s your favorite Nick Cage film? Please name only one.

I refuse to answer this ridiculous question.  Who can name only one?  

What’s your go-to order at Long John Silver’s? 

This is a tricky question, as I don't think there are anymore Long John Silvers in Canada.  We used to have one here in our town but its main reputation was for how Steve Campbell put his running shoe in the deep fat fryer one night.  With that in mind, I'll say Hush Puppies (though I think Steve's were actually Converse).

We'd like to thank Brittlestar for filling us with the urge to gorge on buttertarts while watching our Klout score sit AND NEVER MOVE. While we do that, you be sure to follow him on vine, so you can lap up his comedic brilliance!