Narrative Short films for Cyber Security

The last few months, we’ve been grateful for the opportunity to combine corporate, commercial and narrative filmmaking into a few very exciting projects for one of our top clients. Due to the sensitive nature of the subject matter and client relationships, we’re unable to post the final videos or too many details about the project, but we essentially set out to produce some short narrative films about diabolical cyber hackers being fended off by elite government agencies in order to paint a picture of a cyber attacks, a looming and very relevant threat in today’s business and political landscape.

To rise to the task, Maestro scaled up to a full crew, with director Charles Morabito at the helm and Bill Burke as Dir. of Photography. We filmed every where from in studio, to 30th Street Station, to Center City corporate offices, to our neighbors offices at 215 Marketing, and the USS United States in South Philly which doubled as our “abandoned hacker lair.” Hoping to be able to share some version of the project in the future, but in the mean time, enjoy some behind the scenes photos below which were posted to our Instagram account.

Scouting all day at some epic locations.

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Cyber hackers in full swing. On set aboard the SS United States. #maestrofilmworks

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Behind the scenes from a recent film. SWAT team preps to storm an abandoned cruise ship. #maestrofilmworks : @ssharrington

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Nearing the finish line for “Americano”

For those of you that have been following the production of our short political thriller we’ve produced with Consurgo Films, we’re excited to announce that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Our goal has always been to submit to the festival circuit and we’re a few steps closer to wrapping on post production and begin submitting.

Ed Cipolla, our lead editor on the film, spent countless hours in the edit suite with director Tim Viola to lock picture over the last few weeks so that Tim and producer, Kris Mendoza could head to LA to jump into finishing. Color and VFX were done over at FX Studios and are near completion.

Late night edit sesh for @americanofilm. #maestrofilmworks #consurgofilms

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Upon completion of color and VFX, the film is coming back to Philly for scoring and a final sound mix. Christian Mariano, a Bucks County native now living in Queens, NY is slated to compose original music for the film and the final audio mix will take place atShake Audio over at Milk Boy.

It’s been exciting to see the film really begin to come alive with all of the final elements coming together. We look forward to circling back and updating our cast, crew, and Kickstarter backers on the road ahead with the festival circuit.

Late night color session on the left coast for @americanofilm.

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DNA Simple: “Speeding up science with you”

We are happy to announce our recent collaboration with a local Philly based startup in the Healthcare & Science field. DNAsimple is one of the most buzzed-about companies in the fascinating area of genetic research, and it has been fantastic for us to collaborate with such an exciting client.

DNAsimple is “the match-maker of the genetic research world”, matching-up interested users with relevant DNA research studies that are seeking donors. Their streamlined platform is free and easy to use, 100% anonymous, and automatically informs you any time you qualify for a study. For nothing more than the completion of a home saliva kit, all donors are fairly compensated any time they decide to contribute to a study.

The mission of DNAsimple is to enable donors to double the pace of genetic research, bringing cures and treatments to millions of people much earlier than they could otherwise be provided. The combination of cutting-edge scientific research with an intuitive, easy-to- use platform is what has helped DNAsimple gain such great buzz in a competitive, burgeoning field. Co-founder and CEO, Olivier Noel, was featured on the 2017 Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 list for Science, in addition to prominent write-ups the company has received in BuzzFeed, The Boston Globe, and Philadelphia Magazine, among others.

The Maestro team produced a video for DNAsimple which will be used by the startup on their website, social media, and eventually even in a broadcast spot. We couldn’t be happier with the final product, and with the fact that we helped to contribute to DNAsimple’s goal of furthering the field of genetic research, and ultimately improving the lives of millions of Americans.

DNAsimple has been featured in stories by multiple media outlets, often touted as a leader in the emerging biorights movement. Visit to learn more about the cutting-edge research going on at DNAsimple, or to sign up today.

Check back at the Maestro blog soon as we’ll be highlighting some of our most exciting projects yet!

Meet our Summer Interns!

(Photos: Anjelika Rivera, Maestro Filmworks)

Meet our Summer 2017 Interns! Or as they’ve currently named themselves “Working Title Pictures” for the summer. Eurica (Temple University), Joey (Temple University), and Morgan (Emerson College) have been coming in a few days a week to work on their summer project, which is to produce a short documentary for a non-profit we sponsor, Stay True. (You can read all about our involvement with Stay True over the last 6 years in a recent post.)

From their first day of icebreakers and activities in the office, the three have been hard at work learning as much as they can about production while PA’ing on some film sets and also assisting in the day to day of the office. In order for them to embark on capturing the footage for their summer project, they were tasked to create a short project so they could get familiar with the camera and gear package they would have access to during their time here. They were given one full day to brainstorm a concept and film a short project, and the only stipulations were 1) they had to film in our studio and 2) they had to use as much of the gear as possible. The below is what ensued. We’re proud to present, on behalf of our summer intern, a short film, entitled Void.



by Eurica Yu, Morgan Sage, and Joey Tighue

We’ll make sure to loop back here and update you with their final summer project which will be screening on August 31st at a Gallery Show for Stay True here in our studio.

Stay True Philly – Summer 2017

Written by Andrew Vigna. Photos by Max Grudzniski, Kris Mendoza.

While we are passionate about video production, nothing gets us more inspired to work than using our skills and knowledge to help improve the lives of local communities. We were recently given the chance to take part in the Stay True Philadelphia project, through our sub-brand, Philly Photo Studio, and we lept at the opportunity.

Stay True Philadelphia is a Philadelphia-based non-profit dedicated to inspiring local youth to become leaders in their communities. This admirable organization allows under-privileged, at-risk youth the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to become empowered, active agents of social & political change in their communities. Stay True offers a great variety of after-school, extra-curricular, and weekend programs for kids to take part in, combining academics and activism to give students an amazing service experience.

This summer, Philly Photo Studio will be partnering with Stay True for the sixth year in a row, offering introductory photography workshops designed to stimulate and inspire kids to express themselves through photography. At the the end of summer, the workshop will culminate in a  gallery showcase that will display the work that was captured by the group in the course of their day-to- day lives.

Max Grudzinski (photographer, Maestro / Philly Photo Studio) showing students photos from master photographers to get them inspired).

Along the way, Maestro interns will be documenting all the great events and activities that the students take part in throughout the summer, which will include bowling, camping, water parks, and various other fun activities throughout the city. Through Philly Photo Studio, we are also happy to be donating cameras, laptops, and a wealth of experience to help teach the youngsters about photography. In the words of our Executive Producer, Kris Mendoza, “If we could inspire even just one kid to take on photography, it would be a success for us”.

We know from past experience that working with the folks at Stay True is highly rewarding. It is truly amazing to see what the students are capable of achieving through photography, with just a little bit of guidance. It’s not every day that we are able to use our knowledge and expertise in such a meaningful way, and we really revel in the opportunity.

Check out the Stay True Philadelphia website if you are interested in getting involved with this quality non-profit. Stay True works with a number of well-known local organizations, including The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Franklin Institute, Philabundance, and many more. If you would like to contribute anything at all, Stay True welcomes donations, and all proceeds go directly towards giving students the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to commit to a life of public service.


Filming “Americano,” the story of an unlikely patriot.

Written by Maddie Allard. Photos by Max Grudzinski.

Maestro Filmworks is excited to be producing the short narrative film, Americano. Teaming up with the Philly-native writer and director, Tim Viola of Consurgo Films, ( our crew filmed for 4 days throughout Philadelphia, from Independence Hall in Old City, to the Racquet Club of Philadelphia in Rittehnouse, to Race Street Pier along Columbus Boulevard, to Gryphon Café in Port Richmond.



Focusing on a Syrian refugee, the film follows his journey working for a statesman in order to receive a signed deportation appeal. After being betrayed, he embarks on a mission to find the truth and stay in the country. Written even before the unfolding of the 2016 election, this film touches on the every day struggle of thousands of refugees fighting for their own American dream.


On February 1st, a Kickstarter campaign was launched to help fund this campaign. After 28 days, over $20,000 dollars was pledged to the project, surpassing the original $15,000 goal. With a supremely talented cast and crew, as well as a leading man who is the son of a refugee, principal photography took place from March 25-28 with a pickup shoot weekend at the end of April to wrap on the film.



Be sure to keep an eye out for progress regarding this project, as we will be posting more about when we head into post production.


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Gaining market recognition. Award season is upon us.

Written by Maddie Allard. Photos by Max Grudzinski.



The 2017 awards season is upon us, and Maestro Filmworks is seeing great success. Below are the awards we’ve won (so far):

Elevate by Psych Congress

ADCP Louix Award – Art Director’s Club of Philadelphia

2017 Best Corporate Video

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Making an Impact That Matters – Deloitte

AVA Digital Awards

2017 Platinum Winner – Viral Video for Company

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Head of the Charles Regatta – BNY Mellon

AVA Digital Awards

2017 Gold Winner – Documentary

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Financial Technology – Deloitte

AVA Digital Awards

2017 Honorable Mention – Marketing

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Elevate by Psych Congress

Hermes Creative Awards

2017 Platinum Winner – Medical Category

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Project Cavite – Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children (FIMRC)

Hermes Creative Awards

2017 Honorable Mention – Non-Profit Category

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Office & studio renovations complete!

Written by Andrew Vigna. Photos by Max Grudzinski.

Our office renovations are finally finished! After beginning in January, we have expanded our studio to have an additional 900 square foot standalone space (finally, space to do cartwheels and our jobs!)

Our new state-of-the-art studio features a freshly renovated interior with smart office features and way more natural light. We’ve also included super important things such as a communal snack bar and two bathrooms. At Maestro, we believe in the importance of having the right creative spaces available for our staff in order to cultivate the most lively creative collaboration. We also added a new conference room and client meeting area which features vintage film and Philly décor.

These new digs allow for open collaboration and a more easygoing workflow for our growing team. With the new upgrades to our space, we have enhanced our technical capabilities and efficiency, while giving our team more room to do their thing.


PPS New Studio-1 PPS New Studio-2 PPS New Studio-3 PPS New Studio-5 confroom-1 confroom-1-2 confroom-1-6

Designing creative spaces

Maestro Filmworks is happy to announce some new upgrades and renovations to our workspace! As a creatively driven team, we believe in always pushing our limits and spurring creativity in new directions. As our company continues to evolve, so must our work environment. That is why we will be expanding our current studio (Philly Photo Studio) to a new 900 square ft standalone space next door.


Our new state-of-the-art studio will feature a freshly renovated interior, which we have been hard at work designing. Our team will also benefit from new smart office features and way more natural light. At Maestro, we believe in the importance of having the right creative spaces available for our staff in order to cultivate the most lively creative collaboration.

We’re also adding a new conference room and client meeting area, which is being designed with a vintage film and historic Philadelphia theme that we are very excited about!

After the renovations, we’ll be hooked up with some powerful smart office features, including Amazon Echo, smart lighting and thermostats via Philips Hue and Nest, and wireless HDMI meeting spaces for easy, wire-free collaboration. Our edit suite and office will also be getting a makeover, allowing for more workstations and an improved work-flow. With new gear comes new creative horizons to explore!

We are committed to providing our growing team with a work environment that will inspire creativity and new ideas. With the new upgrades to our space, we are enhancing our technical capabilities and efficiency, while giving our team more room to develop projects and collaborate.

We can’t wait to share our upcoming work with you, developed in our new and improved space. Check back for more updates and images of our new digs!






Run Signature by Brooks Running

In September, we hit the ground running at the ‘Philly Rock n’ Roll’ Marathon Health & Fitness Expo with Brooks Running where we were on hand to capture their new “Run Signature” mobile tour.

They created an innovative “Run Signature” mobile tour that analyzes a runner’s body mechanics and prescribes the right shoe for them based on their anatomy, running style, and fitness goals.

“Run Signature is the result of years of research Brooks conducted in partnership with Professor Dr. Gert-Peter Brueggemann, Director of the Institute of Biomechanics and Orthopedics at the German Sport University of Cologne, and Prof. Dr. Joseph Hamill, Director of the Biomechanics Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The team discovered that all runners, including those at the highest elite level, have their own unique way of running and that embracing their natural movement can keep them more comfortable, efficient and happier.

Brooks is now bringing the science out of the lab with a custom Run Signature mobile application which analyzes data from key motion zones. By completing a squat and short run, the application identifies the degree of change as more force is applied to the body. The degree of motion signifies the level of support needed to keep the runner’s body in its preferred position. 1

For more information on the mobile tour, click here to see the extended video and read more about the Run Signature technology on the Brooks Running website here.

Director: Charles Morabito
Producer: Kris Mendoza
DP: Bill Burke
Gaffer/utility: Stephen McPeak
Editor: Ed Cipolla