The creative wellspring at the heart of Diabolik, Phil was an award-winning New York City photographer before becoming a filmmaker. Specializing in fashion and music, Phil worked with Green Day, The White Stripes, The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jay-Z, Christina Aguilera, Trent Reznor, My Chemical Romance, Carrie Underwood, The Killers, Fall Out Boy, and more. He shot the legendary foldout cover for Ludacris “Chicken ‘n Beer”, and his stylized portraiture appeared on the covers of SPIN, Rolling Stone, AP, The Source, Complex, ESPN, and URB. He created multi-million dollar international advertising campaigns for Ecko Unltd, Sean John, and Skechers. Channeling both his successes and failures, Phil wrote and directed The Listening Dead, his first short film, and everything changed.
Premiering at Fantastic Fest in Austin, The Listening Dead won Best Short Film, and went on to win awards at film festivals all over the world. Named the “Best Horror Short of 2007” by Rue Morgue magazine, The Listening Dead has been translated into over a dozen languages, and still plays festivals and special screenings to this day. Phil’s second short film, Far Out, had its world premier at CFC’s Worldwide Short Film Festival in Toronto where it was immediately picked up by The Sundance Channel, and went on to take the bronze at Fantastic Fest.
Originally managed by Anonymous Content in LA, Phil pivoted seamlessly to music videos - writing, directing, and editing “I Get Off’’ for Halestorm, “My Heart, Your Hands’’ for Dommin, and “Oildale’’ for Korn. With Opeth’s “The Devil’s Orchard”, Phil crafted a mixed media animation style that became his signature. His psychedelic metal video for High on Fire’s “Fertile Green” turned up the crazy, earning it Best Music Video of the Year accolades from Revolver magazine and dozens of online music sites.
Phil and producing partner/ frequent leading man Ian Mackay, quickly gained a reputation for producing spectacular “mini-movies” on shoestring budgets. Thanks in no small part to a dedicated team of artists and actors – many of whom wear multiple hats on any given project – Phil and Diabolik produced a string of award-winning music videos for bands like Disturbed, Monster Magnet, Huntress, Pig Destroyer, and Torche.
Handpicked by Metallica to write and direct “Spit Out The Bone”, Phil and Diabolik conjured up a retro post-apocalyptic sci-fi B-movie, complete with epic destruction, giant robots, and kung fu fights, all in just four and a half weeks. “Spit Out The Bone” racked up over 10 million YouTube views in its first four months, becoming the most popular of all the new Metallica videos released that day.
Phil Mucci is represented by Michael Sheresky and Ramses IsHak at UTA.
Ian started his career in the music business at Atlantic Studios, the last generation of recording studios under Atlantic Records. After seismic shifts rocked the industry, Ian transitioned into voiceover, promptly booking a radio commercial as the voice of Chock Full O’ Nuts. He trained with top coaches Marla Kirban and Nancy Wolfson, and world-renowned talents like Lori Alan and Pat Fraley for character voices. Realizing his passion for performance, Ian began acting in low budget indie productions in New York City, honing his craft at HB Studio in Greenwich Village.
As Phil’s music video career took off, Ian shrewdly addressed the problem of ever shrinking budgets by forming their own production company, Diabolik LLC, allowing them to maximize their resources to tell stories with an epic scope. Beyond his character craft onscreen, Ian also worked on custom miniatures and props behind the scenes, and took the reigns as lead stop-motion animator.
Dan Simpson studied film and art at the California College of the Arts in Oakland, CA. He spent years working on student films and DIY 16MM film exhibition in a variety of venues and touring bands. Dan filtered his love for filmmaking down to a genuine passion for editing and worked as an in-house digital editor for a variety of San Francisco production houses before transitioning to the NLE development end of the spectrum on the Final Cut Pro QA Engineering team for Apple Computers in 2004. Dan worked on several Final Cut Pro NLE editing software releases through FCP’s final pro release in 2009. Feeling a call to shake things up, he moved to the AppleTV development team in 2010, where he has worked ever since, on multiple software and hardware releases, including the current Generation 4.
In his spare time, Dan co-founded and ran Dead Channels: The San Francisco Festival of Fantastic Film, San Francisco’s award winning independent genre film festival in 2007/2008. He first met Phil Mucci when The Listening Dead screened at the fest. The two hit it off immediately, sharing similar visions of socially relevant genre exploitation. When Phil relocated to LA and started directing music videos, Dan was immediately taken with Phil’s vivid and savage visual style. He served as Associate Producer on Phil’s video for High on Fire “Fertile Green” in 2012 and has gone on to do the same for subsequent Diabolik music videos, most recently for Metallica’s “Spit Out The Bone”.
Currently deep in pre-production on Professor Dario Bava: Orgy of the Blood Freaks, Dan is also helping Diabolik develop feature-length projects. His deep passion and encyclopedic knowledge of genre cinema serves as the foundation for Diabolik’s creative output.
Rad skater ninja Amanda Graeff is the newest full time member of the Diabolik visual assault team. A multiple scholarship winner and American Academy of Dramatic Arts graduate, Amanda first worked with Diabolik on Disturbed “The Vengeful One”, stealing hearts as the doomed intern Hope, while chilling spines as a ferocious demon. Trained in numerous fighting styles, weapons, dance, and parkour, Amanda recently made her feature film debut in 2016’s Patient Seven, starring opposite Michael Ironside. Check out clips from that film and scenes from her Best Actress nominated performance in On Her Lips in her demo reel below.
Behind the camera, Amanda has utilized her artistic talents as art director on a variety of indie film productions. As Diabolik art director on Metallica’s “Spit Out the Bone”, Amanda created many of the original pieces in the video, including the Head of the Robot God, which she lip-synced for James Hetfield. An artist in every sense, Amanda’s versatility, mighty acting chops, and physical prowess inspired Phil to write the part of Major Bitch in Professor Dario Bava especially for her.
For Torche “Annihilation Affair”, Ian performed every robotic character, including the stop-motion ones, in a glorious animated tour de force. He originally brought the character of Professor Dario Bava to life for Huntress “Sorrow”. On a hellish weekend of night shoots, Ian kept the crew in stitches, improvising as Dario in a hilarious accent. His performance on and off set inspired Phil to write a series around his incredible character, Professor Dario Bava, Paranormal Playboy!
In the summer of 2006, Ian met Phil Mucci on his second short film, Far Out, and the two became fast friends, sharing a mutual passion for creative storytelling and independent filmmaking. They worked together developing a screenplay for a feature Phil was attached to direct, and moved to Los Angeles for prep in 2008. The project crumbled in the Great Recession, but Ian continued his studies at Groundlings in Los Angeles, learning to channel his gift for characters into hilarious improvisational performances.