Gianna Zoppi, the founder of Silver Moth Films shares her story of joining Remote Year to live her dreams of traveling the world while taking her company remote.
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Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your company Silver Moth Films?
I am from New Jersey and just wrapped up a round the world trip with Remote Year. I started doing video work when I was 14 and knew I wanted to either direct or be a cinematographer. My dream was to use video to give a voice to topics and projects I care about. At Silver Moth Films I curate video content that tells the stories of individuals and organizations with an important message to share with the world.
Currently, I am curating projects for a few non-profits, with start up companies that started on Remote Year, and for Paul Perry who is running for congress and who has a non-profit for kids with LGBTQ parents.
What inspired you to go on a journey around the world with Remote Year?
Before Remote Year I had a really great career researching and developing food and travel shows where I had a clear path up the corporate ladder. It was while doing this job that I realized I couldn’t sit still in an office. My desire to be the person going to these places and having amazing experiences was too strong.
I was worried that leaving this job would throw a huge wrench in my plans, that it would set me back or things wouldn’t turn out as I wanted them to. There were a lot of doubts at first but eventually, I got past the fear. I decided to figure out how to create an income for myself.
This is when I decided to start my own company, Silver Moth Films. I was genuinely committed and kept sharing my passion and what I loved with people. That set of a few sparks I could latch onto and I landed my first clients to get me going. I knew I would figure the rest out as I go. I had to be willing to take some risks.
What steps did you have to take to take your business remote?
Before Remote Year I was doing a lot of videos for sports teams but I knew it wouldn’t be enough work to last me throughout the year. I had to bring in a couple new jobs and sourced new ways to bring in an income while I was on the program. To complete the projects I was working on I hired three people to film for me. I could direct the shoots by phoning in when the shoot was happening. I could also do the editing and idea development remotely and over a phone call.
What are some of the biggest take aways and life lessons that have stuck with you from this experience?
Remote Year was crazy in that I was surrounded by insanely incredible people who forced me to raise the bar for myself. I realized that even if you don’t have a degree in something you want to do, or you have to completely change your life path you can do it. Taking a big turn in life no longer seems like as much as a hurdle as it once was. The realization of what I can do and will do has gone through the roof.
Being around people who are working full time, passionately working on their side projects, working out, making times for excursions, side trips, going out for drinks with the group, and taking care of themselves was a huge lesson in productivity and time management. I learned how to be more efficient and fit more into the day.
One really cool thing that happened on Remote Year is that we created an Entrepreneur Club where everyone came in with a business idea and we met up to work on our projects every week. Now that we have learned how to do everything remotely we have kept this going and have video calls while everyone is spread out around the world. I would never have thought this was possible a year and a half ago.
What are 5 items in your suitcase you can’t leave home without?
I really don’t need a lot now but here are 4:
- My camera.
- A really great smart phone as they can also take pretty good videos these days.
- My stomach for any new foods I might find.
What are 2 highlights from your round the world trip?
We were in Lisbon, Portugal when Portugal won the world cup in football. I don’t know anything about football but being in the city center when they won was unreal. To get to soak up all of the Portuguese excitement and culture is something I will never forget.
Some of us did a side trip to the Salt Flats in Bolivia. I am not much of a tour person but I highly recommend doing the 3-day tour from Uyuni. With the tour, we got to see the geysers, go on hikes, and visit hot springs. They take care of everything so your hostel is waiting for you with warm blankets and your guide knows all of the scientific and historical facts about the Salt Flats. Go, it’s incredible!
What advice do you have for aspiring digital nomads?
Don’t overthink it and just go. I had been saving money for awhile with the purpose of traveling so I thought if I spend it right now that is ok, this is what I wanted to do. My mom would always tell me just go and do what you can. If you need to come home you will come home but at least you get 3 months or 6 months of greatness rather than none. So just commit and do it!
What is next for yourself and Silver Moth Films?
Right now I am happy to be in one place. I don’t have to worry about buying a pen or a shirt because of an upcoming travel day. It’s also nice to sleep in and not worry about missing out on anything like you do on Remote Year.
My next big goal is to get a drone license for commercial drone filming. I’ll also transition Silver Moth Films to include short films and fiction pieces and continue to work on sports films. I am always looking for projects with a great purpose I am passionate about.
At the moment I am taking in everything I have learned over the last 14 months and will continue to build a really solid foundation so I can continue to work from anywhere in the world.
Here is an example of Gianna’s work for Flex Fitness – www.flexfitnessot.com – One of the business started on Remote Year by Josh Boone:
About Gianna Zoppi
Gianna is a cinematographer and video editor from New Jersey who uses film as a way to pursue her excitement for entrepreneurship, athletics, adventure, and philanthropy. She also uses it as an excuse to travel around the world trying new foods.
Silver Moth Films was created out of the need to give a creative voice to those driving motivational and impactful ideas. Whether it be an innovative start-up or an inspiring university team, there are thousands of stories out there with the potential to stimulate new ideas and change the world.
Recently, Gianna was a part of Remote Year, living in a new country every month and in search of these captivating and curious stories to tell on camera.
To connect with Gianna you can find her:
Article by Amanda Elizabeth, Digital Nomad Coach, and Founder of The Wellness School
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