Melissa Ulto is a multidisciplinary artist who utilizes modern and traditional mediums to create her works. Melissa currently resides in New York, working professionally as a photographer, filmmaker, designer, VJ and artist. She has performed as a guest video artist at the MoMA and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and continues to show her work internationally. She is a published writer, poet and photographer.
As a filmmaker, Melissa produces, writes, shoots and edits documentaries and experimental films. She started her career in music videos and working for MTV in production. Melissa expanded her documentary skills at Columbia Universityâ€™s Center for New Media Teaching and Learning. As Senior Digital Video Specialist, her team was a one-stop shop, creating short and long form documentary pieces for online learning environments. In 2005, Melissa edited the film â€œThe Art of Love & Struggleâ€ (Eyes Infinite Films). As a director of photography, Melissa shot the first part of an HD documentary, â€œArt & Apathyâ€, on location in Israel. In 2006, Melissa edited â€œDeath Before Dishonorâ€ (Vivendi/Ruff Nation), a documentary exploring the anti-snitching movement, and edited â€œThe Mighty Humble Blueberryâ€, a documentary about Elizabeth White and blueberry cultivation. In 2007, Melissa was invited to present internationally her work at a variety of conferences and festivals focusing on converging media. Melissa finished 2007 on tour with G Love & Special Sauce, The Sounds, The Bravery and Tristan Prettyman, as VJ and live video tech. In 2008, the film "Mandatory Service" (Eyes Infinite Films), for which Melissa was the director of photography, won best short at the Tribeca Film Festival. Her pieces on Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton were featured on the front page of â€œThe Huffington Postâ€, through her urban reporting site, UrbNews.tv. She also edited over 400 pieces of webisode content for a variety of new .tv sites, including Broadway.tv, SheStory.tv and UrbNews.tv.
In 2008, Melissa built a $250k full service production studio, based in the Fashion District of New York City, for a client, including soundproofed stages, an edit suite and a full production office. She also spent the year doing some incredible webisodes and online content with interview subjects Mary Stuart Masterson, Arturo Vega, Feurza Bruta, Ken Aretsky and many other city insiders.
Melissa is also an educator, having taught seminars on democratizing media, critical thinking, social activism, vodcasting and post production processes. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experience with aspiring filmmakers, especially on the high school and college level. Melissa is featured in several books & documentaries, including â€œThe VJ Bookâ€ (Feral House), â€œWomen by Womenâ€ (Prestel), â€œArt or Something Like Itâ€ (PBS), â€œVideo Outâ€ (13 Bit Productions), and in the upcoming book â€œFresh, Bold, and So Def: Women in Hip-Hop Changing the Gameâ€, as one of the 300 international women in Hip-Hop contributing to th