Defebo in the atrium of Stereo D in Toronto, where he works as a Stereo Producer. Deluxe is the parent company of Stereo D. 

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Kent State Alumnus Lives His Dream of Making Movies

Kent State Alumnus Lives His Dream of Making Movies
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2003 Grad Lives His Dream of Making Movies

“If you want to make movies: experiment, write and shoot movies. Having something to say, having an imagination and the ambition to do it is really all that is required.”

Vincent Defebo, ’03, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in electronic media production, believes that if you set your mind to your goals, you can accomplish anything. 

Since graduation, Defebo did just that and has been doing what he loves – making movies.

Life in LA

“After graduation from Kent State, I moved to Los Angeles where I spent four years at Paramount Pictures in the Physical Production department, which manages every feature film Paramount makes,” Defebo says.

Paramount released 65 movies during Defebo’s tenure, including “Transformers,” “War of the Worlds,” “Mission Impossible 3,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Star Trek.”

Defebo went on to work as a freelance production consultant for two years, working as an assistant on “Rango," which won the Academy Award for best Animated Feature -- and as production team member for two independent movies filmed in Pittsburgh. 

Vincent Defebo, '03

Making Movies Come to Life

Currently, Defebo is the 3D/VFX Producer for Stereo D. Stereo D is a production company that converts 2D theatrical content into stereoscopic 3D imagery to bring 3D storytelling to the silver screen. Defebo works as a Stereo Producer, responsible for the 2D to 3D conversion of feature films. 

With Stereo D, Defebo has worked on five out of the top 100 grossing movies of all time, including “Star Wars: the Force Awakens” and “Dr. Strange.”

Defebo also worked on “The BFG” with Steven Spielberg. “Working with Steven Spielberg was an absolute honor and something I’ll never forget,” Defebo says. 

Last summer, Defebo was the associate stereo producer on “Doctor Strange,” which Marvel Studios won the Lumiere Awards for best 3D Live Action Stereography and 3D Scene of the Year for its journey of surreal astral projection. He also worked on a “Terminator 2” 3D, which will be re-release this fall.  

In November 2016, Stereo D asked Defebo to relocate from Burbank to Toronto as the first Producer to be based in that facility. 

Defebo says his greatest professional accomplishment has been working with Marc Anthony and Jennifer Lopez to develop a business plan for the construction and operation of a movie studio in Puerto Rico.  

“Until this point, my experience was strictly related to writing plans for the production of movies not the operation of an entire studio,” Defebo says.  “We spent eight months meeting with people, researching viability and developing a plan. We worked with the government of Puerto Rico to assist in writing the Film Tax Incentive, and we successfully sold the plan to a group of investors.”

Defebo says he doesn’t have a single accomplishment he considers to be the greatest. 

“I’ve been fortunate enough to play a small part in a lot of very big movies,” Defebo says. “Each project brings its own unique and exciting experience based on the people we get to work with.”

Kent State Plays a Part of His Success

Defebo says his experiences at Kent State have helped him with many of his accomplishments. Defebo said that the most important skill he learned was research.

“We spent a great deal of time learning how to research and uncover the facts of a story,” Defebo says. “This has helped me greatly in my ability to quickly learn new skills by knowing how to research, digging deeper and asking the right questions.”

Defebo also credits his experience at Kent State for starting to develop his creative side and pushing himself to think outside of the box.  

“This is something I’ve continued to do throughout my career,” Defebo says. “Learning and trying new things has to be more important to you than the comfort of being content or the fear of failure.” 

Outside of the classroom, Defebo said that leadership and networking were the most crucial skills he learned at Kent state. 

“I didn’t know one person when I moved to Kent’s campus in the fall of ‘99,” Defebo says. “I quickly learned the importance of getting out and meeting new people and getting involved.”  

Advice for Current Students

For Kent State students who are looking to go into film when they graduate, Defebo advised that knowledge and experience are key in getting jobs.

“Learn as much as you can about filmmaking on your own and apply what you learn at Kent State to the process,” said Defebo. “I’m proof you don’t necessarily have to go to a traditional film school to obtain a job in the film industry. You just have to be prepared to work hard and have imagination.”

Defebo says it's always important to be humble. 

“No job is beneath you. You never know who you’ll meet on set or in the office that can get you to your next position, so get your foot in the door any way you can and do the work,” Defebo says. “And whatever that job is, do it to the absolute best of your ability -- observe those around you, ask questions and learn. What you’ve experienced and know will either limit you or open the possibilities to everything.”
By Abigail Winternitz

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