Vince Befi is Rising Through the Ranks
January 15, 2020
30-year-old Vince Befi fondly remembers his childhood, watching countless films while growing up in the Florida town of Niceville.
But the films he obsessed over were the opposite of nice.
“My sisters, cousins and I spent a lot of summer nights when we were young just watching every single horror VHS the local video store had,” Befi said.
His love for horror began at an early age, in part due to his parents.
“Because my parents allowed us to view such things, mostly unrestricted, really spawned my love for it all. They are going to get mad at me if I don't mention- my parents did take time to make sure we weren't being scarred and understood it's all fake, which we did. And we all turned out (mostly) fine.”
When he was 12, Befi decided he wanted to do more than just consume the content; he wanted to create it. He and his friends began making their own movies with an old handheld camera. They didn’t have editing software, so each shot had to be systematically executed. These experiences led him to develop a passion for directing.
His passion for directing would soon be replaced by an affection for screenwriting, thanks to John Hodge and Danny Boyle’s 1994 thriller/crime film, Shallow Grave.
“There is a bit of a twist ending, and I recall while watching the reveal happen, how completely blown away I was by it,” Befi explained. “At that time in my life, no movie had really made me recognize brilliance in writing and how ‘sticking the landing’ can be such a powerful experience. I attributed this to the screenplay, and I wanted to be a director/screenwriter.”
Since that realization, Befi has attacked his dreams of being a screenwriter head-on. He graduated in 2011 from the University of Central Florida in Orlando with a degree in cinema studies. A few months later, after saving up money by working two jobs, including at a local pizza shop, Befi made the move across the country to Los Angeles.
“I learned that I had distant family in the industry in Los Angeles, which further solidified my choice and ultimately got my foot in the door on the ground level,” Befi said.
Befi has risen through the ranks since stepping foot in the Golden State, working multiple jobs within the industry. His resume is impressive with roles that include: art department PA, set PA, producer's assistant, production office PA, assistant production coordinator, housing coordinator and soon to be production coordinator.
Among the films Befi worked on include Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious 6, Captain America: Winter Soldier and The Hateful Eight. His most recent stents were as an assistant production coordinator on Ford vs. Ferrari and Space Jam 2 and a housing coordinator on the Chris Nolan film, Tenet. Befi’s next role will be production coordinator for the prep portion of a DC film called Black Adam.
“Working as a screenwriter for feature films would be the ultimate goal,” Befi said.
In his spare time, if you can believe he has any, Befi is perfecting his craft by creating original content and some of that content has been recognized by screenwriting competitions like the Continuance Pictures Short Film Initiative, an Australian Film Production Company that fosters emerging creative talents. Befi, along with two others, won the competition; Befi’s script is called Subject.
“SUBJECT was actually a feature first. When I learned about the Continuance Film Initiative, I took what I considered to be the scariest, best scene in the script and tweaked it into a bizarre, ambiguous little short. And clearly it was pretty successful,” Befi explained.
Ironically, Befi said, Continuance approached him about turning his short into a feature. Several re-writes later, his original feature script morphed into what Befi says is a much better version. The team is hoping to make the film with an expected release date of sometime mid 2020.
“This competition could be what launches my screenwriting career,” Befi said. “If the film finds financial success, critical success, or both, it will surely open doors I was not able or privy to previously.”
Written by: Allison Collins-SmithAllison Collins-Smith is a three-time, Emmy-nominated journalist who has worked as a television reporter and anchor in markets around the country. She has covered a variety of stories from the riots in Charlottesville, Virginia to President Trump’s travel ban in the fourth circuit court of appeals. Allison has also won AP awards for her work and a Catalyst For Change award from the Arc of Virginia for her reporting on the disabled community. Allison just moved to Los Angeles with her screen writer husband and two cats and is excited for all LA has to offer!