Melissa Holt grew up in the Hudson Valley, NY making Super 8, "Mr. Bill" movies with her uncle. She later attended Drexel University and through a Co-op program, PA'd on Terry Gilliam's "Twelve Monkeys." This experience solidified her love for filmmaking and she moved to LA to pursue cinematography at AFI. Led by Bill Dill, ASC and Stephen Lighthill, ASC; AFI offered a comprehensive program that covered all aspects of movie making in Hollywood. Through the school's independent study program, Melissa learned cinematography, dramaturgy and the European style of filmmaking (making movies with limited budgets and resources) from DP Slawomir Idziak (“Bleu,” “Black Hawk Down”) in Switzerland.
Known for her cinematography, camera operating and still photography work in film and television, Melissa's film, "Watercolors" premiered at HBO's Outfest where she won for Best Cinematography. Her other DP work includes comedic sketches for "Chelsea Lately," "The Weekly Show," "Jimmy Kimmel" and SFX for the upcoming David Lynch film, "The Happy Worker." In 2017, Melissa won an Emmy Certificate for her DP work on "Entertainment Tonight." Later that same year, a short film that she directed, "Convergence" played at the IFS Film Festival, which got her a Co-Directing role on the Holiday Movie, "Charlie's Christmas Wish."
In addition to her scripted work, Melissa has DP'd documentaries for Biography, PBS, ESPN and theatrical release. A documentary that she shot additional cinematography for, " No Subtitles Necessary" was nominated for the Palme D'Or at Cannes and short listed for the Academy Awards. She Directed and DP'd interviews and musical segments on location in Cambodia for the documentary "Winds of Angkor" and DP'd "Until They're Gone" about landmines and their removal.
Melissa has operated B and C cameras on scripted TV shows including: "Sunnyside," "A Perfect Harmony," "Grey's Anatomy," "The L Word: Generation Q" and "Dropping the Soap." Her other operating skills include shooting with array cameras, jib and drone operating. She's shot arrays on "S.W.A.T.," "Lethal Weapon," "Grace & Frankie" and "Creed II." She's jib operated on "The L Word" and "Big Brother;" and has drone operated on "Until They're Gone" and "Desperate (On and On)." She's also operated hand-held for the reality shows: "The Real L Word," "RuPaul's Drag Race," "Big Brother," "Made," "16 & Pregnant," "Teen Mom" and "Hell's Kitchen."
No stranger to the stage, Melissa has shot dozens of live concerts and music videos. A regular at Yahoo's Live at Launch and Fox's Nissan Live Sets in the early to mid 2000's, she now operates at the Hollywood Bowl. Having parlayed these live camera operating skills into television, Melissa has shot with pedestal cameras for "Key and Peele," "Join or Die" with Craig Ferguson and arena gaming, "H1Z1" for ESPN. Melissa recently played opposite Fred Savage as Lisa, a pregnant camera operator, on the season finale of "What Just Happened?!" In the episode, she follows Fred backstage where they get trapped in an elevator and he delivers her baby in front of a live studio audience.
Melissa is an avid fan of photography and has been taking professional pictures for over twenty years. Her stills have appeared in American Cinematographer, ICG, Vogue and Cosmopolitan Magazines as well as featured on the cover on P3 Update. She's photographed head shots and film related products for companies such as PRG, DPS and VER. A regular at Universal Publicity, she shot set photos for "Chelsea Lately," "Hello Ross," "Spun Out," "Botched" and "American Ninja Warrior."
Now a budding film director, Melissa recently wrapped the music video, "Desperate (On and On)" by Serious and the Girls. It's now available on most streaming services including Music Choice and MTV worldwide. She continues to operate and DP on TV shows; and recently wrapped shooting for a Belgium documentary about Social Media Influencers. She and her husband, with several other industry colleagues, have opened an Enhanced Environments stage in NYC called, "The Car Stage." As a side gig, Melissa manages two Rock and Roll bands: Serious and the Girls and Theadora Z. and The Tropical Hookers.
Prague International Film Festival Another Shores Program,
“In the feature debut, Watercolors, Melissa Holt [sic] demonstrates a keen feel for the visual aspect of film. Emphasizing sophisticated composition and utilizing colors and symbols keenly, she brings a strong emotional plane to an otherwise classic love story.”
Film Fan Addict Awaken the Dead will be Released on DVD,
“AWAKEN has a digitally processed look that gives the scenes an ethereal quality at times. The muted, grainy colors were at first distracting, but after the first few minutes they really begin to work in the film’s favor and give it a memorable visual presentation.”