Is it really December? This year has been a whirlwind in more ways than one. But looking back, I'm so grateful for every adventure, mishap, and memory. I had the opportunity to do some incredible things with some even more incredible people.
In January, I traded in freelancing to work at 1stAveMachine as a Development Associate. I get to work with a wonderful team of people and talk about story all day long. I've learned so much about creating scripted and unscripted shows, films, and branded content. And beyond that, they've been supportive of my directing dreams, hiring me to help make Bey-thoven, a music video in collaboration with Carnegie Hall (and one of the most memorable creative moments of my life).
Additionally, The Stranger (my grad school thesis film) continues to live on. It screened at Comic-Con in San Deigo and the team and I got to discuss making it at our very own panel (cross that off the bucket list!). The short also won the Grand Jury Award for Best College Short at Gasparilla Film Festival. The feature script was a quarter finalist for the American Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest and we're continuing to develop it (fingers crossed, 2020!).
I also had the opportunity to direct three short films this year. First up was a psychedelic, coming-of-age story called Mood. We shot it in our apartment with some close friends while experimenting with emotion-linked lighting cues. About two weeks after that, we drove up to Sequoia National Forest to shoot a horror proof of concept called The Lookout. Imagine chilly overnights in the woods - I think I slept for two days after that one, but it was so much fun! And finally, we shot another short horror film, The Bleeding, in Big Bear, CA. The best part about all of these was working with people I love and trying new things. I feel like I grew so much in my confidence as a director.
Not all of 2019 was kind. When I look back, I faced some of the biggest challenges of my life and career so far. Existential crisis were had - and even just normal crises. I think I came out on the other side better for them, but time will tell.
Thank you to everyone who made this year memorable.
Let's stay grateful and get weirder.
I had the most profound honor to direct the performance and behind-the-scenes videos of "Bey-thoven" - an epic mashup featuring 9 Beyonce songs and 8 Beethoven compositions performed live by Sam Tsui and Ensemble Connect at Carnegie Hall.
Not only was the experience moving and ethereal, but also humbling. There is nothing akin to walking between each instrument and hearing it on an individual level as it blends with the sounds of ten other instruments in the same room.
Please watch the performance video and the behind the scenes video to experience the incredible music these talented musicians created..
I am over the moon! The Stranger was invited to screen at Comic Con this year in their film festival. It was an overwhelming and incredible experience. Not only did we get to discuss our film in a panel after it screened, we also got to spend the weekend running around and just being fans of some of our favorite stories and creators.
I've had the immense honor of directing not one, but two shorts in so many months. They're very different projects, which made shifting gears between the two a lot of fun. One is an 8mm silent-psychedelic-coming-of-age story while the other is a proof of concept horror short.
I can't wait to share them with you, but right now I'm diving deep into post!
I'm so proud to announce that The Stranger (short) won the Grand Jury Best College Short Film at Gasparilla Film Festival last month! Thank you to everyone at the festival for believing in this film, and to all the wonderful cinephiles who came out to the screenings!
Check out the full list of winners here.