Photos by Sara Corken
I've done it. I've directed my first grad school film.
My first directing experience was about 2.5 years ago and it was a 30 second PSA about a "bubble apocalypse". I shot it with a 10 year old Panasonic in a stairwell with a friend.
Here we are now with a crew of twelve, acting students, two production trucks, and a day dedicated to making a short film.
Granted, I realize this is all still very small scale in the scheme of things. However each step in the staircase is important to me; I'm thankful.
This project was significantly higher class compared to my previous experiences. My crew knew their jobs and poured into them. My ATL adopted my story as their own. My actors gave me their trust which was necessary to get honest performances.
We are learning. A mere two months ago, we were all regular Joes off the street. Now we have protocol, a smidgen of perspective, equipment we treat as extensions of our own bodies, and each other.
I know when we get into the editing suite in 3 weeks I will see things I missed, regret not taking more time or taking too much time. That is this process and I understand it gets better with experience.
What I'm going to look on fondly about this experience for the rest of my life is that everyone on my set seemed to feel proud of their work and like they had been apart of something special. They were affected in a resounding way. That is why we interact. That is why we tell stories.
That impacted the footage we will have to cut together into a movie.
There was a moment when we were shooting the final scene and my actors (Isabella Groff and Aimee Victoria) went for it. Tap was breathless. At that point, even their acting professor had come to visit set and a few second years. And they smiled at us and said, "You're making something here."
It won't be perfect. Nothing ever will be, but we are making tracks. The crew I worked with gave me everything. And I will never be able to repay that. My actors opened up their emotions to my characters. That's something more personal than most relationships.
I am utterly humbled to have been a part of this project. It feels like it's worth so much more now. Because it's no longer mine.
That is what makes this process so incredible.
This is a short film also created mere days before I crossed the country to attend grad school. My sister and I pulled this together in a day. We had a lot of time trying our hand at a silent comedy and simply telling a relatable story as simply as possible.
Jake Halm is the mastermind composer behind the music.
Here is my experimental short that showed at Pope Joy Hall in Albuquerque last night. I'm so thankful to the curators of TEDxABQ for selecting it as a part of their program.
My family helped me film this piece in my home for two hours on the day before I moved across the country for grad school. I was not able to make yesterday's event, but when I asked my family how the screening went, they expressed a profound experience.
Everything within the frame was from their home or people they loved--it was sharing something deeply personal with the world for a desired effect. Thus, this project gave me the opportunity to share with my family the rush I get whenever I create. That shared understanding is an even deeper sense of feeling.
My short, "The Sense of Feelling," will premiere at TEDx ABQ. It has been chosen along with two other shorts to show as content interspersed with the speakers. The prompt was a two minute video conveying ideas worth sharing. These events are inspiring due to carefully curated and rich content; they like living museums. I'm honored to have this opportunity and thrilled to have my debut with TED. If any of you are in that area and can attend, I encourage you to as well.
As I'm attending a fairly intense MFA program, I've created a vlog in order to keep those close to me updated on my life as well as share insight I'm gleaning into the media world with others. The project is called Film Girl and involves my posting a video to YouTube weekly with information regarding the creation media as well as the entertaining stories that undoubtedly come with that process.
Below is the link to the Film Girl's website. Beneath that is the first episode.