Interview by Zoe D'Angelo
. 1.) What is directing a film like? - This is somewhat difficult to answer. For me, directing a film is like an algebraic equation with only variables and operations. It is up to the director to choose what each variable’s value should be, which in the end, determines the answer. The operations are like the script; they represent the story itself. This may sound a little complicated, but the job really isn’t. Or, it could be. It’s all about perspective- and that is the director’s job. I can’t speak for all directors. But for me, it’s a mixture of thrill and slight over thinking.
. 2.) When did you start to realize that filming was going to be a big part of your life? - I think I realized film was going to be a big part of my life after we successfully raised $10,000 on Kickstarter to film Beyond My Skin. At that point, film felt like a responsibility in a way. It was no longer JUST a fun hobby I loved to do. We had hundreds of different people’s money and trust, and a bit of pressure was on. I understood that it wasn’t exactly common for an indie film to pass the funding phase, so once we hit the jackpot, I took the whole thing as something way bigger than just making a film. It’s beyond my comprehension at the moment, but we’ll figure it out one day!
. 3.) How did you get started? - On April 8th, 2015 at 3:45pm, I had gotten a spark of inspiration while being on an NYU student’s short film set. Later that day, I got started by just doing it! I didn’t exactly have a camera, I had my mom’s phone though! Haha! I began recording my own YouTube videos, watching others’ YouTube videos, and just creating. Anything I didn’t know, I could figure out with a little research. We have a lot of free resources for anything we need to know, and the internet is a big one. Oh, and even just experimenting too.
. 4.) Did you attend film school or camps? If so what were they like? - I didn’t attend film school or any camps. For a while, I visited a youth media program at Philly Cam in Philadelphia once a week, but the majority of my knowledge on film came from YouTube and websites like nofilmschool.com. Shout out to DSLR Guide, an incredible filmmaker on YouTube!
. 5.) Do you have a place that you resort to get creative? - Well, I’m not that cool! I don’t exactly have a place or any methods I use to get ideas flowing. They are really spontaneous, but listening to music never fails to brew something!
. 6.) What piece of advice can you give to beginning directors? - I’m very much still a beginning director as well, but one thing I’ve understood, and it took me a while to digest, is that before anything, you need to know your story. At the very least, you need to understand the purpose of your film. I feel like once you know that, all of your last-minute decisions become a little bit easier to choose from- and well, everything else too. Oh, and this may sound a little cliché, but it’s so true and I feel like I have to add it. There’s only one rule: and that’s no rules!
. 7.) Is there anyone you’d like to work with one day? - I’d love to work with Ava DuVernay! Not only do I appreciate her work, but her personal beliefs as well. Listening to her speak is like a song. Haha! Directing-wise, she seems like she knows exactly what she wants, which is a quality I sometimes lack because any new idea sounds good to me. Then later on, it’s either a disaster or a masterpiece in the editing room. It’d be an honor to shadow her.
. 8.) Any shout outs? - SO MANY SHOUT OUTS! God has definitely blessed us with so many opportunities and has put amazing people in my life, so I’m definitely grateful for that! Firstly, I wouldn’t have even discovered my passion for film if it wasn’t for my parents. I love them so much and I’m so grateful to have such a support system. My entire family and few friends have just been so unbelievably supportive, and I did nothing to deserve it. All of the love on social media has been a blessing as well. I’m very appreciative for all of the shares, reposts, comments, and the simple likes! They all help get the film out there, and that’s all we could ever want. Without those simple things, we would not have reached our monetary goal to film the movie. I’m extremely grateful for everyone who donated, whether it was $5 to $1,000. Every single amount helped the film in some way. Lastly, but certainly not the least, the cast of Beyond My Skin. From the leads to the extras, everyone contributed their time and energy to creating this piece; and them giving it to a 14-year-old girl means everything to me. I thank them all the time, but I don’t think they get it. They’re truly amazing.
Submitted by our members as well as teens across the world.