How many years have you been working in your field?
Describe what you do.
I am a Co-Executive Producer for Honey Head Films – a production company created by myself and two other women, who also happen to be my best friends! We are passionate about telling unique stories and taking unique ideas from concept through post-production. We have produced films that are completely in-house, as well as projects pitched by external artists and clients. I am the primary cinematographer, camera op, and editor for Honey Head, although my passion has always been in directing and writing for the screen and stage.
Describe how you do it.
As an independent filmmaker, you have to be able – and willing – to wear a lot of hats. You are an entrepreneur. My career in film started as an actor, but I quickly realized I wanted more autonomy over what types of projects I worked on and when. I wanted to create my own content. I started as an intern at a video production company out of Austin, Texas, where I learned to edit in PremierePro. From there, I began investing in gear and time towards learning the ins and outs of production. Just like any business, you need capital. We consistently do commercial video work to supplement our creative endeavors. This could be anything from actual commercials to lifestyle videos for health coaches and fellow yogis.
Describe why you do it.
At the end of the day, life is about striving to be successful in what you love. You should get up every morning and – despite the sweat and grit of a hard day’s work ahead – absolutely enjoy what you do. If you’ve ever been in a positive work environment, whether as a supervisor or just an employee, you know what I’m talking about. It makes a difference, so as an entrepreneur, you need to create that environment for yourself. Set goals, create vision boards…it makes a difference. And always be proud of your product.
What was the first step you took to become what you are now?
I pinpointed what I needed to know about the industry and figured out how to obtain the skills I needed to be successful. I’m still learning, too. I didn’t go to film school – I studied Theater and English at UNC-Chapel Hill. That’s not to say my degree was a waste. Far from it. My theater degree helps me communicate with actors, speaking clearly and concisely. My writing skills have been invalaubale to me managing video marketing, blogs, social media and commercial copy for various clients. The bottom line: don’t wait for opportunities to come your way. Go make them!
What do you wish you had paid more attention to in school?
I wish I had worked more on my network outside of the university. I think it can be easy to allow school to become insular. In a similar vein, don’t sequester yourself into one department. Seek out the learning and knowledge you want. Use your professors and advisors. Go to office hours, even if it’s just to talk about an idea you has for a weekend project. I didn’t discover the Communications Department until my senior year, and it would have been incredibly helpful to take courses in video and film production at that point. Other than that, enjoy the time you have to acquire knowledge and skills you might not have the time or chance to once you graduate.