A movie is certainly not a one-person job. Surrounding yourself with inspiring individuals will always bolster the final product. In my case, one individual that has been extremely important to my success has been my project mentor. When I first arrived at Pitt, I immediately threw myself into the multitude of resources available at the Film & Media Studies Department. One of those resources was speaking to the Professionalization Advisor: Hillary Demmon. We had a great conversation that explored her past documentary films (one that recently was released on Amazon Prime) as well as my career goals during my time at and after Pitt.
In terms of my professional goals, the movie industry is all about your ability to network and find new opportunities. Given my past experiences, professors at Pitt have been valuable connections for me. All of these professors, prior to teaching, were in the business and mentored hundreds of students. For example, I currently have plans to live in Los Angeles next summer. The first thing I will do to prepare is reach out to Pitt professors like Carl Kurlander, Kevin Michael Smith and Hillary Demmon to see if they can point me in the right direction to find internships and on-set work for the summer.
If I had the ability to collaborate with anyone on a creative project right now, it would be with the Center for Creativity. The leaders of the organization recently joined our fellowship summer session to discuss all of their current initiatives. I participated in their One Minute Film Festival in the Fall of 2020. Filmmakers were given the opportunity to record whatever film they wished, as long as it remained within the constraint of one minute. My film was about a student with a sudden Doppelgänger:
I was surrounded by talented, young student filmmakers all within a legitimate film festival. I am hoping to continue to participate in other events and workshops offered by the Center for Creativity. In conjunction with Professor Kurlander’s courses, there will be great documentaries that will be produced through this organization that I hope to be a part of. I can see documentary work continuing as I embark on my career. The chance to both tell a story visually and educate an audience is something I’d love to have the chance to do again.