Small details carry a power that is commonly overlooked; the ability to influence. Within film, this plays out as the audience can see dynamics of characters based on their body language, way of dressing, tone of voice, etc. Noticing the capabilities these miniscule components have, I focus on building upon many elements (such as lighting, sound effects, set design) to effectively tell stories in my filmmaking.
I find it very easy to explain my emotions and what I am thinking visually, but when it comes to words, it is a bit difficult. You could imagine how writing this personal statement went. Though I struggle with this, music helps me put things into perspective. For instance, “Green Pastures” by David Balonche has the aura of a warm day at the beach; “Moksha” by Choker is the soundtrack to freedom and a worry-free life; and as “Skin” by Dijon is heard, pastel colors are everywhere. Based on the different viewpoints for each song, the visuals they are paired with would include elements specific to its own personal narrative and feel. From utilizing warm lighting, constant camera movement, or strategically colored set design…I can clearly imagine the details that go into visually representing these songs. As a filmmaker, I would love to bring these imaginations and feelings to life.
Being able to create and direct films and music visuals is a dream of mine. I believe that stories go deeper than their plots and that it is important to devise each project’s unique mood, aesthetic, and feel. Essentially, each creation is its individual universe, containing parts that are specific to only itself. The love for detail oriented creating has grown as I watched projects such as “When I Get Home” by Solange and “What They Called Me” by RIMON as they all tackle a specific theme while staying true to a unique aesthetic.
As these talented artists inspired me, I began creating my own projects. I am very proud of my photoset, “Encased Creativity”, which visualizes the struggles creative individuals go through when it comes to constructing projects. Whether artists worry about pleasing an audience, feel pressured to constantly push out content, or experience hopelessness when they are not creating, I have noticed that this issue is not talked about often. To create a sense of community, I reached out to a couple creators and displayed on my site, , the stories of how they overcame their struggles. Focusing on the images themselves, the model wore all white in an all-white room to emulate an insane asylum. This highlights how, at times, I felt like I was going crazy during my downtime between projects. I consistently felt pressured to push out work and that if I did not do so, I was failing. Also, there were large multicolored squares strategically placed around her, representing the “creativity” that encased and trapped her. As the project was distributed online, I was able to use details such as: creative individuals’ experiences, set, and costume designs to help build my story.
Besides projects that revolve around music, shows like “Atlanta”, “Euphoria” and “Ratched” inspire me to learn about screenwriting. In their own style, the shows contain motifs that keep the story moving and details that unknowingly build up the plot. For example, Euphoria’s motif of the song “All For Us” by Labrinth creeps up in scenes where the characters make difficult decisions that will eventually worsen their future. I would love to learn more about how writers strategically include small, yet impacting, pieces of subtext into their creations.
In addition, my goal as a filmmaker is to bring light to untold stories and underrepresented people. It was disheartening not seeing a lot of representation of the black community on screen as I grew up. In essence, I was not able to see myself. The rare chance that I did, it was in a bad element: drug dealers, having dead beat fathers and broken homes. These depictions never gave me hope, inspiration, nor helped me grow. As I pursue filmmaking, having accurate representation of the black community and minority groups is a goal of mine. I plan to shift the status quo from negative and one dimensional to positive and diverse. Conquering this would give my younger self, and any young black girls, a role model to look up to in the media.
Ultimately, creating is an escape from reality. Momentarily, whatever is being made is all that matters. No one’s opinions or thoughts can impose. I began using art as a method of escaping as I transitioned to middle school. I had never questioned the way I talked, dressed or what music I listened to until I was eleven years old and seen as “too different”. In the other kids’ eyes, I was a black girl trying to “act white”. From being called “Oreo” and ignored by people that looked like me, I needed a way to rise above it. That is when music became prominent in my life. I realized I could ignore the issues for a 11moment and let my imagination run free. Now, imagining turns into creating and accomplishing.
Being a filmmaker is a goal of mine because I want to use music, unique aesthetics, and set/costume designs to tell stories. Fundamentally, I want to steer storytelling into a new direction by letting various aspects, that are typically overlooked, shine. I desire to be a student at the College of Motion Picture Arts to grow as a storyteller. There are various elements that come together to create films; understanding each one enhances how stories are conveyed. The lack of light brings up a moody feeling, the use of suspenseful music makes the audience uneasy, just as the change of a character’s wardrobe may help viewers understand that they are rebelling against the status quo. With so many aspects present to help tell a story, I long to learn and understand each one.