filmmakeer

“What’s wrong, Nicky? Ain'tcha happy that I can finally appear as my proper self alongside ya?”
“Grumble grumble…”

@tamarinfrog

There once was a time where Arnick could exist peacefully in a 3D environment, knowing that Tetrox could not be there to annoy the hell out of him due to missing her Octo Tee (never mind the times where she did appear, but either offscreen or with a different shirt). Arnick now silently weeps, for that time has passed.

I suppose this picture qualifies as a sequel of sorts to the Warnick picture that I made for your birthday last month, especially since I made it that way. By the way, it is highly likely that pictures similar to this one that feature Whinter and Jonquil will be coming in the near-to-very-near future.

“It was tough to [both direct and act] - like to wear 2 hats - to be a director and direct myself, although I was an excellent actor to work with, you know what I mean? And I’m an amazing director to work for and my audition went REALLY well. I had a feeling I had it, you know what I mean?”

“You know, in all honesty it was tough because there’s the responsibility you have as a director to be an outside eye, then to be in a scene…and to be like…‘Cut! I was really good. YOU need to do xyz.’“  :-)

–  Joel Edgerton joking about directing himself in "The Gift”

Interview: Liv Cohen

Today we’re joined by Liv Cohen. Liv is an amazingly talented filmmaker who is currently studying film at Emerson. She currently specializes in camera work and is incredibly dedicated to the art of film. She has made a couple of shorts, which are definitely worth checking out. This is an artist with a very bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a film major at Emerson College.  My focus is in camera work, so operating and taking care of the equipment.  Filmmaking is very difficult and very fun.  It’s also impossible to do alone, so it’s a very team-oriented art, which you can’t say about too many other artforms.  Right now my reel consists mostly of footage from the haunted attraction that I both film and act at.  I started acting in the haunt when I was 16, and I’m now 21. Acting was never a huge interest of mine but I’ve gotten to perform as a lot of interesting characters (zombies and cave-dwellers, insanity patients, and murder victims) and film even more interesting and beautifully macabre characters.

What inspires you?

The owner/director of the haunted attraction has been an inspiration of mine since I met him.  His name is Wayne and he is the type of visionary director that I’m hoping to be able to work with for as much of my career as possible.  I know not every director is going to have the sense of artistry and vision that he has, but they all better know that they have big shoes to fill.  I’m also inspired by nature.  When you’re out on a hike or just a stroll downtown and you see all the colors that the sun produces naturally, it makes me want to use those colors in my own work and find ways to bring them out so others might be able to feel the way I feel when I get to see such beautiful hues.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Nope!  I was not headed down a path that was even remotely related to art until my junior or senior year of high school.  I signed up for a photography class my sophomore year of high school, and by complete accident I had signed up for film (35mm) photography instead of digital.  But my mom had a 35mm camera that I could borrow so I figured why not I’ll stay in the class, and I fell completely in love with it, but it stayed a hobby in my head. Then my senior year of high school I took a “student news” class, where we filmed and edited little pieces that would appear on the student news channel inside the school, and I fell in love with video even more than still photography.  So I didn’t make the decision to pursue art as a career until senior year of high school when I realized that I would never be able to stay away from cameras.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Signatures and symbols are hard to sneak in to film unless you’re a director, but I usually go for a more high contrast look with all of my stuff, so someday I’d like to be known as a “go-to” person for directors who are looking for a high contrast look.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up.  Whatever anyone else tells you, do not give up. Go to art school if you want to go to art school.  Don’t worry about the cost and about the loans and about job security.  No one has job security anymore.  Follow your heart, not your head, because your head will be happy with any sort of income but your heart will be miserable if it doesn’t get to express itself.  Never stop practicing, never stop experimenting, never let the fear of failure stop you.  Keep going. You’re going to be amazing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a heteroromantic asexual.  

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

In my field, not really, but I’m not “out” in my field.  I prefer not to mention my sexuality because of the fear of dehumanization or objectification or backlash as a result of voicing my orientation.  Those things have happened to me many times.  

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

So many people seem convinced that is a phase or something that I will “grow out of” or that will fizzle out once I “meet the right person” or that I’ll change my mind “when I want kids.” I’ve identified as asexual since I was 17, but before that I always felt the same way I just never had a word for it. Before I knew the word “asexual” I identified as “straight but really bad at it” or more simply “broken.”  I know that I’ll never want kids because when I was a child I didn’t want kids, when I was an adolescent I never wanted kids, and now as an adult I still don’t want kids, and when I’m an older adult with a significant other and more years behind me I still won’t want kids and I’ll still be asexual.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

People seem convinced that asexuality is something one can change or grow out of, or something that one should want to change or grow out of, but I wouldn’t change a thing about myself, and you shouldn’t want to change a thing about yourself either. There is nothing wrong with the way you feel.  You are perfect and valid and a whole, complete, wonderfully complex human being just the way you are.  Don’t let anyone convince you that you are “missing out” on good sex, or that you’re somehow incomplete or invalid because you don’t feel sexual attraction.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with or missing from you.  You are a beautiful person and I love you.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

YouTube!  I have a few personal and haunt-related projects on my YouTube channel.  A few of my pieces are also on my haunts official channel.  Their stuff is scattered across multiple channels because we’re really disorganized.  There are a few pieces that are unlisted so you need the links to view them.  I’m providing links to all.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCflLCAUg9ZMo2N_SDNGrmeQ

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXASHOL3o2RvAM_p-3-OSDw

48 Hour Film Festival submission [I was director and cinematographer]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jqUOdbFf4I

In-Class film [I was editor]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDRkje2W2NY

Thank you, Liv, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

You.

Yes you.
I am fucking talking to you.

**takes you by the shoulders**

Listen to me right now. 

The film industry is dominated by white men. Usually, older white men. 

As a woman, as a young person, as a person of color, it will never be easy to get into that industry.

But I want you to promise me something right now.

If film is something you love. If you even have an interest in it. If you want to be in that industry someday. If you even just want to study it to learn about it.

Don’t you dare give up.

Because there might not be any POC directors or actors winning those Oscars or other awards. But one day you could.

The industry is growing, learning to listen to other voices.

So shout yours as loud as you can.

Write your scripts, direct tiny films on your phones. Save up for a solid, cheap DSLR. Get some friends together. Shoot a two minute film in your backyard about you learning to fly. Save your money to buy screenwriting books, or download them off line. Learn how to read and write a script in proper formatting. Learn the different crew poistions and how they interact. Take free online courses. Find stupid videos online that show you how to do simple things with lighting and cameras. Take the camera off auto and learn how to manipulate the image on manual mode. Learn the difference between ISO and shutter speed and aperture.  Learn basic storytelling. Look up some basic cinematography shots. Teach yourself. Go to film school if you want. Get access to equipment and learn some things from industry professionals. Make mistakes and then learn not to make them again. Ask film students or people in the industry what their first job was and how they got it. Join teen film clubs and do work with others. Ask friends or just people you know online (like tumblr for Twitter friends) that you know are filmmakers about things you just want to know. Ask questions. Ask them to maybe even read your scripts you’ve written. They don’t have to be perfect. They just have to exist so your friends can see where you are and what you need to work on most.They will be happy to help. 

But don’t you fucking dare give up. 

Don’t ever tell anyone else to give up.

If you want it, if you really want it, it is possible. Through blood, sweat, and tears, it is fucking possible. Never think anything differently. 

Go out there. Tell your story. Because no one else has lived a life exactly like yours and you are the only ones that can make those decisions.

I’m here. You have tons of friends on this site and others who do the film thing. Ask and we will help. Just don’t let yourself give up because you think it’s hopeless. It’s not. Together, we will make your voice heard.

Together, we will change the world.

I love you. Keep fighting. Pass it on. Add more words of encouragement/helpful links/notes that could help a friend considering the film industry. We love you and, if you are dedicated, we both want and need you. If you’re willing to work, so are we. Let’s go.