I was 9 years old when my Dad bought my sister and me our first Mac. I was so mesmerized by the pretty features, especially the visualizer that changed with every song you played. But my favorite aspect of the Mac that I instantly got hooked on was iMovie, the editing software. By my junior year of high school I became known as the video nerd, further solidifying my nerdiness by joining the Student Body Association as a technical advisor which pretty much meant filming live news broadcasts to the student body every morning. It was AWESOME!
For every class project that involved making a video, my classmates wanted me in to be in their groups because of the fun editing effects and music I would add to the videos, or more likely because they knew I would do all of the work. I even built my own green screen to learn how to chroma key by turning my friends into floating heads.
So when senior year and college decisions finally came around I already knew I wanted to go to film school. My sophomore year of film school I got accepted to NBC/Universal’s internship program where I was assigned to Access Hollywood. I was beyond thrilled to have been accepted by NBC but wasn’t exactly excited about Access Hollywood given it was celebrity gossip news and I wanted to get more into documentary filmmaking. But in true nerd fashion I swallowed my pride and showed interest in shadowing all of the departments and learning as much as I could about every aspect of the show. Surprisingly, the fashion department took a liking to me and kept requesting me to come back, but the department I enjoyed working with most was with the producers and being live on set during filming.
When I first went to film school I thought I wanted to be an editor, but as I soon learned how isolated editors were in the process, I found myself gravitating more toward production management and producing. By junior year I had declared my emphasis to producing and was soon working on several student films. Nothing could beat the rush of being on set and holding that clipboard of power. I loved learning about all aspects of production from pre-production to shooting to post production and how everyone works together throughout the process.
A few short films later including a Director’s Guild of America winning short, commercials, TV show segments and a host of other projects, I was starting to feel burnt out in the fast-moving, cut throat world of Hollywood. So I put my Oscar dreams aside and decided to focus instead on my minor, marketing. Four years later, just 3 months into working at Monster in my role as Digital Marketing Manager, the Marketing Director for Asia-Pacific briefed me on a project the Japan team wanted to do; a film with 2 of our drift drivers, drifting their cars in a remote village in Japan. Before long I was working with the HQ and local teams on script ideas, timelines, deliverables and I loved every minute of it. I was actually a bit surprised at how quickly all of it came back to me; just like riding a bike.
In November we were on location in Niigata, Japan filming what later became known as Battledrift. Standing in the midst of it all I suddenly felt like an eager 18 year old again, on the set of my first student film caught up in the whirlwind and excitement. Clipboard in hand with my Associate Producer hat on, I actually had a moment looking around at all of the crew running around, cameramen setting up, director calling out orders and these 2 high profile athletes waiting for the universally famous word: “action.” It dawned on me that although music may be the actual universal language; here we were in the most remote part of Japan, a very diverse crew speaking different languages, coming together to make something out of nothing. It was wild. And it was then I realized why I love film production so much, there’s an unspoken magic in taking an idea and turning it into a story for people around the world to enjoy and be emotionally connected to. Lessons are taught, stories told, history relived and lives unfold in those moments. It was then, I finally understood what “movie magic” really means.