My First Directorial Debut: A Student’s Journey into Filmmaking

Stepping into the director’s chair for the first time is akin to embarking on an exhilarating rollercoaster ride. As a graduate student pursuing my master’s in fine art at the Savannah College of Art and Design, this experience was a pivotal moment in my filmmaking journey.

The project revolved around a quirky exotic dancer psyching herself for a peculiar and enigmatic night’s work. This narrative, filled with intrigue and character complexity, excited my creative spirit. Collaborating closely with my talented cinematographer, Catalina Alcaraz-Guzman, we embarked on translating our vision onto the screen.

One of the most challenging aspects was getting the lighting right inside the car: the confined space and the need to create a specific mood added complexity to the task. Every shadow, every beam of light, was a brushstroke on our cinematic canvas. It was in these moments of trial and error that I discovered the true artistry of filmmaking, where precision meets creativity.

Reflecting on this experience, I pondered what I might do differently if I had the opportunity to revisit that director’s chair. I realized I would embrace a faster pacing, injecting a sense of urgency into the narrative. The world would be a bit “grimier,” capturing the raw and unfiltered essence of the story.

This first directorial debut was a whirlwind of discovery and growth. It taught me that the director’s chair is not just a seat; it’s a realm of endless possibilities where storytelling and artistry converge. It’s a journey I eagerly continue as I navigate the exciting world of filmmaking and uncover new layers of creativity with each project.

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