Future Filmmakers at the LA Film Fest
#LAFilmFest Social Media Intern Dispatch // by Aisha Almada
I attended the Future Filmmaker luncheon where the festival honors talented high school filmmakers and their short films. One of the filmmakers remarked to me, “The Future Filmmaker’s Showcase? We are current filmmakers!” The mix of creativity and enthusiasm that these filmmakers bring to the table is refreshing. And after spending a bit of time talking to these filmmakers, it became clear that they already have a strong point of view to put into their work.
These filmmakers are a diverse group with varied passions that they are exploring. Amanda Reiter, who directed You and Me, created her first piece of animation where she incorporated photography and painting. Her first love is visual arts, which she now combines with film. Her short film is a stop motion piece where she used a two-hour photography shoot’s worth of pictures and then painted over each photograph to create the animation. Reiter has already made several shorts and is now able to bring in new techniques and ideas to her work.
Wendy Garcia, director of Teen Pregnancy – Profile of a Teen Mom in Los Angeles, was able to get her first interaction with a camera through Global Girl Media. The foundation empowers teens to make a film about something that they are passionate about. Garcia said, “For me, teen pregnancy is everywhere at school and in my neighborhood. I wanted to show that [pregnant teens] are not victims, they are humans with a story behind them.” Garcia is inspired by the story behind a scene that makes you laugh, cry or think about life differently. She has a talent for inventive filmmaking and powerful stories.
The filmmaking brothers Harry and Maxwell Barnes are very insightful about their stylistic choices in their film, The Charmer’s Snake. They created their animation piece in an entire two-week span, where they spent the first two days coming up with the concept and then followed that up with drawing. They have a strong handle on story; Maxwell remarked that, “We wanted something that was comedic and came together through a good plot driven story.” They counted their filmmaking influences as Stanley Kubrick, Wes Anderson and Woody Allen.
Jon M. Chu gave an insightful and energetic talk to the filmmakers about evolving in their craft. Like many of these future filmmakers, Chu started making films in the third grade and continued to grow as a director through high school and college. In his talk, he explained to our future filmmakers that it’s not one distinct moment where he became a director. He became a director when he began to direct everything that he did, “Movies are our diary. We get to pour what we are feeling into the film.” Originally an independent director, Chu found that he had the ability to make his own mark on any film and tell it through his own perspective. This would lead him to direct the films: Step Up 2, Never Say Never, and, most recently, G.I. Joe. For Chu, he reminded the filmmakers that their enthusiasm, determination and creativity is most important in film. He ended his talk by reminded our guests, “Never forget your joy for filmmaking, that is what will drive you.”