Two Young Filmmakers Showcase Their Work In Poughkeepsie
Just in case you mixed it, last night Spark Media Project hosted a screening in Poughkeepsie. It was a glimpse of the future of film. The screening was of Anissa Isaacs's and Nyah Sharrock's film, Santa Woman. The film, which challenges stereotypes, was one of five films selected from across the nation to be feature at a young filmmakers forum at this year's Tribeca Film Festival. These girls might only be teenagers and this might be their very first film, but they're making waves and taking home accolades.
The screening showcased "The Tribeca" cut of their film. Anissa Isaacs explains, "This was our fine cut. We had two or three cuts before [this one]." She adds as a result of being a part of Tribeca, "we got some really nice feedback," along with money to re-shoot and edit their film into its final fine cut form. When she got the news that her film was going to be in the Tribeca Film Festival, Isaacs recalls "I had no words. I didn't believe it at first." She shares, "it was really rewarding to see that the amount of fun, that we had in creating this film, translated into it becoming a top five finalists for the Tribeca Film Festival; we didn't win, but we've already won."
By being selected by Tribeca the girls got to travel to NYC and be a part of the festival, take master classes and walk the red carpet. Sharrock says, "We got to meet a bunch of different producers and directors and editors and they gave us master classes. So we learned about editing and all of that [along with] how to network." Isaacs describes that the girls got a real life perspective on the industry. She relates that they learned "how to delve into the indie film hustle and stick with it, because it's not like super easy and super rewarding right away." She clarifies "So it has to be something that you love….[You have to be] super passionate about it, because it's definitely a hard industry to work in, especially if you don't have all the connections."
Passion it seems is not lost on these two by any means. Sharrock admits when it comes to working on this film, "I've never worked harder on anything in my life." Passion is obviously a key to success in the film industry, but so is having a vision and a crew. Sharrock states, "Make sure you have a story to tell if you don't have a story to tell, then what's the point?" Isaacs echoed Sharrock saying, "Find something worth making a movie about." She adds, "make sure you're having fun because if you're not having fun doing it, then you're not going to finish it...[and] then there is going to be no really good bloopers." Both of them pointed out the importance of finding your crew and getting started. Sharrock maintains, "Talk to people, get a crew, get family, get friends and get out there." Then the two girls, being incredibly humble and humorous, took the time to acknowledge all those in their crew, or at least all they could think of right on the spot, which was a lengthy list, making the audience laugh with delight.
As for what is next for Isaacs and Sharrock? Sharrock is a junior in high school, but is looking towards NYU to pursue film. Isaacs on the other hand, being a senior, based her college search on schools with strong film programs. She has set her sights on Marymount Manhattan College in the heart of Manhattan. Clearly, these first time filmmakers are going somewhere great. They are not only creative and talented, but mature and know that success is earned. Can't wait to see what they will do next!