What does the word “tenacity” mean to you?
When you have a goal, no matter what is thrown in your way, you find a way to succeed. Tenacity is all about persisting when things are tough, uncertain, scary or down right impossible. Growing as a human is all about leaving your comfort zone and pushing past the things that make you want to quit. That’s tenacity.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
People would be surprised to know I’m a big professional wrestling fan! I never talk about it, but watching professional wrestling from a young age is what got me very interested in storytelling and video production.
What are you passionate about?
Storytelling has always existed, but in the last 20 or so years, the technology and access to quality storytelling is extremely abundant. My goal as a filmmaker is to use that abundance to give voices to minority groups who have been underrepresented and unheard throughout history. We can’t fully love and accept each other if we don’t understand each other. Everyone has baggage, everyone has challenges and everyone has a voice. I want to help move to a place where everyone’s voice is not only equally elevated, but we can also accept each other’s individual experiences. I want my art to convey that just because someone’s path doesn’t reflect our own, we do not have to be in opposition.
Who is your professional hero?
Ava DuVernay, who is the director of several critically acclaimed films that educate on the African American experience up to this point in history. Some of her films include “When They See Us” and “Thirteenth.”
Why did you choose Grady and your course of study?
Coming into college, I knew I wanted to learn how to effectively tell stories. Grady is predicated on telling meaningful, impactful stories. Whether that be through a branding campaign, a movie screen or a newsroom. I decided on Grady because I knew I’d be able to gather tools and network as I learned my craft.
What is your favorite app or social media channel?
I like to post my photography on Instagram, but I like Vimeo and YouTube as well.
What has been your proudest moment in the past year?
My proudest moment in the last year would have to be purchasing my first professional camera, the Panasonic GH5. Having this camera has allowed me to continue creating in my free time and apply things I’ve learned in Grady to more of my personal work!
What are you planning to do after graduating? Do you have a dream job?
After graduating, I plan to grow my freelance business in the Atlanta area. From there, I hope to expand into other large cities around the United States. Ultimately, I one day want to own a nonprofit that focuses on educating children of color in low-income neighborhoods in the subject of media production.
Where is your favorite place on campus?
The Main Library study rooms
What has been the hardest part about adjusting to COVID-19 in your life as a student and future professional?
Things being online can be challenging, but I think the hardest thing (especially for Entertainment and Media Studies students) is searching for opportunity. The film industry and videography industry is seeing difficult times right now. However, having tenacity is all about creating your own opportunities in any way possible. That’s what I’ve done, and what I’ll continue to do.
February 11, 2021 Editor:
Megan Mittelhammer, Megan.Mittelhammer@uga.edu