Kayona in editing mode

Woman Meets Machine

Filmmaking is the ultimate marriage of humanity and technology. By all accounts, I’m new to the art and science of film. Yes, I’ve been a storyteller — via computer keys and paper — my entire life, but it was only a few years ago that I was thrust into the craft of turning stories into visual experiences, a task that when done appropriately will bring out personal qualities that might otherwise require a lifetime to develop.

I was standing on the set of a music video for a musician friend. I had done him the favor of writing the script that was then handed off to another friend, who was a burgeoning filmmaker, to actually create. I was simply there to observe, because perhaps someday, I thought, I might want to do this. The location had a time limit, actors needed guidance, and as it turned out, the young filmmaker who had planned to be the director and cinematographer needed, well, direction himself!

When the work demands it, step up

If this video was going to happen, someone needed to step up. So, right there on the set, I sat down and put together a list of the shots I imagined when I wrote the video’s story, I worked with the actors to put them in the mindset of the characters and the motivation for the scenes, and I described the lighting and camera angles that would best work for the tone and theme of the music and story.

At the time, I had no real idea that what I was doing was part of an actual job description — a director! I only knew that I enjoyed what I had done, it had been effective for the people I was working with, and I was good at it. That little video today has over 100k views online.

At the time, I was just a struggling young author trying to work my fledgling first novel. Since then, however, I’ve gone on to write, direct and edit a number of music videos, as well as corporate marketing videos. Currently, I have a short film entitled, Of Music and Men, that has been recognized in a number of international film festivals and continues to gain the attention needed to accomplish my goal of garnering the resources to produce the half-hour scripted series of the same title. And most recently, I was chosen to write and direct a short film for the nationally broadcasted music-centered PBS show, Live @ 9:30, airing this summer.

Needless to say, I have a whole lot of career (and life) ahead of me, and my passion for finding and telling stories continues to develop and prepare me as an individual, just as much as it prepares me to take on the task of storytelling itself. Leadership has been, and certainly will continue to be, the most vital quality to my success as I continue to grow.

Creator, administrator, leader

Being a filmmaker, particularly one that has mostly undertaken shorter scale projects thus far, my job as the director comes with responsibilities that include both the creative and the administrative spectrum. Like any good leader, it requires smart decision-making, taking ownership of failures while highlighting the work of teammates in victory, and having good ears (being a good listener), among other things.

In addition to conceiving the smartest approach to telling the story that needs to be told in the perfect way to tell it, I must also hire the perfect specialists to help bring my vision to light, like the right assistant director to run my set and the right cinematographer to oversee the photography.

Additionally, I am tasked with deciding what technology best suits my vision. I have worked with a number of different cameras, lights, audio equipment… The mainstay for me, however, is the brand on which I chose to store my material.

I really wanted to share this perspective with Seagate because the marriage of humanity and technology for my career as a filmmaker has included Seagate products to optimize my workflow. Working with smart people is a given; making smart decisions as a leader also includes choosing the smartest technology.

Limited resources do not limit inspiration

As an independent artist, I know first-hand how to make magic with limited resources — little time, even less money, and not enough people (almost never the ideal number of people for all the jobs). One decision I’ll continue to make is choosing Seagate hard drives for my projects, because whether I’m shooting a short, a commercial or a film, I need my storage fast, affordable, with all the capacity I need.

My goal is to continue develop as a storyteller, and to someday be able to inspire the world through my gift with feature films and television, among other content. With each new project, I find myself growing and changing as an artist and as a leader. The technology I choose is important in creating and sharing my vision through story. And although technology will continue to change, my goal is to continue choosing tools that help me work smarter, not harder… because that’s what good leaders do.

 

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