Photographer / Videographer – Steering Committee, Media Team | Howard University Day of Service (HUDOS) – #HUDOS2019

Veritas et Utilitas, “Truth and Service” is the motto for Howard University and represents a vital component of the school’s identity.  I have a special affinity for educational initiatives, particularly those that drive young minority women to CREATE.  Service is a lifelong commitment and over the years, I volunteered hundreds of hours at various community-based and 501(c)(3) organizations.  While Howard University Day of Service (HUDOS) draws mostly undergraduate students, I was intrigued and sought a way to get involved.  I am pleased to announce I was selected for the Steering Committee and serve as the Photographer / Videographer on the Media Team. 

#HUDOS2019 Logo

To me, HUDOS provides a phenomenal way for students to become immersed in both the university and the community-at-large.  I am thrilled about having the opportunity to create visuals displaying Howard students as they come together, working hard to make a difference.  Check out one of my promo edits created using supplied photos and footage curated from HUDOS over the last two years, along with graphics I created to accompany student quotes on the service experience.

BTS from Eclectic New Yorker Project [Camera Assistant & Lighting Crew]

Summer 2019 has been remarkably busy (in a good way).  While the blog posts have certainly been more sporadic, I promise it’s for good reason.  I’d like to share some details on a recently completed freelance project in Astoria, NY.  In late July, I had the pleasure of working with photographer Regan Wood.  She is working on a super exciting project about eclectic New Yorkers and fascinating spaces.   I assisted on-set with several functions including lighting.  This connection was made by Jill Lotenberg, another lady of the lens that I had the pleasure of working with.  I’ll be sure to share more details about the project as it comes into fruition. Here are a couple behind the scenes snaps from the space:

“To Each, Her Throne” – Web Docuseries Official Trailer [VIEW]

Check out the official trailer for “To Each, Her Throne.” 

To Each, Her Throne is a five-episode web docuseries bringing together women from different ages, backgrounds, sexualities, religions, races and ethnic groups.  This is a female-centric project boasting an all-female cast and crew.  Thus far, support for the project has been overwhelmingly positive, partially securing funding through a successful IndieGogo campaign with over 40 backers.  Under the artistic direction of Danielle Privat, the cast came together for judgement-free discourse on the female experience, with the goal of breaking societal mandates.

Be on the lookout for the dates of our upcoming screening in NYC and project release. 

To Each Her Throne - Official Trailer - Web Episode Graphic

Crew:

  • Danielle Privat, Director / Production Designer
  • Alicia Allen, 1st Assistant Director / Director of Photography
  • Briana Andrews, Producer
  • Giovanni Jackson, Director of Photography
  • Veronica Lewis, Gaffer
  • Morgan Jones, Sound Mixer

Cast:

BTS from Film Premiere – Heroic Episodes & The Shades [Desktop Publishing, Behind-the-Scenes Photo / Video]

June 2019 was an action-packed month!  One of the most memorable events I had the pleasure of being involved with this month was the screening of Heroic Episodes and The Shades.  These short films were both directed by Lisa Regina, the founder of A Write to Heal, a 501(c)(3) organization.  The cast consisted of military veterans, and the screening took place the weekend after Memorial Day. 

Below are some photos I took at the event: 

In the month leading up to the event I assisted with grassroots marketing efforts and used both Canva and desktop publishing software to design a 16-page program / theater booklet with cast bios, sponsors, advertisers and more. I also handled BTS / event photography and edited a photo-story and video collage for socials. The premiere took place on June 4, 2019 at the historic Broadway Theater in Pitman, NJ.

I received a referral for this opportunity from Professor Rachael Shapiro, a Writing Arts, Research and Technology professor at Rowan University who taught my New Media Practicum / senior seminar course. Lisa Regina is a professional actress and coach by-trade.  Her partnership with Bridging the Gap helps soldiers with communication skills and confidence building for reintegration into society after deployment.  To learn more about Lisa Regina, these film projects, or her acting classes visit her website.

Career Update: Media Associate (Social, Digital Content Production)

I recently accepted a summer project / temporary role through August 2019 with an innovative STEAM academy in Northern New Jersey.  In this role, I’ll act as photographer/videographer/editor for in-house production: social media content, short-form videos and slideshows.  My responsibilities will include coordination, production and post-production of strategically planned marketing photos/videos across two company locations serving Bergen County, New Jersey and Rockland County, New York.

This short-term opportunity is ideal since I am relocating to Washington, D.C. in late August.  This academy teaches kids how to code and program smartphone apps, film and edit digital movies and develop digital inventions.  I will manage the social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), utilize scheduling software (Buffer), shoot photos and videos (Canon DSLR), and edit (Creative Suite, Movavi).  I’m happy to partner up with this company because STEAM = STEM + Media Arts.  In recent years, I volunteered extensively at Liberty Science Center as an ambassador, while also training and mentoring new volunteers.  I support learning methods that increase critical thinking and offer hands-on learning experiences.  It is particularly important that young children, especially girls are exposed to opportunities to use knowledge and skills in ways that are practical and applicable to the real world.

Please note, I will still accept freelance photography and videography projects. Feel free to reach out for special pricing and seasonal studio shoots.

BTS from Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference at Fairleigh Dickinson University – Inspimind Project, Dir of Photography

Briana M. Andrews with Inspimind staff at the Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference May 16, 2019

In recent weeks, I worked as the Director of Photography (DP) for the Fifth Annual Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference.  I supervised the interns, camera and light crew for the one-day, multi-cam shoot (currently in post).   This event was co-sponsored by Inspimind and took place at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, New Jersey.  This year’s theme was “Rompiendo Barreras” (breaking through).  The conference was open to high school students of Latino heritage and consisted of workshops about success, overcoming life hurdles, financing college and getting scholarships.

Group photograph at Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference at FDU Madison

Last year, I worked at Inspimind as an intern in Film Production and Multimedia.  In that capacity, I assisted with pre-production, onsite production, and post-production (editing and debrief meetings).  Other responsibilities included recording and editing footage, photography, assisting with the planning & scheduling of production shoots, and collaborating with the Content Development team.  I connected with Inspimind, not only as an employee, but on a personal level because I value their mission and witnessed firsthand all the amazing work they do in the community as an educational services non-profit.  I started out as an intern, but when I received the call to come back this year for a paid freelance opportunity supervising their new 2019 interns at the Alliance Latino Youth Leadership Conference, I jumped at the chance.  It was an amazing event!  Learn more about Inspimind.

Memorial Day 2019 – Upcoming Event, Veteran Short Film and TV Series – Photo, Video & Design Project

In honor of Memorial Day, I would like to thank all those who gave their lives so that we can live in a country where democracy is the shelter of freedom and peace.

Heroic Episodes – Logo for Short Film by Lisa Regina premiering at Broadway Theater.

I am pleased to introduce you to The Shades and Heroic Episodes, two short films made with our veterans, community members, advocates and survivors. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been extremely busy working in lockstep with the Director of this project, Lisa Regina.  I proudly support our veterans!  Thus far, working on this project commissioned by Regina’s non-profit organization, A Write to Heal 501(c)(3) has been an amazing experience where I learned about the personal stories of heroes who served in our armed forces.

From our pre-production meetings and grassroots marketing to location scouting, shot-list development and working to secure quotes from vendors, this was a multifaceted project that pulled from various skillsets.  I handled graphic design on the 16-page theater program which is finally off to print and I’ll be handling multi-cam videography and event photography at the premiere on June 2, 2019 at Broadway Theatre in Pitman, NJ.  Click here to learn more about the event and buy tickets on Eventbrite. 

The Shades & Heroic Episodes – Veterans short film and television series by Lisa Regina.

Education Update: Officially a Rowan University Graduate, #RowanPROUD – Dean’s List, Cum Laude

I am officially a graduate of Rowan University!   Earlier this month, I completed my final undergraduate semester with a 3.9 GPA and 3rd consecutive placement on the Dean’s List.  Overall, I secured a degree with cum laude Latin honors.  I also managed to complete my degree in only three years resulting in savings of approximately $30k (not TUH-DAY Sallie Mae).  I received a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree in Radio, Television and Film with a Production concentration, New Media minor and Public Relations and the News certificate of undergraduate study. 

I selected Rowan University because I wanted a hands-on television and film production degree, complimented by a new media communication program.  Rowan’s College of Communication and Creative Arts has a revered documentary program and I wanted to take classes alongside a group of students with roots in the Garden State that I feel represent the future of the industry.  I have no buyers-remorse and I am #RowanPROUD.  I made the most of my college experience and I’m excited for this next chapter in life.  

Campus Involvement:

  • Student Representative: Photo-Voice Cultural Dialogue Series (Fall 2017)
  • Peer Referral and Orientation Staff (PROS) – Office of Student Leadership Programs (Spring 2018)
  • Transfer Mentor – University Transfer Services (Spring 2018)
  • Digital Content Contributor – Office of Student Affairs (Fall 2018)
  • Leadership Committee – Resident Hall Association (Fall 2018)
  • Media Festival Associate / Event Photographer – College of Communication & Creative Arts (Fall 2018)
  • Epistoleus (PR & Social Media Chair) Theta Mu Chapter of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. (2018-2019)
  • Historian – National Pan-Hellenic Council, Inc. (NPHC) (2018-2019)
  • Initiated Member – Sigma Zeta Chapter, Order of Omega (Greek Honor Society) (Spring 2019)

What Can People Do to Change Things? How Can I Help Women in TV and Film?

This is a very important question.  One that doesn’t have a straightforward answer.  It’s easy to slap together statistics to paint the dire picture of what is transpiring with women in the television and film industries.  However, generating a solution or corrective action plan isn’t quite so simple.  With the creation of Women in TV and Film, I was extremely cautious not to make this a finger-pointing, blame-game or pity-party because no one is rolling out the red carpet for us to access the boys club.  I wanted to highlight positive attributes and micro-level methods to evoke change that both you and I can implement NOW.  In the introductory stages of conceptualizing the project, I asked myself two fundamental questions:

  • What can I do to help?
  • How can I build awareness and change perception?

I don’t have money.  My career is still in infancy stages.  I don’t have the power to create macro-level change.

Do I delve into why things are the way they are, or do I paint a picture that visualizes HOW IT COULD BE?  I chose the latter.

My approach with this project was to:

  • Actively work in a filmmaker capacity
  • Work alongside other women in TV and Film
  • Showcase various women in TV and film through my social media and web platforms
  • Document the innerworkings of film sets with exclusively female cast and crews
  • Attend events, conferences and screenings that support female filmmakers
  • Network and build relationships with experienced women actively working in the industry
  • Develop a rolodex (contact list) of women that can fulfil various above and below-the-line roles for future usage, reference and recommendation
  • Show the world WOMEN MAKE MOVIES and WE ARE BADASS

Now, it’s YOUR TURN.

Companies:  You should HIRE female filmmakers.

Filmmakers: You should recommend female filmmakers and take steps to ensure you have an inclusive work environment.

Consumers: You should support, watch and buy diverse and inclusive projects.

We can talk about corporate big-wigs but the reality of the matter is CONSUMERS HOLD THE POWER.  When you buy food, you read the label.  Similarly, when watching shows and films … you should research the credits.  You should know about the content you are consuming.  Female filmmakers know about the problems that exist, however, a large chunk of the TV-watching and movie-going population are completely oblivious.  The program you love:

  • Did a woman write it?
  • Did a woman direct it?
  • Did a woman edit it?
  • Did a woman shoot it? 
  • How many women were involved in the production? 

The population is 50/50 and women represent roughly half of movie-goers but we have less screen-time and less control of the narrative.  YOU have the power to decide and evoke change.

THANK YOU – College of Communication & Creative Arts Showcase [BTS Photos] – REMINDER: Upcoming NMP Showcase

I’d like to provide a special thank you to everyone who visited my workstation May 4th at the CCCA Awards and Showcase.  The event served as awesome primer for the New Media Practicum showcase that will be taking place at Chamberlain Student Center from 10-1 PM on Tuesday May 7th, 2019.  I encourage you to attend; admission is free and open to the general public.  You will have the opportunity to see the Women in TV and Film new media project and mini-documentary showcasing my activities over the course of the semester. 

Here are a few images shared on social media during the event:

This subject is near and dear to my heart and the project demonstrates micro-level steps we can take as a community to ensure there is more diversity, inclusivity and representation in storytelling.  The feedback was overwhelming positive and the energy was lively during the event. The CCCA Showcase was particularly memorable for me since it was one of the few times during my undergraduate career where I experienced all majors from CCCA (biomedical art, public relations and advertising, journalism, communication studies etc.) under the same roof displaying their body of work.  If you missed it, you missed out – however, I’d love to see you on Tuesday at NMP.

Tomorrow, I will post an article on WomeninTVandFilm.com outlining things that filmmakers, businesses and consumers / viewers can do to support women in this profession. Stay tuned.

Boomerang Social Media Post, Originally Posted on Instagram During CCCA Event