Freelance Spotlight: Happy RHOvember from Theta Mu Chapter [Producer, Editor]

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Artwork Graphic Soror with Cane Poodle Eeyip
SGRho Artwork, Original Graphic

As a Jersey poodle and distinguished lady of royal blue and gold, I absolutely love this time of year. Check out this promo spot over a STM instrumental remake created for Theta Mu, Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. undergraduate chapter at Rowan University.  This year, SGRho turns 97.  The organization was formed by seven young educators on November 12, 1922 at Butler University.  With an organizational commitment of scholarship, sisterhood and service, its mission includes enhancing the quality of life for women and families in the U.S. and globally through community service, civil and social action.

While this is a Founders’ Day blog post, this video was actually created to commemorate Charter Day on the Theta Mu social media channel.  I was the Shreditor (shooter, producer, editor) and starred in this one one-man band piece shot at 114 Victoria, Nexus Apartments @ Rowan University.  Running time under one minute and optimized for socials. 

Theta Mu Chapter Crest - Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. NPHC Divine Nine D9 Rowan University SGRho
Theta Mu Chapter Crest

Freelance Spotlight: 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:

Freelance Spotlight: 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.

Freelance Spotlight: 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.

Imagine This! Girl Power Film + Media Summit – Attendee Reflection

Briana M. Andrews attends Girl Power Film + Media Summit in New York in March 23, 2019.

This past weekend I attended the Girl Power Film + Media Summit and Showcase in New York.  This event was presented by Imagine This Productions (creators of the Women’s International Film Festival).  I had a phenomenal time, and I am still working my way through the goodie bag containing Cinema Femme Magazine, Eden BodyWorks, Good! Snacks, Ursa Major 4-in-1, Curls liquid hair growth vitamins and more.  I love freebies! 

As a small business owner who actively freelances, I’ll admit, getting my P’s and Q’s together from a business standpoint was definitely a work in progress. I am a creator, and at least initially, my focus was primarily on doing what I love … creating! I spent countless hours developing my craft, writing screenplays, filming, editing etc. However, the same level of dedication wasn’t replicated from a financial perspective. It is no secret that many filmmakers struggle to monetize their projects. Many never quite make it out of the red. I am happy to reach a stage where I can actively book freelance projects and assist companies with telling their stories. However, that is only a start! I wasn’t quite as diligent as I should have been with invoicing, retaining receipts, tracking mileage etc. From a tax standpoint, I am almost certain I left money on the table. Nonetheless, I was eager to soak information up like a sponge at the summit and implement findings with my own practice.

Panel 1: The Female Gaze – Cinematographers’ Talk included a lineup of accomplished ladies of the lens.  The overarching theme was that these ladies don’t wish to be an anomaly.  They desire increased integration so it’s not a shock when they are on set, let alone behind the camera.  All of the panelist emphasized the importance of networking, as fostering relationships can work wonders for your career, and you will learn more in the field than you will ever learn in a classroom.

Summit Attendee Pass, Branded Materials and Goodie Bag from the #GirlPowerSummit

Discussion included female representation in film, and offered insights into their creative processes.  Some of the panel members started out with Canon 7D, Bolex or Super 8 cameras.  There was dialogue about affluent students at some of the nation’s most revered film programs having access to state-of-the-art equipment, and not experiencing challenges securing funding to shoot their student films. Isabella Tan, founder of Rebel Motion attended NYU.  She stated, “Some people are privileged and have funding for great equipment, don’t get discouraged.” A poignant response statement from Valentina Caniglia, Director & Cinematographer of “Gypsy” and “The Stand” is “a great camera can still produce a bad product.” 

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Camera doesn’t matter! It is about the cinematographer who tells the camera what to do.
  • Emphasis should be placed on THE STORY and DRIVING THE NARRATIVE, LENS SELECTION, LIGHTING and TONE.
  • Ultimately, the director and overall collaboration are greater project contributors than equipment.

The Distribution Down Low with Christina Raia from Seed & Spark was particularly informative.  Christina is a Crowdfunding Director who successfully led several campaigns.  Distribution is usually a confusing topic for independent creators, so it was wonderful to have her break it down with tips and tricks, and an explanation of the economics for every aspect from VOD to theatrical.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Understand the importance of DATA TRANSPARENCY.  Raia stated, “They don’t want to share the info because it gives power to the creators.”
  • DON’T COMMIT to only one revenue source.
  • Explore niche markets and innovative ideas to reach your audience.  TAKE RISKS with your independent film.

This was my first time attending an event held by and geared towards women in film and media. This blog post barely grazes the surface with topics discussed. Overall, the atmosphere was amazing and definitely female-centric! I’d like to thank Susie and Patrice, the organizers and everyone else involved with bringing this event together. I am also extremely grateful for the guest-list addition (as the tickets were $95 otherwise). The Girl Power Film + Media Summit & Showcase was worth much more than the ticket price. The value of the knowledge I walked away with far exceeded the associated cost.

Career Update: Studio Photographer (New Jersey)

I recently accepted a permanent photographer role in South Jersey.   In this role, I will creatively pose and photograph individuals, infants, kids, couples and families.  Additional responsibilities include editing, framing and mounting as well as meeting with clients post shoot to sell prints and digital images.

Please note, I will still continue to accept freelance photography and videography projects.  In coming months, I plan to add a scheduling interface to this site to ease scheduling and provide availability.  I am excited about the prospect of increasing my volume of completed shoots, using equipment comparable to what I own and usefor private projects, and supplementing my income while working in creative arts.

The studio is located inthe Deptford / Woodbury area.  Feel free to reach out for special pricing and seasonal studio shoots.