Sabrina Stern

Sabrina Stern

SCA Summer Program '19

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1. How has your time at the School of Cinematic Arts' Summer Program changed your view of your discipline? 
The School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program changed my view of my discipline because it led me to discover my love for experimental filmmaking. It exposed me to new genres where I learned to further develop my style and problem solve. Many times I needed to figure some things out on my own but at the same time was provided with the resources to get my questions answered. I now have a greater understanding of everything that goes into making a film and I was able to hone in on what types of films I want to make throughout my college experience and career.

2. How has the program prepared you so far the career you want? 
 The program prepared me for the career I want to pursue by giving me the hands-on experience I needed in order to create whatever I desired. We were given in-depth tutorials on how to use each piece of equipment as well as interactive lessons such as setting up fake casting calls and sets. We performed exercises where everyone in the class was assigned a different role to teach us how things are run in the industry. We were also given the opportunity to utilize the editing labs where we were given assistance with using AVID. I feel I am now prepared to be put in real-life scenarios in the world of filmmaking.

3. What was the biggest challenge of the program? And your biggest success?
The biggest challenge of the program was the amount of time we were given to create our films. Since it’s a college course condensed into a six-week program, I was sometimes scrambling to get things done on time. Running around getting permits and setting up casting calls to hire actors were easily the most time-consuming parts of the process. My biggest success was when my experimental film was chosen for the screening at the end of the program, and then was also selected as a finalist for the Changing Minds Young Filmmaker Competition this fall. Getting to watch my film on the big screen and getting the email saying I was selected, gave me a feeling of accomplishment.  It made me feel that all of my late nights and hard work finally paid off. It certainly gave me the confidence that I really can do this as a career.

4. What in your past has given you inspiration or a unique point of view that you bring to your filmmaking? 
Social media has always been my biggest inspiration. Scrolling through my Instagram explore page gave me a feeling like no other. It fascinated me with aesthetically captivating moments creating the illusion that the world was perfect. It was an escape from the harsh reality of the outside world. It felt like each picture had its own story, but everyone’s perception of the photo is completely different, which fascinated me. It wasn’t long before I picked up a camera and started practicing this form of visual storytelling myself. My goal was to create what has not already been created, and I started to gain a following. I quickly realized that people can perceive films in many different ways as well, and I moved on to filmmaking. It felt like a step further and a way to include more information into meaningful works of art.

5. Did you make a film? If so, what was it about?
During my time at the School of Cinematic Arts, I made three short films. My favorite film that I created was my experimental piece about body image. The film leads the viewer to believe that they are watching a teenage girl’s typical morning routine until she discovers insulting words written all over her body. She uses paint stored in typical product bottles to conceal the words. By the end, she’s completely covered in paint, looking of course, worse than before but also like a beautiful painting leaving each viewer to perceive it in his or her own way. 

6. What advice do you have for students wondering if they should apply to the Summer Program?
If you’re wondering whether to apply for the program, you absolutely should! I learned more in my six weeks there than any of my other longer filmmaking classes that I have taken along the way.  My advice would be to start your pre-production process prior to arrival. Since time is limited, coming with ideas will put you on the right track to creating the best possible display of your vision and will put you far ahead of the game. It may leave you more time to perfect the editing on your project and allow you to give back to the students who have helped you with your project by helping with theirs.