AERO Indie Film Ambassador has a powerful vision and voice for diversity and inclusion in film and she backs it up with her work. We caught up with Sylvia to talk about film, the industry and what it takes to "make your break." We hope she inspires you as much as she does us here at GIGABYTE Notebooks USA. Her latest project, In Limbo, is a pilot for a web series. Sylvia did the color grading using the AERO 15 OLED X9, you can find out more about the tech behind the art and watch the teaser at the end of the article.
Q. What got you interested in filmmaking?
A. At a time in my life when I was feeling lost, I started to write in order to gain clarity about my purpose and my identity. At first I wrote thoughts down and then eventually I started to write creatively. I imagined every story I wrote as a film; I knew who I would cast, how the camera would move, how the music would sound, the pacing of the edit, etc. As soon as the idea of making a film came to mind I researched filmmakers online. Guess what I saw when I googled filmmaker ... a bunch of white dudes. First I got upset. And then I got really into researching how dire representation in media is and that led me to directing my first project, a roundtable discussion about inclusion and diversity in film. From there, I directed my first narrative film and I just knew that I was passionate about filmmaking and it's been project after project ever since.
Q. What’s your favorite part of filmmaking?
A. I love that it is a collaborative art form with limitless possibilities.
Q. What kind of narratives inspire you the most?
A. I'm inspired by many different narratives and genres, but I'm personally inspired to tell stories about women and people of color that make people laugh and also punch people in the gut with emotion.
Q As a director, what do you want to be remembered for?
A. Of course I want my work to stand for itself. I want to make great films that people relate to and will watch over and over again. I also hope that people will remember me as someone who lifted others up and created opportunities for the underprivileged and underrepresented.
Q. So, everyone has bills to pay, what are some skills that have helped you make ends meet as a filmmaker?
A. Being a freelance editor and colorist has basically paid off all my short films! Because of my skills as an indie filmmaker, I'm now being hired to produce as well.
Q. How do you keep up with your workflow as an Indie?
A. Every day I take multiple steps to reach my goals. Some days I'm spending all day editing. Other days I could be driving to take a picture of a hamster while reviewing music for a film. Just the other day I was on set with rock stars and hanging out with Jonah Hill. IT'S SO RANDOM! I take it day by day, work my butt off, and I try to have a positive mindset.
Q. How important is having the right technology and tools at your disposal to meet the demands of filmmaking?
A. Having the right tools and software and my "I'll figure it out" attitude has allowed me to grow as a director. I've been able to practice my craft and learn from my mistakes and successes. Without the right tools, I wouldn't have been able to afford to make as many short films/projects from start to finish.
Q. Shameless plug here, you’re working on the AERO 15 OLED, how has that assisted your work in editing/color-grading the teaser video for the pilot episode of In Limbo?
A. For In Limbo, I knew the color was off for the longest time and DaVinci Resolve actually stopped working on my PC for some reason. When I got my AERO 15 I knew redoing the color grade for In Limbo was my priority. I was able to see clearly what was working and what was not and make the adjustments I needed to make in order to have a good looking pilot episode that would be good enough to get accepted into film festivals and stand out. When I had my final export for the pilot, editing the trailer was a cinch and took less than a minute to export I believe.
Q. You’re passionate about inclusivity and diversity in film, if you had one strong piece of advice for women, especially women of color, when it comes to entering the film industry, what would that be?
Keep getting up and work your butt off. I think we all know that this industry is hard to crack and is full of rejections but what I have found has worked for me is the right attitude. Be perseverant and prolific. Another big one, especially for women and women of color is self worth. Our storie