ISIHLOKO:
Ikhaya » Okufumaneka » Ubuntu kunye neeprofayili: Amy DeLouise

Ubuntu kunye neeprofayili: Amy DeLouise


AlertMe

Amy DeLouise (umthombo: UJoseph DiBlasi)

2019 NAB Bonisa Iiprofayili zaseNew York luluhlu lodliwanondlebe kunye neengcali ezibalaseleyo kwicandelo losasazo abaza kuthatha inxaxheba kulo nyaka NAB Bonisa INew York (Oct. 16-17).

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Amy DeLouise is a highly respected and in-demand speaker, author, story teller, and creative director. I recently had the opportunity to interview her and talk about her fascinating and multi-faceted career, starting with the very beginning. “My first entree into the film biz was with a small broadcast production company in Washington, D.C. We were producing a network one-hour TV special, and I was logging the b-roll footage, and keeping track of all the edit revisions. We had one final scene to shoot with a celebrity on-camera host, but it needed to be rewritten, and everyone was in a panic. The scriptwriter had pneumonia. Everyone looked at me and said ‘weren’t you an English major at Yale? You write it.’ So that’s how I got my first on-screen writing credit. Soon, I started freelancing as a scriptwriter, but I took lots of production assistant jobs to pay the bills, including in the location departments of several major movies and commercials. I learned from some amazing pros on those jobs—people who knew all the logistics and gear it takes to pull off a particular look or shot. I guess the lessons from those gigs were that you need to be ready to grab opportunities when they present themselves, and always put in the hard work to make the magic happen on screen. Also, when you are working 14-hour days, it really helps to feed people.”

DeLouise is considered one of the film industry’s foremost experts on archival images and historical background research. I asked her how she became interested in this aspect of ifilimu. “I was never a particularly good history student,” she explained, “but then I took an art history course and fell in love. There were pictures! So that was really how I discovered I was a visual learner. Fast forward to one of my first jobs as a production assistant on a hollywood Imovie, iphanda noluhlu olude lweempawu ezibonakala ngathi zahlukile- ukhuphiswano lwe-ping pong eTshayina, imfazwe yokulwa no-Vietnam eWashington DC, uhlobo lwezihlangu ezenziwa kwi-1970s. Le filimu incinci yajika yaba yifilimu ephumelele u-Oscar Forrest Gump. Seeing my research—and, of course, that of many other people—come to life on the screen was a magical experience, and a turning point in my career.”

It was during this period of her career that DeLouise became more interested in making her own independent films. “I was working in the location department on Oliver Stone’s film JFK. Babephulukana nefoto ephambili kaMongameli Kennedy ngemvelaphi yendawo. Ukusuka emsebenzini wam kwiiprojekthi ezahlukeneyo zamaxwebhu, ndandisazi apho kufanelekileyo ukuba ndiyifumane kwaye ndenze ikopi kuVimba weSizwe. U-Oliver wandiqesha ukuba ndisebenze njengomncedisi wophando kwisebe lobugcisa kwifilimu yakhe elandelayo, Nixon. Umyili wemveliso uVictor Kempster wayengunamathela kwiinkcukacha kwaye ndafunda lukhulu kuye. Kodwa, kwisithuba sokusebenza kuloo nto kunye nezinye ezininzi ezinkulu hollywood films, I realized that the ‘real people’ stories we were uncovering were the ones I actually enjoyed the most.  The essential story arc is the same. But as a doc-style director, I find that real people stories can be just as compelling as fiction.”

I mentioned to DeLouise that, as a lifelong TV addict, I find it far more common nowadays to see women credited as writers and directors on episodes of popular TV series, which is refreshing in an industry that has been male-dominated for decades, and asked her to comment on this trend. “Many of the producer and director credits you see are women actors finally able to finance and create the stories in which they want to appear. For example, Kirsten Dunst in her new and fabulous show Ungaba NguThixo Njani kuCentral Florida Yomboniso, okanye uNicole Kidman noReese Witherspoon badibana ukuze benze Amantombazana amakhulu for HBO. But for every woman of their stature able to bankroll those kinds of projects, there are thousands more with great films and ideas they are trying to make on a shoestring budget. Despite important efforts like Share the Screen at Sundance and Meryl Streep’s The Writer’s Lab, there are still too few women creating stories that get financed. And don’t get me started when it comes to women behind the camera as DPs, in the sound department, gaffers, grips, DITs, engineers, and composers. Those numbers are in the single digit percentages. You can get all the details from San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film. So yeah, we have a long way to go.  The good news is that new affordable cameras and NLEs make it possible for anyone who wants to tell a story to grab the gear and go do it.”

Ukuthetha ngamabhinqa kwi ifilimu industry led logically to DeLouise’s own GalsNGear program. “I created #GALSNGEAR Njengomsitho wokungena kwezinto ukunceda ekuqinisekiseni ukuba abantu basetyhini bamelwe ngcono njengezithethi kwiinkomfa zobugcisa kunye neminyhadala yemizi-mveliso. Ezi zezinye zeendlela zonxibelelwano ezibaluleke kakhulu kunye namathuba oqeqesho kushishino, kwaye abantu kulo lonke uphawu lwesini kufuneka bazive bamkelekile kwaye beyinxalenye yalo. Ndiqhubekile ndibona iphaneli zowesilisa, okanye ndizifumanela okukuphela komfazi kwipaneli, kwaye ndiyazi baninzi kakhulu abafazi abangoochwephesha kwimimandla yabo yokuvelisa. Ke ndiye ndafikelela kubo bonke endibaziyo, ndibacela ukuba bafikelele kunxibelelwano lwabo, kwaye ngoku sinothungelwano lwabalawuli basetyhini, abahleli, ii-DP, abaphathi beziko, iinjineli zesandi, abaxube izandi, iziphumo ezizodwa Amagcisa, uyawabiza amagama, ababakhoyo ukuba bathethe kwaye babelane ngobungcali babo. Siphehlelele iminyaka emihlanu eyadlulayo NAB Bonisa kwaye yaba yimpumelelo enkulu. Sibamba iipaneli, imicimbi yenethiwekhi, kunye needemo zezixhobo, kwaye sifumene inkxaso kwiinkampani ezinkulu zeshishini ezifana Blackmagic Design, Adobe, Broadcast Beat, Fox Fury Lighting, Digital Anarchy and Dell to name a few. We’ve also had tremendous support from our partners at Women in Film & Video DC, which is my local chapter. Our goal is to ensure that anyone having a professional conference or event has plenty of women attending, and plenty of top industry women in high profile speaking slots.”

DeLouise will be conducting two presentations, “Building Your Freelance Business to the Next Level” and “Writing for Video,” at this year’s NAB Bonisa New York. “I’ve been a speaker at Post|Production World at NAB Bonisa ngokuba, owu, mhlawumbi ishumi leminyaka ngoku. NAB Bonisa is a premiere industry event, and I wouldn’t miss it. It’s not just an opportunity to network. It’s a great opportunity to learn across all the different segments of our industry. I’ll be speaking at NAB Bonisa INew York ngo-Okthobha, kwaye ndijonge phambili ekufumaneni ngezixhobo ezitsha kunye nokuhamba komsebenzi okhoyo ukususela oko NAB Bonisa last spring. I’ll also be hosting one of our #GALSNGEAR iiphaneli apho.

“As someone who has owned three of my own media companies, I know it’s not easy to run your own business. I’m going to share my expertise in three key areas: building your brand, managing your money, and re-imagining your future. These are the three areas where busy freelancers often need support, because they are too busy working for their clients. So it will be an opportunity to take time for themselves. Whether you have been in business for a number of years and feel you are stuck trying to get to the next level, or you are just launching a freelance business, my workshop will provide real takeaways you can use in your business.”

The interview concluded with DeLouise telling me about her plans for the future. “I’m excited to be developing a nonfiction immersive experience about a historical character that will be designed for museum installations, plus a travelling exhibit. That project marries my love of archival media with my passion for good storytelling.  I also just finished writing a new book for Focal Press, Isandi kunye nebali kwiFilimu kunye neVidiyo engeyiyo, with my friend and sound mixer Cheryl Ottenritter. That is already in pre-sales and will be out next month. This past week I shot a new LinkedIn Learning course about “Running Your Production Business” that will be out soon. And I’m excited about productions I’m working on with a multinational corporate client rolling out a major new product.  So the fall has kicked off into high gear, and that’s just how I like it!”


AlertMe
Doug Krentzlin