Meet the filmmaker
The F. John Outcalt Award For Outstanding Filmmaking is an honor given each year to a Reel Works filmmaker whose work exemplifies our core values of personal, passionate storytelling, creativity and social impact. Five nominees where selected by Reel Works students this year. The winner will be announced at Reel Works 2016 Gala Benefit on November 14th at Capitale in Manhattan.
Tell us about yourself
My name is Gianna Gomez and I am an aspiring film producer and editor. I currently work as a photographer and editor. I have made documentary, narrative, and experimental films and I am currently attending Brooklyn College studying media and communications.
What’s you film about?
Women in Parallel is my first documentary about how through Sandy Warshaw, one of the leaders in the Feminist Movement of the 60’s, I found the guidance I needed to become myself. I discovered an intersection between Sandy´s life and my own, only to find that problems from decades ago are still prevalent in society today.
What was your experience creating this film?
Creating this film was a bit out of my comfort zone because I never made a documentary, nor have I ever been so personal on camera before. I faced many challenges gathering footage, and having the time to edit with school and work going on simultaneously. The process overall was enjoyable even with all the challenges presented, and it was a great experience as I enjoyed editing and polishing everything afterwards.
How does it feel to be nominated for the F. John Outcalt Award?
I am truly honored to be a nominee. I feel like this is a great opportunity to get some recognition. This is the first time I’ve ever been nominated for a film award and I am very ecstatic!
What has Reel Works meant to you?
Reel Works has given me the resources and the support I needed to start off my career in the film industry. I was guided by many talented mentors that helped me create my first documentary. I know that if I face any challenges in my career, Reel Works will be there with open arms to help me gain the skills I need to progress in the ever-changing film industry.
Meet the Mentor
What do you do, when you are not a mentor at Reel Works?
My name is Max Gardner and I’m a freelance creative director, video producer and marketing consultant.
What was it like mentoring Gianna?
Mentoring Gianna was great—from the get go she was an decisive, thorough and affable young woman to work with. Gianna has the distinct ability to plan and organize, which is one of the many cornerstones of a good filmmaker’s approach, and because of that skill, she repeatedly wowed me with her dedication and work ethic, especially during the edit and post-production phase.
What are you taking away from working with Gianna?
Working with Gianna reminded me that I need to honor best practice in my own work—a complete attention to detail, an unyielding focus on organization, and the patience to bake that process into my own work. Beyond that, I learned a great deal from Gianna about how the next generation of storytellers think, feel and act. Gianna, while an exemplary worker who could regularly put on a straight face and get to work—also allowed herself to explore an emotional subject that is very close to her personally, and didn’t hide her emotions about it in the process. As a working filmmaker myself, I often have to remember and allow myself to go to those emotional places for the benefit of my own work as well, and Gianna set the exemplar bar high for someone who harnesses those emotions to tell a powerful story.
How would you describe Reel Works and the opportunities that we offer?
Reel Works is an organization dedicated to giving access and resources to the next generation of filmmakers. The opportunities they offer are excellent and the work that their students produce is inspiring.