F. John Outcalt Award for Outstanding Filmmaking Nominee Amber Picon

Meet the Filmmaker

Control By Amber Picon from reelworks on Vimeo.

Tell us about yourselfamber_headshot-jpg
Well I am quite the what you would call “strange” person. It’s the most common term I am called when I first meet people. I take it as quite the compliment actually. I have a passion for acting, film making, and singing. Although I am quite the hidden turtle when it comes to singing. Don’t get me wrong I am trying to come out of that shell soon. I also love drawing and dancing (terribly). I am the performer kid. But my intentions of using my talents are bright. Helping others through my passion is what I love most. Corny but true. I love animals and became vegan to go against the corrupt system within the food industry. I can be either very nice or very mean depending on how one treats me. It’s a code I follow for myself. I obsess over cartoons and could be considered a very animated person with a lot of character. Well that’s basically me, the details of my life you can watch in my documentary haha. Enjoy!

What’s your film about?
The Film “Control” shares the story of an individual who experiences something that is considered “tragic”  however this one individual uses this “tragic” event and turns it into something beautiful. Something inspiring and life changing. She shares her new perception with intentions to inspire others to live their life without restriction.

What was your experience creating this film?
I created this video in a short amount of time. During my time at Reel Works I was fighting against personal issues. 90% of my time at reel works was just brainstorming. Last minute I completely changed my idea of the film and let’s be honest the teachers were quite worried for me. They didn’t know if I would be able to finish the video in time since we only had two weeks before its due. Finally it’s the very last week. I began to lose faith on even attempting to create a film but I remember who I am who I became. How I envisioned life and its endless possibilities. I realized that I don’t want people to feel as though they are limited in life. I don’t want people to feel the way I felt. I want everyone to see life in its true form. Everyone deserves to know their value. Within the last three days I wrote my script filmed my video and edited using a program I was a bit unfamiliar with. However I did it and I knew it was possible. I was very happy with my teachers and fellow students reactions toward the film. I thank everyone for giving me this wonderful opportunity. Stay open!

How does it feel to be nominated for the F. John Outcalt Award?
I could not be more grateful to be nominated for an award and when I say “an award” I mean even if it was an award for worst video I would still be grateful. For a long while I felt no progress within my career choice of film making and now joining Reel Works not expecting anything I end up being nominated for an outstanding award. This is quite the experience. This is the best part about becoming a filmmaker. Not the success but the journey to success. What brought you there in the first place. I am excited to bring more light in filmmaking and to be apart of the community. Thank you!

What has Reel Works meant to you?
Reel Works will always be special to me because it is where I truly began my journey to becoming the filmmaker, actress, and photographer that I have always wanted to be. They made me feel welcomed and acknowledged. They acknowledged my creativity and ideas which gave me even more confidence to pursue my dream. They even assisted me with equipment and mentors which gave me an even bigger boost. I am honored to have the opportunity to work with Reel Works as well as thankful for all their help. It is an wonderful program and most definitely helps open new doors for young filmmakers. Thank you.

Meet the mentor
beckynordensten

What do you do, when you are not a mentor at Reel Works?
My name is Becky Lee Nordensten. I work in marketing and communications at Columbia University and I am also a graduate student there, studying psychology.

What was it like to mentor Amber?
Fun, rewarding, surprising. Amber is hilarious and insightful and extremely talented — I feel like I learned something every second I was with her.

What are you taking away from working with Amber? What did you learn from Amber?
Probably more than anyone would want to read! But one that especially stands out is to not shy away from tackling big ideas and complex questions, creatively or otherwise. Dive in, grapple with your experiences, and share your voice.

What would you tell people who are considering watching this film?
Stop reading this and go watch it now. (Seriously.)

How would you describe Reel Works and the opportunities that we offer?
Reel Works is an amazing program — I’m jealous I didn’t have something like it when I was in high school! The opportunities for students to grow creatively while developing practical skill sets and being exposed to industries and careers in which they can utilize them is beyond wonderful.

 


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