I’m an introvert, I binge on shows like Gilmore Girls, Daria, and Frasier. I desperately await the Spice Girls reunion tour.
What was the moment that defined you choosing filmmaking?
I’ve just always been fascinated with film. I watched every movie that came into my household growing up. I knew as a girl I wanted to work on scripts and have a say in the cinematography.
Why have you chosen to highlight Films about the reality of miscommunication?
I feel today social media is hindering the way we communicate. People simply don’t talk, and I miss that. We find it easier to talk and relate on social media than we do when meeting someone face to face. Plus, I hate introducing myself with my @username.
You wear many hats as a filmmaker video editor, videographer, writer and director. How did you balance them all and how do you devote time to strengthen yourself in each of the areas?
I’m naturally a writer and director, I suppose those skills were strengthened through grade school and being a part of theatre. The other hats came when I decided to study Film. The school I attended trains one to do everything, which is very helpful though it can hurt at times. I don’t have to depend so heavily upon people b/c I know more than just the production or technical side; the downfall is; I don’t get to focus on one role during production. One thing I do is constantly be pro-active in learning more by shadowing, and actually working; whether it’s my stuff or someone else’s.
Do you believe a director needs to know how to operate a camera themselves?
To be a strong Director I believe knowing more than less will help you in the end. You’re able to speak the same language as a camera operator etc. It also makes you more marketable and less dependent on others if something were to happen during production.
Tell us what does producing really consist of?
(Sings) MONEY, MONEY, and MONEY; Joking but not joking. You have to be, in my opinion, clear and concise. Be able to find the resources, locations, and etc. to pull the production off. Also, one thing that works for me is to be kind. I’ve been able to get locations and resources for free because of this. Lastly, have a relentless will to never quit when you hear no!
What’s the best advice you can give storytellers to help them develop their own unique voice and style?
The advice I’d give is to listen to your intuition. Whatever attracts your eye follow it, explore it. There will be many people who don’t understand why you present the work you do but continue to push and constantly work at your passion. Be inspired by others but don’t imitate.
What is your ultimate goal as a filmmaker?
That’s such a hard question. I’m not interested in the fame, but I’d like to make a great living from this. I just want to continue telling stories that help and hopefully heal people, and shed light on social issues. That’s always a great feeling when people tell me that they could relate or just enjoyed the work.
What do you look for when looking for a project?
I look for how relatable it is, can the project touch several individuals, and does it start a conversation.
What is a successful moment in your career so far?
That’s hard for me to answer. I’m so weird when it comes to this. Anytime I get recognition my response is like “oh cool”, What’s next? I never really dwell there too long. I think it’s bad for the ego. I’ve had some cool moments but I truly can’t think this second. One thing that is happening right now is I’m getting interviews; which is cool. My film Zoey Gray is getting awards and people are getting the message in the film, and now I’m looking at distribution. Honestly, being able to live my dream is success when people doubted me.
How do you earn a living and sustain a career doing what you love?
I currently have a small business, PG-88 Video Production LLC where I freelance and provide services for small businesses. I also work with my father at his Funeral Home.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on two new series. One that honors women creatives and the other is from various women perspectives on funny topics, but there is a message (wink). I plan to continue pushing my film Zoey Gray as I look ahead to distribution.
How can we keep in touch?
Shivawn Hill, is a writer, director and a storyteller at heart. She’s currently in post production with her short documentary film. She believes that one day soon she’ll form the ultimate group of Storytellers who will travel the world to share the stories of creative peculiar people. Come hang out with her on Instagram.