Reel Grrls graduate Samantha Muilenburg and director of Generation of Consolidation recently wrote us this blog post to tell us what she's been up to out East.
Hi! Samantha here. During my Freshman year of high school, I became a participant at Reel Grrls, a Seattle non-profit that teaches film production and media literacy to young women. I fell in love with the program, so much so that I spent the next four years making media with them.
My Senior year at high school came and left, so now I’m old and graduated, living my post Reel Grrls life. I imagined that life after Reel Grrls would feel sad and empty, but thanks to all my Reel Grrls media skills, I was able to land a spot at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where I’m studying Film & TV Production.
Now a rising Sophomore at Tisch, I can happily report that I absolutely love it. My Freshman year was fulfilling and fun. I’ve taken classes on photography, digital editing, audio production, screenwriting, and directing actors.
As a filmmaker, I am concentrating in media for social change and youth media education. The professors and faculty and Tisch are wonderful, and support the wide variety of careers that filmmaking has to offer - even my not-so-Hollywood career goals. Next year I am looking forward to taking specialized production classes, such as documentary filmmaking.
Life after Reel Grrls is far more than my classes though. Living in New York City has opened a wide variety of opportunities for me, such as finding $1 pizza at 2am and feeling local enough to make fun of tourists. But those are just minor benefits compared to the opportunities I’ve had to learn about the many wonderful non-profits working here.
This summer I’ve been interning for People’s Production House, a non-profit that, among many things, teaches youth about media policy and how to create radio productions. I worked in their introductory schools program, helping 7th and 9th grade class in Brooklyn create radio pieces about issues important to the students. Now I’m excited to be starting their Digital Expansion Fellowship, a program that teaches advanced level media policy and journalism.
I miss Reel Grrls a lot, but I’m so thankful for the many doors it has opened for me. New York is a great city, and I can’t wait to see what will happen with my next three years at NYU.