Meet Director Star Victoria from Atlanta, Georgia, Catalyst's 2021 Best Director Winner!
What project are you currently working on? What is your role in the project?
An Urban Legend Screenplay, Co-writer, Director / Editor
Do you have a favorite hat under the “creator” umbrella?
I am a director/editor, those are my favorite “creator” hats. I also am a 1st Assistant Director, which is my favorite “logistics” hat, but I am also adding another “logistics” hat in producing.
What were your earliest inspirations? How did you get started as a creator?
I was always into the arts, writing, poetry, acting, etc, but when I started to see the books that I love being turned into a visual medium, movies or television, I knew I wanted to be a part of that in some way. Acting was my 2nd biggest love outside of books so I pursued an acting career first, then through trial and error ended up in the director’s chair. It was the most fulfilling feeling to be able to take the vision in my head with the understanding of a characters journey and help create the world with producers, cast and crew.
Whose work do you admire? Who are your dream collaborators?
I am a huge fan of Steven Spielberg. He has always been open to create any and all stories and has never let Hollywood dictate his choices. We wouldn’t have The Color Purple if he didn’t stand behind it. I also love Won Kar Wai. He creates such textured story and images. The beauty of In The Mood For Love and his body of work inspired so many beautiful films such as Moonlight. My mentor, John Singleton for bringing truth to the African-American experience of the 90’s with his strong body of work. A few others to mention, Lynne Ramsey, Gina Prince-Bythewood and so many more. It’s hard to choose just one because every artist that creates is an inspiration. My dream collaborators would be directing Regina King, Jeffrey Wright, Ken Watanabe, Michelle Yoah, Jesse Plemons, and many others. I would love to direct television for Shonda Rhymes, Ava DuVernay, G-unit, Steven David Entertainment, Disney General Entertainment, Starz, Wise Entertainment, etc. The industry is so vast with so many creative visionaries, I’d love the opportunity to collaborate with them all.
What’s your proudest moment as an artist so far?
My proudest moment is the creation of La Ruta, my DGA Jury Award winning thesis film. The story just meant so much to me and being able to bring it to life visually by directing an amazing group of talented individuals was the most rewarding feeling. A lot of the cast and crew were so appreciative of my ability to create a safe space for the talent to perform and be vulnerable. I hired what I like to call an Emotional Coordinator, Anne Wescott, who helped me with taking care of the talent’s emotional state after they had to perform a very emotionally heavy scene. As a director I am always there for the talent after they have given all for an emotional performance, but sometimes I have to step back to go prep for the next scene and that’s when Anne will step in and talk with the talent to help bring them back to the present of the real world. It means so much to me to help the talent maintain their mental health as much as I can. And I am fully aware of how heavy emotional scenes or very dark scenes & characters can effect an actors mental well-being. So it is my goal that I always have an emotional coordinator on the sets I direct if there are scenes that will affect their mental well-being.
What’s your must-read/must-watch book/show or movie?
My must watch read and watch is the Harry Potter series. It always makes me feel so much joy. The writing by J.K. Rowling is truly superb. Her attention to detail is mind blowing. The whole time I was reading the series the first time there were moments when something would impress me to the point that I literally would stop and say out loud, “who does that? Write the world in such intricate detail?” And the characters are so nuanced and layered, it’s truly lovely.
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