In this highlight we turn our attention to Amanda Alvich, a professional Filmmaker in the industry. I asked Amanda a series of questions, here is what we discussed;
Tell us a little about yourself, where youre from, grew up, what H.S./College you attended etc.
I’m a native New Yorker and grew up in Long Island- but I swear to you that I’m not basic (no offense to my fellow basic Long Islanders! **does secret handshake**). I attended Herricks High School where I was heavily involved in the TV production department. I had a wonderful teacher who helped my little awkward self come out of my shell and taught me the basics of production. It was here where I realized filmmaking could be more than just a hobby.
I attended Hofstra University where I received my B.A in Public Relations (wait… what?)… I know… I thought that it might be ‘more realistic’ for me career-wise. Also, I had some confidence issues back in the day. After graduating in 2011, I worked in the PR/marketing industry for four years and it completely drained me. I hated it and I was extremely depressed. I truly felt like something in my life was missing, and the videos I would create outside of work as a hobby weren’t enough for me. I always talked about going back to school to get my degree in film, and finally one day I was like, “screw it, I need to do me.”
I received my Master’s in Directing at the School of Visual Arts where I wrote and directed my first short film, ‘OUT’, a comedy loosely based on my life as a young gay woman growing up in an Italian family. ‘OUT’ is currently in the festival circuit and has been screened in festivals around the world.
As far as my day job, I’m a segment editor/producer for NBCUniversal in NYC.
What inspired you to be get into filmmaking? Early experiences worth sharing?
I was given my first camcorder as a Christmas present in middle school and I quickly realized that I enjoyed being both in front of and behind the camera. I also had a thing for making a complete fool of myself to get some laughs, so I would say comedy found me at a young age.
Talk about a time where you have faced adversity/conflict and have triumphed.
This one time when ordering a sandwich at a local deli they ran out of my favorite bag of chips (sour cream and onion), but I quickly recovered by purchasing my second favorite bag of chips (salt and vinegar).
Just kidding- I think the biggest triumph I’ve had was finding confidence within myself to pursue my dreams. After I came out as gay a few months after graduating Hofstra, I started to find my voice. Once I was finally feeling stable and confident in my personal life, I turned to my career self and said “girl- you know public relations is NOT for you. Do what you love”.
What do you believe sets you apart from other filmmakers/entertainers?
I truly believe temperament and personality set a lot of people apart in this industry, and I’d like to say I have the right personality for it. It’s how you interact with people, and I’m always trying to connect on a personal level with both my audience and the people I work with.
Do you have other interests or hobbies?
I love petting dogs. Do you have a dog? Can I pet it?
Aside from that, I’ve started to pick up photography in my down time. I also love taking naps.
Any projects you have out or currently working on?
I was recently a finalist in the 2018 Coca-Cola Regal Films Competition where I wrote, directed and edited a 30-second commercial spot. I’m super pumped because it will be playing in Regal theaters throughout the country in the next upcoming months. Check it out: https://vimeo.com/281300011
As far as upcoming projects, I‘ve set a personal goal to begin doing stand-up regularly. I’m open to playing anywhere! Childs birthday coming up? Need some entertainment at a funeral? About to tell your boss off and need someone to ease the tension? I’m available.
In addition, I’ve been working on small side projects and have a podcast in the works.
Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?
The goal is to become a successful director/comedian with my own sitcom. Also, my dream has always been to host SNL…. I’m coming for you, Lorne Michaels.
What advice can you give to aspiring entertainers?
You need to just do it- which initially sounds insanely obvious, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. There will always be reasons to put things off, but I started to get in the mind set of ‘if not now, when?’
How can we follow along in your journey? Social media?
Website coming soon.