“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
KAYLA AREND IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I was born in Rochester, Minnesota on the Zumbro River, a branch of the Mississippi River. Land of the Mayo Clinic, I am the granddaughter of doctors and bootleggers. Minnesota is very unforgiving and harshly cold in the winter. With that said, our Minnesotan summers are splendid, humid and full of bloom. John Steinbeck once wrote "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” - that holds true in Minnesota. Being from the land of 10,000 lakes, it is safe to say we are boat people. Every fall, spring and summer it's fishing and canoeing. In the winter, we read, write and go ice fishing. Family and wholesome family meals have always been a part of the everyday traditions. Though I am not sure if my future home is in rural Minnesota, I do know that is where I will always return. To spend time with my roots and my family. It is also where I grew up with the visual medium of filmmaking.
What inspired you to study filmmaking?
I have always wanted to be a filmmaker for as long as I can remember. In the beginning I used a Sony camera that took 3 1/2 inch floppy disks for still photos. From there I got my first 8mm film camera when I was 8 years old. I filmed my last day of elementary school. Then I pursued film for middle school homework assignments, high school morning and afternoon announcements. I would spend every lunch period in the TV production lab editing my own projects. After age 18, I chose to move to Montana where I continued to study Film and Photography. With that being so male-dominated, I decided to try studying Entomology. I discovered that science was equally as male-dominated of a feild, so I found my way back to filmmaking. I graduated with a BA in Film and Photography along with a minor in Entomology. It's not so much a question of what has inspired me to study Filmmaking but more - has anything ever discouraged me from filmmaking? The answer is no. Nothing ever has discouraged me from following my passion as a filmmaker. Filmmaking has been one of the main constants in my life. And though I still have a huge amount to learn - I am excited to spend the rest of my life imbedded in this medium. In fact, I am absolutely in love with this process. As an art, a business opportunity and a source of community.
What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
My most rewarding experience at NYU so far has been collaborating and growing with my fellow classmates. Everyone in this program comes from a completely different place with a different set of experiences that have gotten them here. It is so cool to see their ideas go from a thought on paper to a visual story we can watch on the screen. It is even more rewarding being able to help them realize their visions. I adore my classmates and their unique perspectives. I am always honored when I get the chance to work with them, to make their ideas become realities that the world can observe. In my mind, the only thing better than filmmaking - is having the opportunity to make films with friends.