“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
Alyssa loh IS CURRENTLY A 3RD YEAR STUDENT AT GRAD FILM. WE ASKED HER A FEW QUESTIONS, AND HERE’S WHAT SHE HAD TO SAY:
1. Where do you consider home and what is it like there?
I’m from Southern California, but I’ve lived back east for a long time. I’ve worn head to toe black since I was about nine years old, so I was destined for the East Coast, I think…
Really, I’m happy anywhere I have a quiet corner where I can sit and think, write, or chat with a friend.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I just began work on a feature script. I’m in the stage where I’m getting to know my characters, and it has all the pleasures of getting to know intimately new people in real life.
I used to work as a literary magazine editor. It was my job to find artists and thinkers that excited me. Being a director sometimes reminds me of that. The goal is to get your vision onto the screen, but a big part of that is creating the right conditions for other people’s creativity to flourish. I found a couple awesome collaborators last year, and the prospect of finding more is exciting.
I’m something of an enthusiast for other people’s minds, and when I find a mind I really like, it gives me a big rush of energy.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Making my 2nd year film.
I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so it was tempting to choose a project that I could see more clearly from the outset how I could make it work. But being a perfectionist can stunt your growth, and I felt like I owed myself something more.
So: I went all in on this really peculiar, ambitious film. Claiming the space for myself to learn, explore, and commit to my own vision felt so good.
That was a big lesson last year: how much you can grow if you can stake out for yourself the freedom to be curious and ambitious.