On Your Radar: Kaitlyn Busbee

Monday, Nov 15, 2021

Kaitlyn Busbee

Kaitlyn Busbee

Where do you consider home and what is it like there?

I’m burrowing into Brooklyn pretty nicely, but Des Moines is where I consider home. The capital of Iowa, my childhood stomping grounds, and where my parents still live. I spent many years in Iowa City, too. I have a deep love for each city in different ways. Both of these places, and the people within them, have played crucial roles in my development as an artist and human. 

What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?

Honestly, a lot. Now that we’re finding ourselves cautiously emerging from a time of isolation, beginning to ride on busy trains again and experience the world together once more, I’m finding that little daily interactions are some of my most fruitful inspiration. And getting the chance to revisit other live art forms, theatre and music, offers up a feast for my senses that I’ve felt deprived of for so long. On a deeper and more specific level though, I most recently feel driven to further explore my family stories. Tales that have been passed down through the generations and the rich characters that embody them. It’s my way of paying tribute to the reasons I’m here. 

Of course, there are also certain filmmakers that I’ve become more familiar with since starting at Tisch that have really inspired the way in which I create, and the way in which I strive to explore my work. These filmmakers have pushed boundaries in manners that really excite me. Recently, at the top of that list, we have Andrea Arnold, Chloé Zhao and Eliza Hittman. There’s a raw authenticity to the way they shape their films that I find really alluring. I appreciate that, in different ways, they’re taking real people and lived experiences that could easily manifest as documentary content, then finding ways to channel those stories into fictional narrative arcs and vessels. 

I also have a collection of favorites that I refer to on a regular basis for the spirit they approach the artistic process with and the style they express. These are my go to artists that I find myself revisiting and reveling in their work, both new and old. These include (in no particular order): Lynn Shelton, Greta Gerwig, Mark and Jay Duplass, Taika Waititi, Wes Anderson, Mike Mills, Noah Baumbach, Barry Jenkins, Sam Mendes, Lynne Ramsay, and I’m sure the list goes on if I gave it a good think. 

It's important to note that working so closely with classmates, helping crew for their productions and supporting their voices, is a huge and informative inspiration for me as I continue to make my own films and explore what filmmaking means to me and what it can be. 

What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?

The most rewarding experience I’ve had at NYU so far has to be rooted in the energy and connection with my cohort. We entered film school just before the onset of a wildly challenging time to be a grad film student at Tisch, let alone a human being on this planet. The majority of our time in classes has been either remote or hybrid. Yet through that we’ve still found ways to bond in meaningful ways and to make three films amidst covid with the support of each other and our faculty.

If I had to narrow it down to one experience though, it’d be the production of my second year film that we consequently just wrapped in fall of our third year due to covid. I had the chance to bring three of my classmates to my home state and produce a film alongside both new collaborators and old in a place that carries so many memories and so much meaning. It was a deeply collaborative process that felt so alive and vibrant. I’ll carry that feeling of gratitude and joy with me until time stops. 

Follow her on Instagram, and visit her website and vimeo.