How did you first hear about NYWIFT and what made you decide to join?
I first heard of NYWIFT and 20/20/20 [Killer Films/Stony Brook University’s Intensive in Digital Filmmaking program] through my mother, Jane Applegate, who is a freelance film and video producer. She attended a workshop given by Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler where she picked up a flyer for 20/20/20.
I had recently moved to NY to pursue a career in independent film after working as an assistant editor at Pixar for many years. I had written a couple of scripts but had no idea how to go about producing them, and the 20/20/20 program seemed like an ideal way to complete a short film and to meet other filmmakers. During the program I met Simone Pero, a NYWIFT board member who was also visiting faculty of the 20/20/20 program, and she encouraged me to join NYWIFT.
How was your experience at 20/20/20?
I had long admired Killer Films for producing such unusual and thought-provoking work, and the program ended up being an incredible experience. It was a crash course in film production with lectures given by working professionals, many of whose work I knew and admired, and led by a great group of mentors. I came away with practical skills, knowledge, and a short film, Jitterbug. I also met some very talented people, many of whom I’ve collaborated with since.
Do you have any advice from your time in NY as an editor that might be helpful for other NYWIFT members?
When I moved to NY a year ago I wasn’t sure how to break into the film scene here. There is a lot of work out there, but it can be hard to find interesting projects at first. I would encourage people looking for editing work to take a course at The Edit Center. I went there to brush up on my Final Cut skills and ended up meeting some great contacts. It’s also a really fun program because you get to edit a real, independent feature and work with the director.
The 20/20/20 program is also a great place to start if you have a short film idea or are looking to learn about how the NY film industry works. I was lucky enough to parlay my 20/20/20 experience into some editing work as well. A friend in the program brought me in to edit some spots for a fashion campaign he was working on, and I just finished assistant editing on Sebastian Silva’s latest film Nasty Baby. I did some additional editing on that film as well.
I’m currently in France editing a feature for JULIACKS, a transmedia artist whose shoot I worked on in Southampton. She’s in residency at ENSA-Bourges with her film Architecture of an Atom.
Could you share with us some of your creative influences?
My first creative outlet was making zines (photocopied booklets that I would pass around at shows) with hand-drawn comics and collages. Comics and graphic novels led to an interest in animation. When I was a freshman at Reed College, faced with a huge pile of books to read, I happened into a small room in the library where they were screening some of William Kentridge’s films. I had never seen anything like them — his animations are hand drawn using charcoal and the story lines are really complex and dark. I decided to quit school and pursue film, specifically experimental animation.
I wandered for a couple of years then ended up in the cinema program at San Francisco State University. I quickly discovered that I didn’t have the patience or aptitude for animation, so I ended up manipulating my animations in Final Cut and discovered that my real skill was for editing.
Maya Deren and Chris Marker were early influences. Marjorie Keller is my current inspiration, and my favorite narrative filmmaker is Andrea Arnold. I hope to make some more short films, both narrative and experimental. I also hope to continue editing and assistant editing on indie features. I can’t imagine a better job.
What do you hope to get from NYWIFT as a member and what are some of your future goals for your career?
I joined NYWIFT in order to meet other filmmakers. I would like to find a producer for a short narrative script I have on the back burner. The events and screenings are great as well.
To see Jeanne Applegate’s work, visit japplegate.com.
NYWIFT is thrilled to welcome new board members to our leadership team for the 2022-2023 season! We sat down with new NYWIFT Board Member Kia Brooks who, as Deputy Director of longtime NYWIFT partner The Gotham Film and Media Institute (formerly IFP), is no stranger to the NYWIFT community! Brooks created The Gotham’s Owning It program that supports women and non-binary media makers and entrepreneurs who break boundaries in the media and entertainment industry, and developed the Expanding Communities program, which provides resources, community space, and industry access to individuals with Disabilities and BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ creators.READ MORE
We are thrilled to welcome new NYWIFT member Isi Laborde! Isi is a Brooklyn-based actor (AEA, SAG/AFTRA). Her film roles include Return to Montauk, directed by Academy Award-winner Volker Schlöndorff, and Jay-Z’s music video “Smile,” directed by Grammy-winner Miles Jay. She has had TV appearances in Facebook TV's Strangers and Paramount's Younger. Theater credits include The Bacchae at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club and Skip to My Lou at Theater for the New City. Isi spoke to us about her craft, how she kept up her creativity during COVID, and her dream role!READ MORE
Let’s welcome new NYWIFT member Ekaterina Korshunova! Ekaterina (or Kate for short) attended Moscow’s RUDN University where she graduated with a degree in journalism. Kate currently works as a freelance social media coordinator and producer. She has filmed and produced promotional videos for many local businesses as well as major brands. She spoke to us about her move to the US, her teaching philosophy, and her dreams for the future.READ MORE
Welcome, new NYWIFT member Ching Juhl! Ching is a Chinese American filmmaker, video journalist, and music educator who has directed, filmed, edited, and produced three feature films, promotional videos, and hundreds of shorts. Her feature documentary My Yang Gang Diary, which she shot entirely on an iPhone 11, won Best Feature Film Award at Toronto Documentary Film Festival in 2021. Ching spoke to us about the benefits of shooting on iPhone, the intersection of music and filmmaking, and the friends who brought her to NYWIFT.READ MORE