Malcolm Gladwell

by Katherine Yaksich

Our short film, Across the Pond, a finalist for Tropfest NY 2013, the world’s largest short film festival.

Last Saturday our film premiered in front of tens of thousands of people and it was an incredible, surreal, unforgettable experience. It will go down as one of my most memorable moments in NYC. Liev Schreiber was the host and some of the judges included Malcolm Gladwell and Academy Award winning producer, Fisher Stevens (The Cove). It was an honor to be a part of such a large festival and share the stage with a talented group of filmmakers. One of the highlights for me was meeting Malcolm Gladwell, my favorite author!

Tropfest NY! by Katherine Yaksich

Tonight our short narrative film, Across the Pond, will premiere at Tropfest NY, the world’s largest short film festival at Prospect Park. It will be hosted by Liev Schreiber and some of the judges include Malcolm Gladwell and Academy Award winning Producer Fisher Stevens (The Cove).

I just want to say how incredibly proud I am of our writer/director/producer, Jessica Thompson, and our producer, Carlo Velayo. The 3 of us began this filmmaking journey together over 3 years ago, when we set out to follow our dreams, make films, and tell meaningful stories together. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine us being on such a large stage, showing our film on the big screen to tens of thousands of people. I’m pretty sure Jess has dreamed about this moment ever since she was a kid, and for it to become a reality is so remarkable. There is so much beauty to be found in that. Carlo took a big leap of faith and moved to NYC months ago to pursue filmmaking full time. We started preproduction for Across the Pond before he even moved to NY, and I was actually in South Africa at the time. I’m practically crying thinking about how far we’ve come.

We have a team of incredibly talented, hard working dreamers, and I feel extremely lucky and fortunate to be a part of that. Last night, we had the opportunity to meet John Polson, the director of Tropfest who hand selects all the finalists, and he told us how much he enjoyed our film and our lead actor. It was a pretty special moment.

We hope you will join us tonight at Prospect Park to see our film on the big screen!

For more info visit: http://tropfestnewyork2013.eventbrite.com/

image

by Katherine Yaksich

We are incredibly happy to announce that our short film, Across the Pond, has been selected as a finalist for Tropfest NY, the world’s largest short film festival! Join us at Prospect Park on Saturday, June 22, to see it on the big screen along with 40,000 people. Liev Schreiber will be hosting and the judges include Malcolm Gladwell and Academy Award winning producer Fisher Stevens (The Cove). Tickets are free and are available here:   http://  tropfestnewyork2013.eventbr  ite.com/ .           
   Official press release:   http://tropfest.com/ny/files/2013/06/Tropfest-Finalist-release-FINAL-1.pdf

We are incredibly happy to announce that our short film, Across the Pond, has been selected as a finalist for Tropfest NY, the world’s largest short film festival! Join us at Prospect Park on Saturday, June 22, to see it on the big screen along with 40,000 people. Liev Schreiber will be hosting and the judges include Malcolm Gladwell and Academy Award winning producer Fisher Stevens (The Cove). Tickets are free and are available here: http://tropfestnewyork2013.eventbrite.com/.

Official press release:
http://tropfest.com/ny/files/2013/06/Tropfest-Finalist-release-FINAL-1.pdf

My Advice to an Aspiring Photographer - 10,000 Hours by Katherine Yaksich

EMAIL: Hi! I was looking at your work after my neighbor told me about you. I have recently grown to love photography, and according to a few people I have a good eye and some talent. I am thinking of photography as a future career (I’m a sophomore in high school now) and was wondering if you had any tips or advice for a young, aspiring photographer. Thanks!

MY RESPONSE: To be honest with you, it is very difficult to make a career out of photography. The creative life is not an easy road! Also, technology has made photography more accessible for people and recently there has been a boom of professional photographers. With that being said, I firmly believe that anything is possible if you are talented, nice, work hard, make the right connections, and push the creative boundaries. Building a brand and selling yourself is also extremely important. You have to be a salesperson as well, you can’t just be a photographer and survive these days. Marketing, brand management, and running a sustainable business are also necessary. I wish I could tell you to just create great photographs and make good art, and everything will be fine, but I can’t.

I can share with you some things that have worked for me since I moved across the country. First of all, it’s all about connections. You can be the most talented person but you won’t get anywhere without connections, and other people being connected to your work. Your connections are probably the best way to find work and most likely your first job will be through someone you know or a friend of a friend. Surprisingly, I’ve even had former companies I’ve worked for hire me to do contract work. So network as much as possible. Secondly, use social media as much as you can. A lot of my clients have found me and hired me after seeing my work on Vimeo. I have even landed jobs through Facebook. Third, learn as much as you can and become an expert. Malcolm Gladwell wrote in Outliers that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. Apparently, 10,000 hours was a major factor that set The Beatles, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs apart from everyone else. So start now while you’re young. Learn all of the technical components and master them such as lighting, composition, exposure, etc. Even learn how to shoot film and develop it in a darkroom (yes, some people still use films these days :). You want to be the best you can be and stand out above the rest. Often I see professionals posting work that is technically poor or has really bad photoshop work. Shoot constantly and create projects for yourself that will challenge you. Understand that you will fail; learn from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. And lastly, always aim to have fun! If you’re not having fun and enjoying it, then something is probably not right. 

I used to think that landing a National Geographic assignment would be the holy grail for me. But after following Nat Geo photographers and realizing how dedicated you need to be, I’m not sure I’m cut out for an assignment like that. Those guys shoot an average of 40,000 - 60,000 images per assignment and literally have to live and breath their work. One of my favorite photographers actually told me that he turned down his first National Geographic assignment! So now I’ve had to find other things to aspire to :]

Enjoy the journey and good luck!