“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
KRISTIAN KING 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 currently based in Brooklyn, NY, but I’m originally from the suburbs south of Atlanta, in a place called Fayetteville, Georgia. I’ve always had a strong sense of family, and I always remember that fondly when I think of my parents who still live in Fayetteville. My parents actively maintained and believed in the strength of familial bonds, and I always will be grateful for the feeling that I’m supported by my family no matter where I am.
Durham, North Carolina is very much my second home. I spent most of my 20's there, and it’s the perfect artist town. The city itself and the many creatives that live there all continue to inspire me. It was small and large enough to find the most interesting artist collaborators. And when you showcased art, it felt like you were in communication with the entire city. It’s grown a lot bigger since I left, but it was the perfect place for my baby artist brain to develop.
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I always try to watch a lot of film and TV and am pretty agnostic when it comes to genre (except horror, because why would I sign up to have nightmares?). I can find inspiration in everything from Birdman, Girl’s Trip, Mustang, Downton Abbey, Skeleton Twins, Titanic, Dope, Luther, Parks and Recreation, etc., etc., and of course, my two favorite reality TV shows: World’s Most Extraordinary Homes and The Great British Bake Off. I’ve been learning not to question what I love as much, but I’ve been making an effort to make sure I really understand why I’m intrigued. Sometimes, for some of the things I watch, it can be harder to pin down, but usually there’s an interesting reason behind it.
Lately I've been obsessed with Bill Hader and Alec Berg’s wonderful dark comedy show, Barry. When I first watched it, I was completely mesmerized because I felt for once, that someone really understood my sense of humor. To me, the show reflects the nature of real life, which is always a mixture of really high highs and low lows. In many films, I feel that these moments never mix, and there are simply happy moments typically followed by sad moments, and they end with either happy or bittersweet moments. But that hasn’t been my experience of life: it’s way more mixed up and full of irony.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
Since I arrived at Tisch, there have been countless times when I shake myself and realize again that “I’m in film school at Tisch." I never imagined that I’d be here. I started out studying biology, working in a lab and as a clinical research monitor, and now I’m pursuing a career in filmmaking by getting an MBA from Stern School of Business and MFA from Tisch School of the Arts. I’m beyond grateful to go out in the world and create films using the skills that I’ve learned as a director, writer and producer at Tisch and Stern.
What I’ll treasure most is all of the new friendships and collaboration partners I’ve made from people attending and teaching in this program. The opportunity to learn from people who are from all over the world with various life experiences and cultural references has taught me so much as a filmmaker. Additionally, Tisch’s dedication to criticism has helped me grow so much as a storyteller. There are always tough times, but I’ve found that going through the challenging times and coming out on the other side has always been worth it. It’s the best way I grow and learn.