“ON YOUR RADAR” IS A WEEKLY GRAD FILM NEWS SEGMENT THAT FEATURES A STUDENT PICKED AT RANDOM.
MOLLY GILLIS 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've lived in New York for 10 years, so I'd call this city my home base. I grew up in the suburbs of DC on the Chesapeake Bay, a very quiet place but in proximity to a great scene for arts & culture. It's also the kind of place that you go to and wonder: why does everyone here have a vague southern accent?
2. What is currently inspiring you as a filmmaker?
I like to take inspiration from a lot of different sources: music, photography, embarrassing social experiences... you know, whatever strikes! For music, I've been listening to this electronic ambient music from this French artist called November, but I have ALSO been listening to this song called "Disco Tits" by Tove Lo... multidimensional tastes! I'm interested in the intersection of niche and pop culture stuff. My favorite thing I've seen recently is a TV show called Pen15; it is genius to me! It's comedy that can be absurd, moving and have a strong visual aesthetic. In regards to social experiences, I have been thinking about this time recently at La Colombe when I thought someone was interested in me because we had a really engaging conversation, but then they slipped me their business card, and it turns out they were a therapist—which changed my perspective on the entire encounter in a fun, humiliating way. These are all little things in my source pool of inspiration. It is nice to live in New York, because it is a constant confrontation with humanity—yours and everyone else's, too. I hope it all funnels into my films somehow.
3. What has been your most rewarding experience at NYU Tisch Grad Film so far?
My greatest experience at Grad Film? My answer will be a cliche.. but cliches can often be very TRUE, so who cares! It's rewarding to be a part of this community. You get to work on projects that are so different from you, yet they make you better as an artist yourself. Everyone is trying to be brave and dig deep. It's so major and rare. I worked in film production for many years before school, and oftentimes, people would come to set without reading the script. It was just a job, with very little investment. In Grad Film, everyone cares deeply, I think; they are trying their hardest. And you get to see different parts of the world, quite literally. I think my eyes and heart are bigger because of the people here and what they've shown me.