Isaac Aguilar ’23

Access Theater, New York, NY

Although I’m afraid of the critics at Rotten Tomato, I’ve decided to make a documentary. If you want to know who’s responsible for putting that idea in my head, you can thank the folks at Access Theater.

This summer, I worked with Access Theater as a film and media intern under the mentorship of Jacqueline Christy and Laura Lee ’17, Access Theater’s director and artistic director respectively. I was responsible for helping Jackie and Laura with their upcoming movies, which were all at different stages: development, production, and post-
production. Because I didn’t know what role I wanted to play in filmmaking yet, Jackie and Laura recommended that I help with different things. From reviewing scripts during development to choosing film scores at the post-
production stage, I learned just how difficult it is to make a film. Throughout the summer, Jackie and Laura would give me advice on how things worked on set, and Jackie introduced me to fellow directors, graphic designers, and editors; Jackie had given me many opportunities to network with different people in the hopes that I would one day work with them in the future.

One of my favorite memories this summer was when I went to Ronkonkoma, N.Y., to help Laura film her newest movie. I remember feeling nervous since I had never been on a film set before. Because Laura only had a small group of people working on this film set, I was responsible for helping with lighting, recording audio, changing camera lenses, among other different tasks. The people I met were so warm and inviting. They taught me how to perform my tasks, and gave me advice whenever I needed help. Beyond being part of a film crew, this opportunity gave me a better idea of how film sets work, and what roles I might be interested in pursuing.

Working closely with Jackie and Laura had impressed upon me the role of a valuable collaborator—I felt appreciated and respected. Indeed, Jackie and Laura were enthusiastic whenever I contributed ideas and opinions, and I was never brushed off whenever I had a question or concern. Sure, this summer experience has given me an opportunity to network and grow as an individual filmmaker. But more importantly, this internship experience reinvigorated my love for film and filmmaking. Being part of the filmmaking process, and then seeing how everything comes together to create beautiful and awesome works of art is such an amazing and humbling experience. Yes, the collaboration of many different minds and bodies working together to produce a film is a testament to the magic of filmmaking.

With the development of the documentary underway, and given everything I’ve learned this summer, I’m happy to say that I feel much more confident in producing something worthwhile. I thank the Class of 1974 and the ’68 Center for Career Exploration for providing me the opportunity to have such an awesome summer experience.