This summer, I was able to work one of the coolest experiences of my life.
Well it started in January, my sister had me meet a National Geographic photographer named Daryl Custer. He wanted me to join him in the Albuquerque Film and Music Experience (AFME). AFME is a week long festival with independent films, documentaries, music videos, live performances, and celebrities. It brings music and film together to the Land Of Enchantment.
After speaking with the AFME staff, they moved me to cinematography and social media. My offical title was the social media coordinator for the festival. Up until June 6th, I was posting and sharing stuff on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It was calm overall, but the last month of it involved a lot of getting to know people of different films. It was super cool, but it wasn’t truly fun until the week of AFME.
I was able to attend this events by filming them. It was a great way to experience the festival for free. So any time I mention that I was at a showing or event, I was technically working.
It started Tuesday, June 6th, with the documentary Rumble: Indians Who Rocked the World. It is a documentary on how Native Americans and their culture influenced the arts, especially rock n’ roll. What was amazing about this being our opener was that the lead singer of Lynard Skynard, Ricky Medlocke, and musician/executive producter of Rumble Stevie Salas were in attendance during the screening! They even participated in a Q&A at the end of the documentary. Later, at the after party, we we got to listen to live rock music at Sister Bar 🙂
We started the day with an intimate conversation with Ricky Medlocke and Stevie Salas. It was a two hour long interview with Stevie and Ricky, and they did great! We spent a lot of time organizing footage and editing, but then we got to attend an “Audition Boost” with Faith Hibbs Clark. She would be teaching children acting and other film techniques. The feature film of this day was One Penny, which the lead actor attended the showing. The night ended at Scalo after party, and the percussionist of philharmonic, performed.
This day was the slowest, but still had amazing films to be shown. There was an “intimate conversation” with Carissa Mitchell, who is a talent agent. She gave super helpful advice for future actors and actresses. There were also two documentaries, Hired Gun and Mad For Madonna. Hired Gun was about artist behind the scenes; the musicians who performed with the well-known stars and added flair to the studio and stage. The other documentary was Mad For Madonna, a documentary showing the different lives of Madonna superfans. When I say superfans, I mean SUPER. Fans. It was intense. This day was the slowest for events, but it was about to get super fun.
Acting coach Faith Hibbs Clark had her Youth Film and Acting Camp. 24 students came to AFME to learn how to become little actors and actresses. They brought in film animals- a wolf, parrot, and mice that have been used in films. They even got to create their own script and act it out in front of a green screen! It ended with guest speakers like Annika Marks and Jeff Bridges come and tell them their journey in their acting career. This was an all day event. Super fun, and I wish I could’ve done it myself!
This day, I was able to watch a variety of short films. Some were local, some were foregin, some were made by students! There were even short documentaries. All were super interesting, and my favorite was The High School That Rocked. It was about this high school that had live rock concerts all the time. The Doors, Stones, and more. Made me realize how lame my high school was in comparison.
Finally, the after party was at Rio Bravo Brewing, which was the first time I saw T Bone Burnett and Jeff Bridges. They were there briefly, but I was able to say to say hi to T Bone!
THE BIG DAY.
We started the morning with three computer geniuses who brought visual effects to New Mexico. One of the guys was the base character for Garth from Wayne’s World. Isn’t that neat? They literally made the character off this man. Super cool.
Right after that presentation, we had the intimate conversation with T Bone Burnett and Jeff Bridges. It was a two hour long conversation that was sold out. We had 8 cameras around the entireevent. It was hilarious, insightful, and I loved it. There was a showing of Harry Potter, and Last of The Mohicans. Actor Wes Studi was in attendance, too!
I never saw so many people dressed as The Dude. It was amazing. They had every different type of wardrobe in the movie. There was even a John Goodman, which is my favorite character! I got to film all the characters, which was super fun. Then inside KiMO, the stage had the rug used in the film, because you know, it really ties the room together.
We finished the festival by having an after party at Rock N Brews, and T Bone and Jeff were in attendance. The local band suddenly announced that they were there, and asked if they wanted to join.
THEY FREAKIN DID.
LAST DAY- AWARDS
The award ceremony was held at the Tamaya Resort. They fed us a delicious brunch -with an open bar yaaaaasss- and gave out awards. The trophies were pottery, which I think depicts New Mexico the best. Multiple award winners applauded the festival, saying it was a wonderful experience and one of the best festivals they have attended. The head photographer, Daryl Custer, won the Person of the Week Award. What was cool was that Daryl thanked me specifically for all my hard work. I was touched :,)
This festival was one of my favorite experiences ever. I got to film with my best friends, meet rock stars and actors, and learn about the profession I love. I am so grateful to be a part of the “experience” ;).