3. Collaboration & mentorship
"When I was first starting out, I didn't see the power of collaborating with people, but that's how I got my big break," says Ashleigh. A chance conversation on set led to the opportunity to co-direct a music video for one of her favourite artists – which made her name.
"The DoP shooting with me, Luke Biggins, had a shoot straight after with Roddy Ricch, who I was a big fan of," she says. "I was like, 'I love that guy,' and Luke said, 'Come and co-direct it with me.' I don't think he understands how big a deal that was, but it changed my life. When I released that video, everyone looked at me differently as a director."
Ashleigh brings her own mentees onto shoots whenever she can, as directors, producers and BTS-shooters. "That means they've got a showreel with well-known artists," she says. "Working with someone with more of a name is a way to get your foot in the door, so that's what I try to offer to my mentees."
Irene (@irenecruzfoto) was focused on photography until one of her professors, video artist Eugenio Ampudia, encouraged her to explore video installations and art during her Master's degree in Madrid. "I discovered a new world of expressing myself," says Irene. "I got started in film because I had someone who believed in me."
"I think the biggest lesson I've learned over the last few years about filmmaking is that's a collaborative process," adds Jack. "When I started making YouTube videos, the only reason we were able to grow the channel and build an audience was because we could collaborate with other YouTubers."