HACKENSACK, NJ -- Hackensack High School graduate Amanda Kaminsky has been making creative, quirky videos since she was in middle school.
Today, the Montclair State junior is a television production major and continues to develop her talent and skills collaborating with fellow students and the Video Production Club, in addition to being a competitive cheerleader and running her own tie-dye shop on Etsy.
Daily Voice caught up with Amanda as she was packing her toothbrush and passport for a semester abroad at Bournemouth University, two hours south of London.
DV: When did the creative/video/filmmaking bug bite you?
AK: It started in Hackensack Middle School. My friend Kayla Del Vechio and I used to get weird ideas and film them just for fun. We’d get an idea, write a basic script and get shots. Little did we know we were developing the elementary skills for video and filmmaking. In high school, word got around that we made videos, so teachers would ask us to make videos for school events. We did a video for Pi Day for math class and for the Going Green Club. As part of the television production class, we produced “The Morning Report,” the daily morning announcements broadcast throughout the school. I also shot a wedding video for my teacher Miss Stein, now Mrs. Levy.
DV: What is your creative process...how do you come up with ideas?
AK: The process is different now that I’m in school. Lighting, iris, aperture, all comes into play, thinking artistically and how it will look. But it’ll be better in the end. The collaborative process is different because of the bigger group at Montclair. You need to consider other people’s ideas and teachers’ input and how to work with each other, which makes a better product.
The “Hands to Myself” parody came about as part of a contest at Montclair State. I was shuffling through my itunes library looking to get ideas, and heard the lyric “the doctors say you’re no good…” and thought fast food, since doctors are always telling us it’s no good! We borrowed the idea from the Selena Gomez video with her breaking into the house but had her raiding the refrigerator, ordering pizza. I worked with Annette Roldan, who was the camera person, on shots and video ideas. Some of it was impromptu, and came to us randomly.
DV: What actors inspire you?
AK: I like Jennifer Lawrence because of her message of empowerment. I’m influenced by shows like “The Office,” “Friends,” “New Girl”, “Parks and Rec” and “House of Cards.” The web series, “The Real Crew,” produced by the Montclair State video club, is similar to “The Office.”
Q: What’s the best and worst part of of creating videos?
AK: The best part is when you get an idea, or are in the process of making it, and you think “Yes, this is it!” And seeing the finished product come to life on the screen and getting good feedback. The worst part is a creative block, when you can’t get a creative idea out! You can’t force it. It’s one of the most frustrating things.
DV: What do you want to be doing in five to ten years after college?
AK: I’d like to be in a fun environment and help contribute to creativity, maybe behind the camera, and direct short films. I’d like to do event videography like weddings, to capture moments and memories for people. For me, as long as I’m happy with what I’m doing and who I am, that’s success.