Instructor Interview – Kate Rees Davies
Categories: Directing, Instructor Interview
Please welcome new Entertainment Studies instructor Kate Rees Davies! Kate will be teaching Directing Workshop I: Composition and Movement in Fall 2019. She is an award-winning director with experience in narrative features, short film, music videos, and commercials. A directing graduate of UCLA Extension, Kate’s love and enthusiasm of the craft of filmmaking is infectious. Six of her shorts have screened at Cannes. She was one of the first independent filmmakers to shoot on 4K with the Sony F65 and as a result, has had her work distributed on the Sony 4K TV. Kate also produces and writes her own projects along with features for independent filmmakers. Since graduating from UCLA in 2011, she has produced 12 Features and directed one. She has several projects in various stages of development and pre-production and is currently exploring the world of VR to create content for the next generation.
We sat down with Kate and asked her 5 questions to get to know more about her and her course.
What about teaching for Entertainment Studies are you most looking forward to?
Meeting the students and helping them get inspired to tell their stories through the visual medium. Seeing what ideas they come up with and how they express them in their films.
What do you hope students get out of your course?
I hope they come away with more confidence and skills to keep wanting to develop their storytelling and make more films.
What is one thing you want students to know before they walk into your class?
I am here to help you to enjoy your course. This is a safe space where you can develop your skills as a storyteller and a creator. Movie making is fun.
What are you watching or listening to these days that you are enjoying?
I am watching The Handmaid’s Tale, Younger and The Kennedys. The Handmaid’s Tale is superb and the DP of the show Zoe White was the first DP I ever worked with when we were both students in Sydney, Australia 12 years ago. It is amazing to have seen her career blossom in that time! I am developing and writing a TV show about Marilyn Monroe, so The Kennedys is a great show to reference for style and tone! Younger is by the creators of Sex and The City which is one of my favorite shows and Younger is also wonderful. I love hip hop and so when Missy Elliott dropped her new work this week, I’ve been listening to that. I have also been listening to a lot of Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe songs, which helps me with my writing on the TV show.
What’s the best piece of advice you would give to someone aspiring to break into your field?
Keep watching movies and TV shows and learn from the best ones. Why do they win awards? Also keep shooting short films with your friends, even if you don’t have a professional camera. Use your camera phone. Read scripts and sign up for 48 hour film challenges. You will learn to get fast and think on your feet as you have to write, direct and edit a short in 24 hours!