Shelia Wilson (BA ’15) and Kip Knight (’16) met at Peet’s Coffee before the beginning of the spring semester when they were paired as a team on Advanced Practicum. Their short film, Amerikkka, is about a young African-American girl who infiltrates a KKK meeting to seek revenge against the men who killed her father.
They have their sights set on Los Angeles. Wilson will be moving there in the fall to attend AFI and Knight is planning on arriving in January 2016. They plan to continue to collaborate on many more projects.
WILSON: Kip always gives me the confines within which I can be creative. My imagination tends to be crazy and go everywhere, but he always grounds me in reality. That said, he’s the type of producer who will go to the ends of the earth to make sure my vision is achieved and I appreciate both of those aspects.
KNIGHT: I made sure that Shelia was able to achieve her creative vision. We all have these grand ideas in which we see things. Sheila and I definitely helped each other out when we got too excited. Sheila is the type of director whose vision is strong and I love that about her.
WILSON: Collaboration for us is just constant communication. When communication is off it affects you, but more importantly as heads of department it affects your whole team. Being a director and a producer means being the leaders. We set the bar. If our communication is off, it affects collaboration for the whole production.
KNIGHT: In any type of collaboration, communication is key. Sheila and I made sure that we kept in constant communication with each other throughout the film. There was never a day where I didn’t know what was going on. We were always able to work through every issue because of our strong communication.
WILSON: Sometimes within the context of Practicum, you forget that what you’re doing is part of school and for your grade. It’s such an incredibly hands on experience that you just feel like it’s an extension of the real world which, in some ways, it is! We always joke that Practicum should be a reality show because of all of the drama, but at the end of the day you have to treat your film seriously. The things you do in college can very well be what jump starts your career.
KNIGHT: Practicum can sometimes take over your life and you forget that you have other responsibilities. Let’s face it, were all filmmakers and when we get the opportunity to create film nothing else really matters to us at the time. Even though this is a class, you really don’t see it that way. Instead you see it is a beginning to a promising career. This is why I think Practicum is as intense as it is. Everyone wants this career and emotions run high, but you create something well worth the stress.