MN: Do you encounter any obstacles or challenges being a woman in film?
AVR: Women in film are in some ways the underdogs but it seems like the tides are changing. Recent nods given to Kathryn Bigelow, Ava DuVernay, and many others coming up behind the scenes in TV and film are signs that the demand to see a female perspective is growing.
MN: Do you encounter any obstacles or challenges working in music industry?
AVR: The music industry has shown me a lot of love. If anything, I’ve been drifting away from working within it because my number one focus has always been my film work. Perhaps I can note that music video budgets are consistently shrinking which does present a challenge. But I’m still excited to bring some amazing imagery to life when the right opportunity comes along.
MN: What’s been your favorite video to work on so far? Who would be your dream artist to work with?
AVR: I directed a video for Smoke Dza and Joey Bada$$, which was a pretty cool experience. I’d love to work with Justice. All of their videos are dope. There aren’t many specific artists I’m eager to work with though. I more so look for the chance to work on the video of a song I really love.
MN: A lot of your work lives online, how important is it for you to personally build a digital brand?
AVR: Technology has changed so much of how we experience the world and that includes cinema. In addition to typical avenues such as film festivals, it’s important to market oneself online because that’s where audiences are consuming the most content. I like using YouTube. Most people are watching content on-the-go so that’s something I try to keep in mind in terms of time length.
MN: What are your tips for maintaining your passion project while working on multiple paid/contracted projects with deadlines? Have you ever been overwhelmed?
AVR: It’s not easy but you really have to manage your time well and know what your priorities are. I keep a tight daily schedule and get the harder things out of the way first.
MN: What’s next for the Open City Mixtape?
AVR: We’ll be relaunching the website soon and releasing B.L.B. With only a few shorts left, the project is coming to a close but it’s been an awesome journey; 2014 is going to be a good year.