Artist to Watch: Emmanuella Zachariou

Artist to Watch: Emmanuella Zachariou

From mere conception to editing the film, she likes to do it all herself.
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Emmanuella is a San Francisco native and a cinematography major at SVA NYC. She works mostly with film, so for this photo shoot we experimented with an expired roll of color film! Check it :)

Storm: When did you decide that you wanted to be at SVA?

Emmanuella: I did a pre-college program when I was in high school and I did a class on film and that really changed what I wanted. Before that I just wanted to do photography. Film ended up being so much fun and I could do so much more with it. So in that class I did a video self-portrait on 16mm film and this band called The Holograms saw it and asked me if I could edit it for their music video.


Emmanuella: This was when I was 16, so I was really surprised why they wanted my work. It ended up being featured in all of these magazines, Spin, Interview Mag…After all that happened I realized I was ready to just apply to schools out here specifically for film because I knew that if I already had this exposure after taking one class, I should keep going.

Storm: Why New York?

Emmanuella: I wanted to come here because I knew it had a strong film community. It was either that or LA but I didn’t want to stay in California. Being somewhere different was important to me.

Storm: What was your favorite class at SVA so far?

Emmanuella: Production class. It’s where we actually get to make our own film. We learn all aspects of being on a set.

Storm: What’s your working ritual?

Emmanuella: Depends on what I’m shooting. Sometimes I don’t even write a script because there’s no narratives to them, it’s just experimental. But if it’s a music video, which I like doing more, it’s more creative for me. I like to have total control, my own idea and concept and then shoot it myself. I like to DP and direct. The type of colors I see when I hear the song, I write down everything that comes into my brain as I go, trying to find a theme that matches the song.

Storm: Favorite project at school?

Emmanuella: My short film called Mère d'Inri. It’s an experimental film about losing innocence and purity. It’s my favorite because of the cinematography.

Storm: What was the color scheme?

Emmanuella: Whites, reds, and greens. I got this girl to stand in Prospect Park and she was in this white dress, and then the white rose she’s holding starts to have blood on it because of the whole loss of innocence theme.

Storm: What is your conceptual approach?

Emmanuella: I like focusing on things that are dream like, and ethereal. I like things that’s aren’t so straight forward, more things you would see in your dreams, a fairytale. I also like to DP other people’s films, because I want to bring their vision to life too. I love framing shots, and lighting things, I just have the right eye for it whether it's my idea or someone else's.

Storm: What are you looking forward to?

Emmanuella: I’m excited for this music video to come out with Dead Leaf Echo. I did it all in super 16mm film, which is the first time I've done that. We filmed in the middle of nowhere in Long Island, it was a preserve, I guess. It was freezing and took months of planning. But I think it’s going to get really good reactions. I’m also just excited to learn more about cameras and lighting, it just never ends. I’m constantly trying to perfect it by being around people that are better than me. It’s essential to always push yourself to get out of those student shoots and get into more professional sets. I’ve learned so much more from doing things like short films and commercials by getting myself out there.

Storm: If you could give yourself a title in five years what would it be?

Emmanuella: Cinematographer. I’ll be 25, I would want to be DP’ing commercials and short films that are featured at festivals. There’s so much competition.

Storm: When people see your work, what five adjectives do you want them to walk away with?

Emmanuella: Refreshing, different, breathtaking, inspiring, and beautiful. I want to leave a mark, like, “Emmanuella did that.” I don’t want to be among a pool of cinematography, I want to stand out.

Storm: What makes your work stand out?

Emmanuella: That I work mostly in film. A lot of people have discontinued that medium and style and I think it’s so essential for color. There’s nothing wrong with digital, but film has that special quality.

Storm: What are some challenges that you run into with cinematography?

Emmanuella: Things not looking just as you imagined. You only get a certain percentage of what you imagined in your head. I always shoot for over 100% then you’ll get maybe 80%. I’ve learned the hard way, trying for only 50% gets you 20%. Now I try so hard to give over 100% every time in everything that I do.

Storm: Are you excited to take other art classes?

Emmanuella: Next year I’m taking another photography class, Darkroom Tech, and what we’re going to do is learn about tintypes, cyanotypes; analog stuff. It’s with many more different chemicals than just regular black and white developing.

Storm: What’s another art medium that you would pursue if you could?

Emmanuella: Painting, if I were good at it, because of the use of light. I can’t draw at all though.

Storm: What are some mentors you look up to?

Emmanuella: Emmanuel Lubezki, and not just because we have the same name… There’s this amazing DP, Kate Arizmendi, who I was able to work with and I look up to her so much. Ashley Connor is amazing, there’s so many. Reed Morano shot the Lemonade video, she’s super cool.

Storm: What is it you like about them?

Emmanuella: The fact that they’re girls. The percentage of women behind the camera is very low. Male DPs are really good but, you add a girl to that studio, they have a whole new perspective.

Storm: How do you think being a girl affects being a cinematography major?

Emmanuella: They don’t take you seriously. I’m 5’3’’ and all they can think is, how would she be able to carry a camera, or light this set? I love to do handheld filming, I had this giant thing on my shoulder and it didn’t phase me once. What frustrates me about it the most is that, we’re all there to learn. “Oh look over there, they don’t know how to do anything.” Yeah, we all don’t know, we all came to learn and become masters, no one IN college is a master.

Check out more of Emmanuella's work on her website: http://www.emmanuella-zachariou.com !

IG: @emmanuellazachariou



Cover Image Credit: Storm Ascher Photography

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If Taylor Swift Songs Were Types Of Alcohol

Because what's better than a drink and some T-Swift?
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With Taylor Swift's quick return to the music scene... and in a big way, might I add, I decided to associate some of the best Taylor Swift songs with alcohol.

I mean, who wouldn't want to drink to Taylor Swift's catchy melodies and perfect choruses to get over an ex or tell someone exactly how you feel about them?

Taylor Swift has been around for a decade at this point, and let's face it, pretty much all of her songs could go along with at least one type of alcohol.

1. "Welcome To New York" - Moscow Mule

It only makes sense. Visit the Big Apple and you have to indulge in the state's signature cocktail. Moscow mules are a New York classic, and if it's your first night in the city and you haven't bought yourself one, are you even in New York?

2. "Blank Space" - Everclear

Think about it... A night of drinking Everclear will leave you with a giant blank space the next day. You might also look like Taylor did in the music video.

3. "Tim McGraw" - Beer

Tim McGraw is a throwback to Taylor's high school love. What better way to reminisce than with a couple friends and a keg of your favorite cheap beer?

4. "Style" - Cristal Champagne

What's more stylish than with a glass of the most expensive bubbly you can find? Just like Taylor Swift, Cristal will never go out of style.

5. "Shake It Off" - Martini

Get it? Cause you shake a martini? I might be the only one who thinks that's funny but you might end up dancing a little bit with a martini in hand when "Shake It Off" come on the radio.

6. "Red" - Merlot


Red has to go along with a red wine. What else could go along with yet *another* T-Swift breakup song?

7. "22" - Margaritas

Let's face it, when you're 22, you really only drink margaritas. They're fun- and all the hipsters are probably drinking them too.

8. "Teardrops On My Guitar" - Southern Comfort

When your heart is broken, who are you going to turn to besides the only alcohol that gives you comfort...Southern Comfort that is.

9. "I Knew You Were Trouble" - Fireball

I can't say I've ever met anyone who spent a night with Fireball and didn't regret it the next morning.

10. "Look What You Mad Me Do" - Tequila

T-Swift's latest single is an angry one. What better to make you angry than tequila? Taylor basically just called out everyone who had ever talked about her behind her back and she did it in true Taylor fashion-by writing a song. She was probably drunk on tequila when she wrote it too.

11. ...Ready For It? - Bottomless Mimosas

Because it's just that good.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Board Games Are More Important Than You Think They Are

They've become a defining part of my family.

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Remember when you were a kid and you'd have a family game night? Or your friends would come over and you'd open the game cabinet and play at least three different games together?

Maybe it's just me, but those are some of my best memories from my childhood. My family loves games, board games, and electronic games.

Of course, as I got older, gaming consoles like PlayStation and Wii became more and more popular. That meant that the game cabinet was opened less and less, collecting dust.

Thankfully, I live in New Jersey near the shore and Hurricane Sandy left my family with no power for five days. Sure, it was scary not having power and walking around my neighborhood seeing fallen trees or roof shingles, but we were inland enough to not have had any flood water damage.

No power also meant no PlayStation or Wii games. The gaming cabinet was opened again, this time with vigor. Now, four years later, and I still think about sitting in the dark with a flashlight playing Scrabble with my family.

That was also the week I learned how to play Yahtzee and dominated my dad in every game. My sister constantly was looking for someone to play her to Battleship. We exhausted Rummikub.

The game was already a family favorite, and that's including extended family. Family barbeques had been ending with late night games of Rummikub for at least a year by the time Sandy hit.

We were ready to strategize and crunch numbers, but after day three, we never wanted to a number ever again.

This semester, there's been a surge of board game love again in my family. My sister bought Jenga, which we are currently trying to exhaust ourselves with. My favorite board game also had a comeback: Life.

I loved this game so much that I had the SpongeBob version as a kid. I would play it with my best friend, just the two of us, playing game after game of Bikini Bottom themed Life. Now, I have a car full of "kids" that I've started to make pets in my head. I can handle having five pretend dogs, but not five pretend kids.

I don't know what it is about board games, but my family has always had an affinity for them. We've gone through our cycles of playing video games and card games, but we always come back to the classics. Maybe it's more a defining part of my family than I originally thought.

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