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Video Editing


Tessa Morell discusses the experimental short, Absence of Light | Best Student Film

Absence of Light


A coming of age story following two boys and their adventures as they discover an unexpected connection.


A Q&A with Tessa Morell

Tell us your film name, the category you won for, and where the idea for your film came from?

Absence of Light, Best Student Film, I had been wanting to make a film for some time and honestly just brain-dumped until I found a story I fell in love with. I am all about creating stories surrounding subjects some find "uncomfortable".

What were the toughest aspects of creating this film? How did you overcome them?

Honestly collaborating. This was the first film where I collaborated with a composer so it was an entirely new process to me. Through open communication and sharing ideas, we were able to come up with something we are both happy with and proud of.

What inspired you to enter into the world of filmmaking?

Since the early vine days with vine star Zach King, I have been fascinated by film production and being able to create whatever I want on a screen. And of course several movies that have motivated me since to create and grow.

Do you have long-term goals for filmmaking? What are they?

I am going to SCAD for Film and Television where I hope to get my degree in Film Production and continue my career after graduation by directing films for the rest of my life!

Tell us a funny anecdote or a memorable moment from creating this film.

The water scenes were definitely interesting to film to say the least...our poor actors had to jump in the freezing lake in the middle of March for this film, but we made up for it with blankets and hot chocolate afterwards!

Do you have any film-making influences or people you look up to?

Jennifer Lee and Greta Gerwig for sure. Powerful women in the film industry that I will always look up to and strive to be like.

Do you have a favorite film project that you have done? Why?

Besides this film, I think my favorite is a film I made for pride month in 2021. My friend and I filmed it all in about 48 hours and got it out on the last day of pride month. It is an experimental documentary about the journey of transitioning genders in teenage years.

What advice would you share with someone wanting to make their first movie?

Don't let others work make you feel like you're not creative or passionate enough. The fact that you want to create is enough to justify your work and talent.

What are you going to do next?

I am hoping to finish my biggest project yet by June. It is a semi-feature length film of Absence of Light. It dives deeper into who the characters are and their story, I am very excited about it.

Where can we find more about you? Plug any social media links or info you'd like to share!


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