Amber Fay is a graduating senior at Marymount Manhattan College receiving a BA in both Studio Art and Digital Media and Video Production. Originally from a small town in New Jersey, she completed a Fine Arts program at Middlesex County College while dually enrolled at South River High School. Initially, she intended to solely continue pursuing fine arts. She hadn’t considered entering the filmmaking field until learning about Marymount’s multi-major programs. During her time at Marymount, she’s made three short films with her film partner and former roommate, Madelyn Rancourt (BFA in Acting, MMC ‘23). Their first short, Toute Seule (2021), was screened at the Paris Liftoff Film Festival and received a Director’s Choice Award at the NJYFF Thomas Edison Film Festival. Their second film, EDITH (2022), was featured in the 2022 Junior Exhibition at the Hewitt Gallery, where it was screened beside Amber’s poster artwork.
Watching MTV at 13 led me to become a filmmaker at 20. As a lifelong artist and musician, I see music videos as the perfect amalgamation of all my interests. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember and playing guitar since middle school. Both are excellent conduits for expression, but alone they have limits. In painting, it can be difficult to convey complex emotions and concepts into a single frame. And though you can have a tactile and visual experience from live music, you’re otherwise limited to just one of your senses. Video production eliminates these restrictions and allows for more dynamic expression. I intend to pursue music video production moving forward, but I have also developed a deep interest in filmmaking and acting during my time at Marymount. What I love about music videos is that a story already exists within the music, so the visuals are the most prominent aspect. You have the built-in opportunity to be experimental. Narrative filmmaking requires much more structure, which I find daunting. So, I used this project as a way to try things I’ve shied away from previously, like working with a fully fleshed-out narrative and diegetic dialogue. My previous short films, Toute Seule (2021) and EDITH (2022) are quite music-video-esque, making This Is Not About A Funeral the black sheep of my work so far. This was my first time scripting and directing, which are not my strong suits. I prefer cinematography and art direction. This was the perfect opportunity to push me out of my comfort zone into other roles. I learned so much about where my skillset lies and which positions I prefer from this experience.