Film & Video '13 alum Mandy Freas has had a truly exciting year. An independent producer, Mandy teamed up with her brother to create a successful pilot that recently got picked up by a major distributor. We reached out to Mandy to hear first-hand about what’s going on.
You've had some amazing success lately. Can you give us a quick rundown of everything that's going on?
My brother Gordon and I were named on Sony's list of the "Top 10 Emerging Filmmakers of 2018" and we were the grand prize winners of Sony PlayStation's "Emerging Filmmakers Program." We sold an original sci-fi VR series to Sony Interactive Entertainment called "Hyperreal"and it will air exclusively on PlayStation Vue starting June 15th. We sold an original series to Billboard that will air this summer (date TBA) on their new YouTube channel and we have a feature film and documentary in the works!
What most excites you about the work you're doing now?
I love that we are able to work in so many different projects. We believe in the power of a well told story, and its ability to transcend different genres. Whether we are working on an original scripted idea or a documentary with a journalistic point of view, being able to convey these stories on screen is an honor and a privilege.
In the past few years, what was the path like that brought you to this point?
There is no "right" way to make a film. There is no direct path to success. If you believe that you have a story that needs to be told-- tell it. I don't know if it's true, but I was told that the Coen brothers went door to door asking for money to fund their first film. If they can do it- so can you!
Did your time at Drexel prepare you for what's happening professionally right now?
Drexel prepares you to be a leader of your field. The best leaders, in any field, have at least a basic understanding of every job that they manage- Drexel teaches you that.
If you could go back in time, what would you most like to tell your freshman self?
Know what you don't know, but know who to ask for help. There is a plethora of things that I don't know when it comes to filmmaking, and I will forever consider myself a student who is constantly learning, reading, and asking fellow filmmakers to share their knowledge and experiences. The best thing you can do for yourself is to learn when to ask for advice.