Story by Elise Moulton

This summer, junior Nina McMullen will be partaking in a prestigious and selective filmmaking workshop through New York University (NYU). McMullen was one of 20 out of 800 applicants admitted into the program. McMullen found out that she was accepted to the program during Spanish class. “I remember Maggie Stessman jumping up and down with me. I was surrounded with great people which made the experience of finding out I got accepted even better,” McMullen said.

The application process was online and consisted of short answer questions and a personal essay. “I think a big reason why I got accepted was that instead of answering the questions, I tried to tell a story that I thought pertained to each question. I just made sure to be myself in all the answers,” McMullen said.

Photo provided by Nina McMullen.

McMullen found out about the workshop by browsing different college websites. “I had no clue high school programs were even a thing and the application process was super brief so I decided to give it a go,” McMullen said. The workshop will be this summer from July 10 to August 6, but has been moved to online due to COVID-19. “My brother lives in New York so I will probably still go out to NY for the month of July anyway,” McMullen said.

The workshop will consist of individual work, editing, and collaborating with professors. “My days will be from about 8 a.m. until well after sun down,” McMullen said. The goal is to produce one main short film along with a few side assignments of music videos and promotional videos throughout the month. McMullen has had a few opportunities working on video projects through M-beats as well as a short film she produced and submitted to the Journalism Education Association Contest.

McMullen started out with an interest in acting and writing. “My dream was to write for Saturday Night Live, actually,” McMullen said. McMullen took a few acting classes which she loved but couldn’t see herself doing forever. “My acting coach recommended film, and people kept telling me to try it, so eventually I did. Over the summer I made some short films and I literally fell in love,” McMullen said. Right now McMullen is hugely inspired by The Lonely Island and Please Don’t Destroy, two popular comedy trios.

McMullen is excited to see where this passion will take her in the future. “This is absolutely my passion and I want to go to college for film and hopefully this will be my career,” McMullen said.