A CONVERSATION WITH: SAKI

Photograph of Sakinah Bowman by Beth Holladay

Photograph of Sakinah Bowman by Beth Holladay

This is the first blog post of our series, A Conversation WITH. As a media organization, we want to highlight members of our team that are doing awesome work with Wide Angle, while also pursuing their own creative goals.

Sakinah Bowman - she/her pronouns - is a Multimedia Apprentice for Wide Angle Productions (WAP). Originally from Philadelphia, Saki moved to Baltimore to study Screenwriting and Animation at Morgan State University. She is a 22-year-old filmmaker, poet, curator of frequency, and a woman of many talents.

Saki first learned about Wide Angle from her film department at college. She volunteered for a WAP project as an extra hand on set. After volunteering she learned about an internship opportunity and immediately jumped on it. She is primarily an editor, but does everything from editing to going out on shoots as cam op, to sometimes audio and lighting. Reflecting on her roles at WAP, Saki said, “I’m getting the full experience of what it means to work for a production company while still being under the format of learning and growing my skills.”

 

Current read: Love, Freedom, Aloneness: The Koan of Relationships by Osho

Song on repeat: “Deja Vu” by Teena Marie

Favorite spot in Baltimore: Rawlings Conservatory

 

How has working in media impacted you? 

I’ve always been really into storytelling. When I was in fifth grade, I used to be obsessed with Egypt, writing, and cooking - I’m a Taurus - so, in my innocent mind, these loves created the desire to write a cookbook. By the end of high school, I realized that editing is the branch of the filmmaking tree where you compose the visual narrative of the story that you’re conveying. Working in media allows me to be a translator of ideas. I can take something that was born from thoughts and transmit it through filmmaking.  My mind thinks very layered-ly and I like the nuances of - okay I can add this color to change this tone, I can add this sound to drive this emotion home, I can cut here to give this effect. Just to be able to curate that experience for an audience is very powerful for me and to be able to give people a little bit of how I see things. I can create, change, and weave perspectives… realities. 

How do you want people to use or interact with media?

I would love for more people - especially youth - to be empowered to work through their traumas, play, and create, through visual storytelling and media. There’s so many different branches that extend from this tree-like art, and avenues for youth to be able to engage in a way that is healing for them. Approaching these forms of expression with childlike joy can ensure that you’re content because you had fun, were present, and in flow. I want more humans to be able to empower themselves by using media as a tool to express the worlds in their minds or what they may be going through; they may not have people to talk to about it and media is a way to be heard and seen, fully.

Photo by Brandon Towns ( @b.towns )

Photo by Brandon Towns (@b.towns)

Photo by David Sloan

Photo by David Sloan

What are you hoping to leave Wide Angle with? 

I’m a creative first. My time and my apprenticeship thus far has been teaching me to honor the technological aspect of it - the left brain. Being here has taught me a lot about work flow.  Each day I’m learning how to be more decisive and direct and trusting in myself and my team. Filmmaking is a collaborative process and being present in each moment and able to grow and adapt is essential. The tools I learn here empower me to have the technological training needed to move forward in my creative projects. Right brain meets left brain. 


How did you notice that you responded to challenge? Give a specific example. 

Initially, when I first started working with Wide Angle, I responded to challenge in a way where my chest would get tight and I would feel it in my body. I’m somewhat of a perfectionist and it can be a learning curve to get used to people being like, “No that’s not the way you should be doing that, you should do it like this.” At first it was a little difficult but now I look forward to it because I respect the hours, the time, and the perspectives of my peers.

One time, I messed up the audio on a shoot. I thought we were recording audio the whole time and we were, but we weren’t recording it into the boom, we were recording it somewhere else. I was extremely embarrassed because I only had one job and it’s like you just hold the thing. David [the Production Director of WAP] was really good about being solution-oriented and turned it into a teachable moment. Before going back to the location we watched videos on ADR [Automatic Dialogue Replacement] and decided that this was a great time to use this method of audio cleanup to correct the mistake. I made a mistake but it wasn’t the end of the world; we didn’t have to reschedule the whole shoot, and I learned a new skill firsthand. Messing up wasn’t ideal, but it was a really great moment for me to expand my tools and be easy on myself and know that things happen. It’s about being teachable and remaining guidable that will help other people help you. 

 
Photo by Brandon Towns ( @b.towns )

Photo by Brandon Towns (@b.towns)

What is something that you learned about working with your team? 

Trust. I learned how to communicate when I don’t know something because sometimes it can be in our societal programming that we just feel like, “I don’t know this, I’m going to learn it on my own because I don’t want to look like I don’t know something.” That’s another really good thing about this apprenticeship: they know that I won’t know things and are okay with that and are here to help me grow my toolkit and skillset.  Being a really good team player, knowing how to take criticism and allowing it to motivate you. It’s definitely been a huge motivator in my craftsmanship.

 

Describe Wide Angle in one word.

Growth, expansion, ascension, oh - acceleration. I’m working with commissioned projects for actual clients and I’m learning how to do it while I’m doing it. My growth is being accelerated. When I was studying film, the things that I’ve learned here is so much more *finger snaps* then there. I’m learning in real time while I’m working with a client, around people that have years of expertise, and it’s accelerating my growth tremendously. 

What sparked your curiosity today? 

The desire to be fully present in each moment.

What nourishes you? 

Being alone with my plants, a journal, and my inner child. Playing.

What is your dream project?

I feel like that’s a very aligned question because I was up until 3am working on my website. I am a Galactic Shaman and an energy worker. I’m working on a site that I’ll be launching at the beginning of the Galactic New Year. [According to the Mayan calendar, the New Year of the planet is on July 26th]. It’ll feature blog posts, poetic visuals, podcasts, and my soul services. I’m intersecting my spirituality with my media skills. My dream project is to be able to fully live a life where I’m able to utilize film as a visual, to assist in my soul mission of igniting souls and uplifting consciousness. 

Saki’s website is now live! Check it out: selestialDrip.com

See some of the WAP projects Saki has worked on: Choice FC and Made in Baltimore.

 
Photo by Selsabeel Abdelhamid ( @sel.sa.beel )

Photo by Selsabeel Abdelhamid (@sel.sa.beel)

Photo by  @perfectpeelz

Photo by @perfectpeelz


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MEET THE AUTHOR

Hannah Shaw is the Communications Assistant at WAYM. She is a multidisciplinary designer and received her BS in Marketing from UMD and MA in Social Design from MICA.


Wide Angle Youth Media