Meet this week’s featured Zooppa Member from Reno, Nevada, Cassandra Hemsley! Cassandra has submitted to several Zooppa campaigns, most recently taking 1st Place in the Hormel: Real Recipes for Real Life contest. You can find the winning video here, and keep reading to learn a little bit more about her!
Tell us about yourself, personally and creatively.
I am a wife and new mom. Recently, most of my creative projects are based on my daughter’s interest and schedule, but fortunately I have the luxury of being able to work from home. I am a freelance video editor and designer and share my office with my husband who also works from home as an online high school math teacher. I’m living a dream come true as I’m surrounded by people I love while doing work I love.
What first interested you in film?
My mom! She’s the most fearlessly creative person I know. She has great ideas that, coupled with my “videographer’s eye”, make for exciting productions and interesting times together. She encouraged me (forced me, actually) to enroll in my first video class during high school. It was there I discovered an enduring passion for filmmaking.
What drew you to the Zooppa community?
A little bit of jealousy and a lot of looking for a creative outlet for my work! I had noticed a fellow videographer had won a prestigious award for his work in my city, I was inspired to search for a place that would allow me to utilize and develop my video-making skills. When I found the variety of quirky, fresh, and engaging videos at Zooppa.com, I thought ‘this is IT!’. I love the opportunities Zooppa has given me. There is so much creative freedom and I also realized I am the target demographic many videos are being created for…That insight is both comforting and challenging as I work to produce creations that interest and attract people like me.
What do you like most about crowdsourced film contests?
I love that crowdsourcing gives me, an independent video creator, direct access to clients. The clear parameters help me grasp what a client needs or is envisioning while fueling my own creativity. And Crowdsourcing feeds artists’ competitive spirits while upping everyone’s game. I like that!
What do you like to do when you’re not creating video masterpieces?
Oh, changing diapers and having an unpredictable sleep schedule of course! But a perfect day would also include spending time outdoors, hiking, a cup of good coffee, baking sweets, and enjoying the luxury of time to soak it all in. Hanging out with friends and family is always a bonus too!
Where is home for you?
The high desert land called Reno, NV (come check it out…it’s better than you probably imagine!)
Where do/did you go to school? How has your education influenced your filmmaking?
An excellent video broadcasting program during my high school years introduced me to the art of creating videos and led me directly to working in the field. One amazing teacher — Mrs. Tanner — encouraged my expanding dreams and aspirations. Having creative freedom to explore the video craft led me to receive my Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Art; it’s where I honed my skills and learned to take creative risks.
What/where do you find inspiration for your films? Share a bit about your creative process.
My family usually inspires ideas… sometimes even intentionally! When I am working on a project, ideas come from everywhere. My best ideas usually come to me when I am busy doing anything but trying to think of a good idea. Like when I’m sleeping.
Which was your favorite Zooppa contest to participate in? Why?
I loved going camping for the Hormel contest, sharing some of my favorite ideas and recipes that my family actually uses. Convincing my husband to dance the shopping cart dance with our daughter in front of curious spectators at our local Staples store was also a lot of fun!
What are you currently working on (job, films)?
I am currently working on a project for TCF, Mercy (a non-profit raising funds for and awareness about the 1.6 million orphaned children living in Mozambique). A few years ago, I had the opportunity to travel there to interview children and aid workers. I shot a lot of footage to illustrate a typical day in the life of a Mozambican orphan. It’s the type of work I always hope to pursue even as I pick up more advertising and commercial projects.
What are you hoping to achieve in the future?
Every project expands my knowledge and abilities as a filmmaker – even the ones that aren’t “winners”. I want to use my talents, knowledge and gifts for entertaining but admit I enjoy the competition of pursuing and completing a successful project.