Aspiring filmmaker shares her passion for storytelling


A Star in Her Own Film

Zachary Reyna, Staff Writer

Emma Lea Duncan is a student who is pursuing her passion for directing films and is getting started early. Emma is a junior and is already in Film Design 2 and is taking auditions and preparing for her future productions.

Duncan’s first film began when she was young with her grandpa.“The first film I ever made was, it was a thanksgiving dinner. And I forced all my cousins to be in it. I was about maybe seven years old at the time and I stole my grandpa’s camera out of his truck and said, “Okay, let’s make it, let’s make a movie.” So they all did and I started, my grandpa taught me how to edit.”

Other than her grandpa her favorite director is Steven Spielberg, the director of Jaws. “My grandpa showed me the movie Jaws. Normal kids would be like, oh, a man getting eaten by a shark. at’s scary. My mind goes, a man getting eaten by a shark. at’s pretty cool. I wonder how they did that”.

Duncan said, “people don’t realize that (Spielberg) is an extremely big part of the film.”

Duncan started the lm design courses early than most other students at Akins because of her sheer determination to work in lm. Normally, students have to wait until they are juniors before they can be in the Film 1 class, but she was able to join early as a teachers’ assistant.

Duncan isn’t exactly sure where her path in film will lead her, but she plans to be an educator helping the new generation of actors.

“A lot of people would think I would go to college for film, but I don’t want to do that. I want to go into college for theater director of education.”

However, she does plan to have a minor in film studies so she can keep producing movies on her own.

Outside of film she enjoys doing photography in her own time as a therapeutic thing. “If I’m like, sad, I’ll go and walk around the block and take pictures of people and things,” she said.

One of Duncan’s collaborators is senior Alexis Rebollar, who met her while writing scripts in the film class. Making films with classmates can be intense, he said.

“You actually have to put up with a lot of work but not to be negative,” he said. “I actually kind of enjoy it because you’re actually experiencing a challenge.”

Currently, Duncan is directing a short film called Every Day Since, which she wrote herself. The movie is a drama about two students with difficult home lives who find solace in each other. The film should be done and edited by winter break but it still doesn’t have a deadline just yet.