We grabbed some time with filmmaker Zoe Blake to chat about her film, Uninvited, which has achieved close to 2 million views on YouTube!
Uninvited was selected to screen at the Melbourne Women in Film Festival in 2018 and since then Zoe has received emails from festivals all around the world, through YouTube, asking Uninvited to be screened at their event. The film has been shown at the Queerbee Film Festival in London, The Intercontinental Film Festival in New York, and other festivals in Toronto & in South Korea. Zoe is also often approached by other LGBTQIA+ YouTube channels to collaborate.
Zoe’s motivation for making her project, Uninvited, stems from her own life experiences. Although the film is not based on her explicitly, as she identifies as a queer person, Zoe explains that she has common experiences with her peers and she knew stories like this needed to be shared.
Speaking to SAE from the US Zoe said, “I wanted to make LGBTQIA+ content that could also be for straight people to get an understanding of what it is like for an LGBTQIA+ person falling in love and the pressures faced by people in this community. I chose to set the story in high school, as I knew this would resonate with my target market (15- to 20-year-olds). I’ve also noticed on YouTube that it is, mainly this demographic, who watch my film.”
Zoe’s advice for studying film at SAE
My advice for those considering studying film at SAE would be that there is much much more to learn than you ever think and the more research you do into filmmaking and storytelling, the better your art will be.
Don’t wait for your lecturer to give you the assignment to create, you have access to the best equipment, take advantage of it. Hire out gear and make films and upload them to YouTube and don’t wait for your ‘best’ creation to upload it. Upload and use YouTube for feedback to see your own personal growth.
You can make a 5-minute movie on your phone with your friends!
YouTube as a filmmaking tool
“I have nearly 2 million views! I can’t believe it.
My film took months to take off (on YouTube). I was never trying to get lots of views or anything and never did I think it would reach 2 million. One day, almost overnight, it just randomly got to 30k and that blew my mind. Then it just kept going up and up. This has solidified my beliefs about sharing online.”
“Film Festivals cost money each time and winning almost always doesn’t get you a cash prize. Yes, you get recognition in the industry but young students often can’t afford that. I always wanted to use YouTube as my platform, as it’s so active and can get you just as much industry exposure using it. Comments also help as it’s live feedback about your content. I have gotten a lot of opportunities through YouTube and networked in a way I dreamed of at SAE. YouTube has changed the way I want to make films for sure.”
Why she loves filmmaking
“I have accomplished reaching people all over the world with my story. I get emails, DMs, and comments all the time from LGBTQIA+ people who often make me tear up with their response to my film.
Young girls and boys have come out to me, told me they showed my film to their parents in order to come out, as well as LGBTQIA+ people from very unaccepting places in the world saying that my film made them feel more confident to be who they are.”