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Ella Oliveira, 2020
Photo by Ella Oliveira

Ella Oliveira: What It’s Like Working in the Film Industry During a Pandemic

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ella Oliveira, an independent filmmaker from Orlando, Florida. Ella became involved in filmmaking in 2017 through her writing. She knew she always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t until she picked up an old Canon AE-1 analog camera that she realized her passion for images and motion pictures and to tell individuals stories through the medium. Ella then shifted her writing from novels to scripts. Since she got involved in the industry, she has taken on many different roles, more often than not writing and directing. Currently, she is focusing on producing her first feature-length film. Today we sat down to discuss Ella’s thoughts on the industry and how things have changed throughout the pandemic.

Her Campus (HC): How has working in the film industry changed for you since the start of the pandemic?

Ella Oliveira (EO): Working in the film industry has changed for me since the beginning of the pandemic in many different ways. The pandemic has completely devastated the industry and has redefined it in many different ways too. Before the pandemic I had all these plans to hit the ground running and work on different productions but after the pandemic struck, every single production was canceled. This shift forced me to look inwards and to begin writing scripts about my own authentic experiences.

HC: What shifts do you see happening in film and TV production post-pandemic?

EO: The shifts I see happening in film and TV production post-pandemic are already beginning to happen during the pandemic. The shift by studios to release their blockbuster films on streaming services is huge for the industry. Post-pandemic, I believe the accessibility to all different kinds of motion picture work will be facilitated through these streaming giants. In this way, I am excited about the shifts happening.

empty movie theater
Photo by Felix Mooneeram from Unsplash

HC: Do you think theaters will be able to survive or do you believe streaming services will take over the industry? Why or why not?

EO: I believe theaters will be able to survive only if they shift their business models to work with streaming services because as it is streaming services have completely taken over the industry. They have the scale to attract more consumers and the budget to produce the highest quality films, beating out the once renowned Hollywood studios.

HC: In light of these difficult times, how have you continued to draw inspiration for your films?

EO: During these difficult times, I have written more scripts than ever in my career and I’ve been at the peak of my creativity. With so many social justice movements on the rise and my work primarily focusing on this kind of work, I’ve been insanely productive as the pandemic has been raging. A lot has been exposed in this past year and I find it imperative to make work that continues to push for a more sustainable, compassionate and equal world.

Ella Oliveira film script
Photo by Ella Oliveira

After getting to learn more about Ella and her take on the industry, I am excited to see what’s in store for both Ella and media production in the future.

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Gabriela is a senior at Florida State University majoring in Retail Entrepreneurship. Gabriela’s interests include fashion, beauty, fitness and spending time outside. After graduation Gabriela hopes to move to New York to pursue a masters degree in Fashion Management.
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