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Meet Melanie Green of MG Productions

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Green.

Melanie, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in Chula Vista in the Otay Ranch area with my both my parents and an older sister. Both my parents were in the military, and my dad was often away on a naval ship while my mom had a regular 9-5 job.

I would see my mom take on most of the responsibilities of a mom and dad in the household and my sister and I pulled our own weight as well to help her out. I feel like a lot of my gusto, and the need to want to handle things on my own stemmed from that. In 2008, in my sophomore year of high school, was when my filmmaking journey began. I was introduced to Sony Vegas Pro, a video editing software, to edit a project for school.

From there, I started playing around with the program a bit more to see what else I can do with it. This fascination grew into a hobby where I started editing video clips from films to be uploaded onto YouTube. And then as time progressed I started delving into the world of filmmaking. I began watching those behind the scenes DVD featurettes for movies, specifically the Star Wars prequel series.

I was so fascinated by the production aspect of how a film was made from the set building, the visual effects, and the stunts. Seeing everyone working in different departments pertaining to their craft was inspiring. I was so inspired that I wanted to start making my own movies and that’s when I begged my parents to buy me my first camera which was a Sony Handycam that recorded onto those DV tapes.

That camera was pretty much attached to my hand from then on; I just wanted to record everything. Throughout my early college years, I kept researching as much as I could about filmmaking. I watched various tutorials on YouTube on cinematography, editing, color grading, and special effects. I decided to put this knowledge to the test and participated in local film projects such as the 48 Film Project in San Diego as a production assistant and took on various freelance gigs to gain experience.

There were times when I worked on gigs for free because monetary compensation wasn’t of value to me at the time especially starting out as a novice. I’d much rather gain the experience and learn from professionals on the sidelines on how to run a production before I went off on my own. As time progressed, all that free labor paid off, my filmmaking knowledge expanded and I eventually started working behind the camera and traded in my old camera for a Canon DSLR.

I started partaking in various film projects and editing jobs to build my portfolio and gain even more experience, but this time I was getting paid. Now, I am working a 9-5 at a local TV news station as a full-time Video Editor, but I still make time for freelance and volunteer work on the side to keep the passion alive. My most notable achievement was making a Star Wars fan film called ‘Dark Fury’ that I wrote, directed, shot and produced and has won its first film award competition in Italy this past month and has been selected for others.

My biggest takeaway in my filmmaking journey thus far was the creative individuals I’ve met along the way. I look at filmmaking as a team effort and surrounding myself with individuals that share that same passion as I do is enriching, and it reminds me why I love what I do. What I hope to accomplish in the near future is to continue making films with a platform that gives recognition to individuals whose voices are often silenced or faded in the background in mainstream Hollywood.

Has it been a smooth road?
I feel my biggest struggle would be my tendency of biting off more than I can chew sometimes. I consider myself a very passionate person when it comes to film and photography. Everything about it just makes me excited, curious, and inspired, so I often pile on projects on top of projects on top of even more projects and pretty soon I’m drowning in the workload. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do, and the feeling of putting together a production and actually finishing it is the best feeling in the world for me.

However my downfall is, I get so fixated on my work that the daily necessities in my everyday life suffer like self-care both mentally and physically and my relationships with friends and family. But you live, and you learn, and I’ve gotten better at properly scheduling my time to where both my career and my personal life are equally balanced.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with MG Productions – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I started my business on top of my regular 9-5 as a Video Editor for a local tv news station, I am freelance videographer and photographer, so I produce content for clients to use for promotional and personal use. Video editing will always be my first love, but I’ve been mostly taking on projects as a cinematographer and/or director.

Eventually, I hope to move to LA and work in the film industry. I would like to create more films that focus heavily on stories about women, people of color and the queer community. With the lack of female filmmakers in Hollywood in the past years, it’s inspiring to see that statistic is steadily progressing today. When I was growing up, I didn’t see a lot of characters in film or tv that had unconventional traits such as myself, and it made me feel like my voice wasn’t important or interesting enough to be heard, so I was discouraged to even try putting myself and my art out there.

What was even more disheartening was the lack of queer, women of color behind the camera as well. But I think of those statistics, and it only makes me work even HARDER. My platform is to tell stories of and by queer, women of color like myself because those stories are often put on the back burner and its time to shed some light on those people and their stories. I hope to be an example to people like me especially young girls and boys and to spread the message that you can be successful and the color of your skin will not be a deterrent of that success.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I’ve started venturing out around San Diego more and let me tell you–there are A LOT of hidden gems in this city. I feel we’ve all, especially myself, have relied on our cars to take us everywhere, it’s nice to actually roam around the city on foot or with those cool looking scooters scattered everywhere in the city and just marvel at our surroundings outside.

I’ve just recently started doing this once a week thing where I use one of those cool looking scooters and just ride around downtown, North Park and Hillcrest and just take pictures. I like to call it ‘Scoot n’ Shoot.’ I could do without those occasional road hogs though.

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