Education: BA Boston College, MFA New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia
My mother is Nigerian and Jamaican born in London. My father is Cuban and Jamaican born in Kingston. I grew up all along the East Coast due to my mother's work. I have lived in Africa, Asia and Europe and permanently moved to Los Angeles in 2017.
"...your work influences society. You have the potential of having the SAME if not greater effect on history as Marlon Brando and Barbara Walters without the headaches and politics that come with Oscars and Emmys."
What got you interested in digital content or content storytelling as we call it?
I fell in love with filmmaking during my senior year at Boston College. It was after pulling an all nighter editing my thesis project. Something in me clicked. It felt right. I knew making films was what I wanted to do. It did not feel like work anymore. It became my passion.
What does a typical day look like - or give the reader an idea what you do when out in the field.
Currently I translate dialogue on a Netflix show. My day begins with a morning briefing with the editor and assistant editor. They tell me what they need translated and any additional segments they would like me translate. For the rest of the day I work at my station listening to the dialogue in the cut and subtitle it. Organization, communication and prioritization are important in the cutting room. It ensures that we make our deadline on time and ultimately keep the client (Netflix) happy.
Why has digital content become so important in the information marketplace?
Digital content is important because its endless/boundless. The internet has created an equal playing field. Unlike ten years ago, there were limitations as so how information was distributed. Today many organizations have made their archives digital. Now with everything becoming digital you can get information in real time/ up to the minute and with archives becoming digital fact checking is quicker and information is more accurate.
What advice would you give any young aspiring content producer (filmmaker, producer, director)?
If you are already in this field stick with it. If you are thinking about it go for it. It is totally worth it! The hours are long, the pay can (sometimes) be low and the job is thankless, BUT your work influences society. You have the potential of having the SAME if not greater effect on history as Marlon Brando and Barbara Walters without the headaches and politics that come with Oscars and Emmys. ;)
Why is it important to ensure that the people who define and create content reflect the audience/readers?
We need diversity to prevent us from telling single stories. Its important that every voice is heard and every perspective is told. This limits us from forming myopic views of the world around us and improves our efforts in creating a more equal and just society.
Check out some of Ayana's work:
My American Fund