“I want to give film a shot and take the risk now then never try at all.”
Allison Sample grew up in Windham Maine. She has recently graduated college and returned back to Maine to start her journey in the direction of her dream. Her dream was discovered during her junior year of college. She took a fine arts class to fill an art requirement and little did she know it would reveal a new passion in her life. Allison majored in Physics at Susquehanna University with a minor in Mathematics, Computer Science and Film as well as participating in Lacrosse. She humbly explained that the Mathematics minor pretty much comes with the major and how she pursued Computer Science along with Film because she thoroughly enjoys both subjects. The passion she discovered her junior year was in film when she had to take a fine arts class. Allison shared how she finds herself enjoying the creative process of making and directing films so much that she easily loses track of time. “I didn’t make a film until my senior year and that is when I really fell in love with it. If I can do 12 plus hours on this and not blink, that’s how I know doing this as a career would be ideal.” Allison graduated last May and felt the social expectation to pursue a career related to her major in Physics right away. She explained how she spent a great deal of time her senior year debating what path to take after college. Allison came to the conclusion, that although her path was not perfectly clear, she wanted to take a break from school before considering grad school and move back home while she explores different avenues. She knew one avenue in her heart and that is film.
“What aspects of film do you enjoy most because there is a lot that goes into it?”
“I like directing and the cinematography the most. Editing is fun too, it is a different type of fun, it is very solitary and time consuming but I enjoy it as well.” –Allison Sample
The following summer after graduation, Allison ran into a girl named Joanna Clarke. She knew Joanna on and off throughout childhood because they were both involved with theater growing up. Joanna mentioned how she wanted to participate in a 48 Hour film festival in Maine and needed a group of people to create a film. Allison spoke up and told Joanna that she had a camera and some filming experience from school and would love to partake in the film project. Soon after both girls jumped right in and paid the fee to enter the film festival. Since then they have created their own production company called She Smiled Productions. Allison shared that they have three films out right now but they intentionally named their company She Smiled “Productions” because they are also participating in other artistic expressions such as theater. This summer, She Smiled Productions will be show cased at the Port-Fringe theater festival in Portland, Maine. The play will be featuring Joanna Clarke as the lead actress along with Owen White and Allison will be behind the scenes directing it. Allison laughed how unintentionally She Smiled Productions’ projects tend to evolve into dark comedies. She Smiled Productions has a Facebook page, a website and is streaming their film projects on Youtube.
Allison’s dream career is to be a Cinematographer and she is actively pursuing her dream by creating films and taking on directing opportunities outside of She Smiled as well. Recently, Allison directed a play at the Windham Center Stage Theater called Almost Maine. She shared how it was intimidating at first but was glad she got the opportunity and had a blast directing it, while gaining more experience. Allison mentioned how with anything new there is that learning curve and you are not going to learn unless you jump right in and make something. Currently Allison is working a couple of part time jobs to support her passion and is in the planning process for filming a music video for a local artist and has a Documentary idea in the works. The Documentary is about young adults who are leading different lifestyles across the country. She said how her idea stemmed from her own walk of life, not knowing exactly which step to take next as a young adult. “I think a lot of people do not have a clear path as a young adult. It would be nice to show people that they are in the majority if they do not know what they want to do and it may work out perfectly.” She hopes that the Documentary brings a greater understanding for young adults, on how they are not alone not knowing what might be next and that it is ok to explore different paths.
“There isn’t one right path and doing what you want can be just as good as doing what you think you should do.”-Allison Sample
Check out this short film brought to you by She Smiled Productions!