Trigger Warning: Themes of Sexual Assault
"Wannabe" is a drama, comedy film that I wrote and directed in 2019 with a cast of friends and a crew of mainly local filmmakers excluding my cinematographer (Toby Romero) who is a friend from NYU who flew in to shoot the project. It is the first proper short film I've ever produced. In high school, I made countless videos and even attempted direct a short ("That's Life"), which I used as my NYU application film. However, "Wannabe" was the first project that I properly prepped for and executed while utilizing everything I had learned about filmmaking during my first year at Tisch.
The film centers around Eric, a socially awkward photographer who goes to a party with a group of his best guy friends. Leading up to and while at the party, Eric feels building pressure from those around him to act and behave in a certain way. Simultaneously, Eric runs into his crush, Anna, who is drunk and vulnerable at the same party. "Wannabe" explores the darker sides and complex aspects of high school party culture and toxic masculinity and how teenagers can be severely affected by peer pressure and cruel expectations.
"Wannabe" was selected as an honorable mention at the 43rd Annual Portland International Film Festival. You can watch it online now: