My name is Anissa Cooper and I am a 17 year old filmmaker. I currently work with Lil Filmmakers, an independent movie production company ran by youth. I joined Lil Filmmakers in 2009 as the co-writer of the short horror film Formula X. And as they say, the rest was history. From there I caught the bug. I decided that I couldn’t get enough of making movies so I ventured off into other fields of filmmaking. Along with writing our first full length feature film, Unwanted Behavior, I made the brave decision to helm the anti-bullying film. During the process of filming I learned a lot about myself. I also learned what I needed to change in order to be successful in the film industry.
My life changed in an instant when I decided to be a director because I was also deciding to become a leader. Nothing was easy about the job, but I have never been happier than when I was behind the camera. After Unwanted Behavior, I took on more projects. During the school year, I volunteered as an assistant film instructor for Lil Filmmakers’ after school program. With that opportunity I managed to make a short PSA on how the media affects the way young girls see themselves called I Love Being Me. Two years later, I began working on our first feature film, Erudition along with my writing partner Jakim Lett. Erudition is a dramatic thriller about a war weary society that elects a new leader with an unorthodox approach to ending violence and poverty; banning books and independent thinking.
Erudition was written with the idea in mind that knowledge is the starting point to fulfilling your destiny. A fulfilled destiny brings happiness to people. We wanted to utilize humanistic ideas in modern, innovative ways. Currently, I am a writer, director, producer and editor for Lil Filmmakers. I also serve as an Administrative Assistant to the Executive Director of Lil Filmmakers, Janine Spruill . I must say I have certainly moved up in the world. Aside from trying to become the best filmmaker I can possibly be, I am also a senior at Bodine High School for International Affairs in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have big dreams and an even bigger imagination. I’m one of those teen- aged girls that believes what I do will change the world. I aspire to be some one that will inspire others.
I don’t live in a fairytale world where I think everything that I dream to have will magically appear in front of me. I live in a world understanding that if I work hard enough to actually create that magic, it will happen. I’m not the average teen filmmaker. I don’t limit my art to just my surroundings, I take it beyond the horizon. With my pen, I go to places in my dreams and meet people I’ve only read about.
I make movies with the purpose of changing lives. If that makes me nerd, then so be it.
I Love Being Me PSA- http://www.youtube.com/