Writer and filmmaker Tisha Robinson-Daly told first-year students in the Visual Thinking course at Moore that they will struggle, as she did in making her films, but that they should keep trying.
Daly addressed the students as they take on the project theme of ‘Self.’ She talked about how she kept hearing the word ‘no’ as she pursued her dream to make films.
“I would allow other people to tell me my work wasn’t worth it and I would retreat to a place of self-doubt,” she said.
But after she gave birth to her now 5 ½ year-old daughter Mia, Daly said things changed.
“Mia was fearless,” she said. “She was nothing like me, but she was everything I wanted to be.”
Daly screwed up her courage and submitted her film script about the danger professional tower climbers face for a third time, and was invited to attend the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Intensive this year.
“The script they rejected in 2016 was the same one they accepted in 2017,” Daly said. “I changed. I believed in my product and my work, and Sundance did, too.”
Daly is currently shooting the documentary HIGH, which she says is her tribute to fallen tower climbers and their families. She became interested in the subject after a friend who works in telecommunications told her about the gruesome death of a tower climber. She is using the film to advocate for tower climber safety.
“It was really neat to hear about how hearing one story from her friend made her want to advocate for an entire group,” said Katarina Comroe '21, an Animation & Game Arts major. “I feel like that will make me think about it more if I hear something in the future.”
Daly told the students she found ways to finance every film she had made. “It wasn’t easy to do,” she explained, telling them she has a full-time job and makes films on the weekends.
“You may have journeys like mine where you have one door after another shut in your face,” she said. “But don’t cower in the corner. Every no will lead to a yes. Believe in your voice, and never allow anyone or anything, especially yourself, to silence that.”
Watch the director short of the film HIGH here.