By Siena Twiss

 I have been a storyteller since I was 9 years old. Picking up my dad’s iPad, grabbing my friends next door, and using my loudmouth and bossy nature to direct them in my stories. Some days they were zombies, other days dancers or girls in love. They’d dress up in costumes and ridiculous makeup and we would all work together to bring a story to life. As I grew up so did my skills. An iPad turned into my first camera, my neighbors to classmates, an app to premiere and a backyard to a real set. 

Sienna Twiss as a kid, dressed up for Halloween with friends.

 Filmmaking is what I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember. It was the only thing I ever knew for sure, the only thing that ever made me feel like I could really do something. I grew up in a very competitive family, who’s passion lied in mainly sports. I gave their way a shot. I joined the track team, swam for several years, tried soccer and lacrosse; but nothing stuck the way art did. A typical tale, but my journey landed me in the Film and Television department at Drexel University and now JTWO. 

One of the most monumental things that has ever happened to me during my filmmaking career thus far was being the first female DP at a film program made for young people. This program has been running for over 20 years. It was my first look into what this industry looks like for women and how important it is to use your voice, and more importantly trust your voice. Part of my passion for filmmaking is using the medium to educate and speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. It is our responsibility as artists to use these platforms we create in an impactful way and tell stories that need to be told. 

Sienna Twiss looking through a camera on a production day

Despite making films for what feels like my entire life, my passion has never withered. I still feel the magic of bringing a story to life, the excitement of being on set and the satisfaction of seeing that final product. In the past years I have made several projects that I can confidently say I am proud of. My latest project was made in my Micro Budget course, which teaches students to use the resources they have available to them to create the best film they can. After a couple days of shooting and navigating directing actors using entirely improv, the result was a 20-minute-long, completely wild experimental film that has been one of my favorite projects to date. This project reminded me why I wanted to be a filmmaker and what filmmaking really is to me. Filmmaking to me is about trusting your gut and having fun while bringing to life the weird ideas you have as an artist. Filmmaking is all about collaborating and trusting not only yourself, but your team. Most importantly, it is about believing in your story and telling it right. I am so excited to bring my ideas and passions to JTWO and continue to learn and grow as a filmmaker and storyteller in the months to come. 

This project was created as part of the JTWO [INC]ubator Project. A semester long internship program built from the ground up to give young filmmakers, content creators, and all around hungry for a challenge individuals a place to stretch their creative minds while preparing them for the road ahead.

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