Former student succeeds in film
Actress, producer and writer are only a few ways to describe former Santa Monica College student Carly-Ann Giene.
Giene was already a passionate actress in high school, but discovered her talent for writing and producing when she attended SMC.
"Evan Somers' advanced screenwriting class got me opened up to other aspects of film than acting, like writing, filming and producing," Giene said. "Since then, I finished a feature length screenplay, and it got me into writing all these shorts that I do and produce myself. [His class] is why I switched from theater to film studies."
The movies that she watched in her film classes influenced her writing and her perspective on films.
"It turned me to a film snob," she said. "I always critically analyze it, but I also have a better appreciation of the details of production that I have never noticed before."
But the courses at SMC did not only show her the other side of the camera.
They also improved her acting skills.
"I became more well-rounded and experienced because you understand what they're trying to accomplish and what they need you to do," said Giene. "It kind of helps you to work better with the crew."
She decided to go to college after attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles because she was required to earn a degree to receive a United States work visa.
She chose SMC due to its reputation as the number one transfer school in California and its alumni, including famous actors like James Dean, Hilary Swank and Dustin Hoffman.
With the connections Giene made at SMC, she started her own production company, "Giene Entertainment," and began publishing her own videos on YouTube.
Her first comedic short film was "Carly the Clown Eliminator Episode 1," which featured Giene fighting scary clowns. The video gained more than 20,000 views within the first two weeks that it was uploaded.
She has also appeared in other productions, playing a robot in the play "Dark Side of the Moon" based on Pink Floyd's album, a ninja assassin in the "M.A.R.R.A" by Jeanne Jo next to "Blade Runner" actress Sean Young, and a zombie guitarist in the music video "Don't Let Her Pull You Down" by the punk band New Found Glory.
Her performance as one of the living dead came in handy in her most recent and still unreleased project, "Zom-B-Team," produced by Here's the Kitten Productions.
"This improv-based comedy pilot is one of the projects I am most proud of because it was challenging since I had to create a character in the moment without rehearsing," she said.
Giene advised all future fellow SMC graduates who want to start a career in the film industry to become well-rounded, but to simultaneously focus on their expertise.
"Broaden your horizon; watch tons of movies," she said. "The more you see, the more creative you become and able to relate to people. But find out what you're good at even though it's not what you've envisioned. Pursue your talent and share it."