V7: When did you graduate from UNCW? Can you give us a summary of that point up to now?
NF: I graduated in 2014. I got lucky right after school -- I went on a big road trip with my mom and while in California I met up with someone I knew that had graduated from UNCW, and he actually interviewed me for a job doing visual effects on Fury. I didn’t really even understand what visual effects encompassed but everyone in the department was really welcoming and helped me out immensely. After that I was able to work on set for Alice Through the Looking Glass and Beauty and the Beast, and currently I’m on A Wrinkle in Time.
V7: Did you expect to be where you are in such a short amount of time?
NF: Not at all. It really was fate that I found my place in visual effects. I’d interned in Los Angeles during my time at UNCW, but it was for reality television or smaller productions and I figured that I would have to do that gig for a while. I’ve been extremely fortunate to be working on feature sets already. I really owe it the people I’ve met along the way.
V7: How did you get into visual effects?
NF: I wasn’t really sure what visual effects even involved until I was doing it. I started off as a personal assistant and then I started working on set during Fury. I had no experience doing VFX -- I had been doing green screens and stuff during post-production up until A Wrinkle in Time -- but my coworkers really taught me a lot about being on set.
V7: Do you find it challenging being a woman in a male dominated industry?
NF: I’ve been really fortunate to work on the set of an African-American female director. Ava Duvernay (and my other higher-ups) have been huge on diversity and women being in important positions. Ava especially is a huge role model for me. I definitely think that times are changing and more doors are opening up for women in film.
V7: Any advice for aspiring filmmakers?
NF:Network as much as you can. Talk to everyone. Do everything you can to make connections because it’ll never hurt to know more people and you don’t know what opportunities will come out from it.