The Girl Behind the Camera: How One Girl Fell in Love with Film and Photography
The girl behind the camera– Marina Barham, a junior, MCA major at The King’s College– delved into the world of film and photography at eight years old and she now embodies her passion.
The King’s College annual film competition was recently held at Regal Theater in Union Square where the house of Susan B. Anthony took the first prize for their namesake film. Barham wrote and directed the film for her house and is very excited about their victory.
“I directed the video during my freshman year, and we got seventh place and I was devastated– I cried in the bathroom. I was worried this video was going to end up the same way, but it didn’t and I am so happy about it,” Barham said.
The video was an eight–minute long documentary on one of the house’s values– Life. Barham took a trip to Rochester with some of her friends to visit Susan B. Anthony’s house and grave site to film the video.
“The trip was really fun and we learned a ton about Susan. My favorite part was seeing her grave, the weather that day and the graveyard were both beautiful. It was very surreal. We also had this crazy waitress at Olive Garden one night who we all loved. We asked her what she thought about the house of Susan B. Anthony, and she told us it was so boring and that she hated it,” Barham laughed.
When editing, Barham was nervous about the eight– minute limit for the video. She was also not sure if the footage she got from their trip would work well with their prompt. In the end, her and her house were all very happy with the outcome and celebrated with Shake Shack.
Barham’s passion for film began when she was only eight years old. Her dad brought home a giant Apple computer that had iMovie on it. She began to write screenplays for her siblings everyday after school, and she would force them to act it out with her in front of their webcam. Once the acting was done she would spend hours editing each video.
“When I was in my later elementary school years, I was at a garage sale and I bought my first camera– a little Canon,” Barham said. “I made my first videos on that. Then I got a flip camera. After that, in ninth grade, I got a Canon T3I, which I had all the way through high school and through my freshman year in college. I actually filmed my first SBA video on that camera.”
In high school, Barham started entering film competitions because she realized she was getting good at it. She was entering competitions to try and make money so that she could quit her job at a frozen yogurt shop.
It was around that time Barham started dabbling in photography as well.
“Later in high school is when I realized film and photography was something I wanted to pursue. I thought about going to film school, but did some research and decided that everything I would learn in film school is stuff I could learn in the field, so that’s when I came upon King’s,” Barham said.
Barham now has an internship at Nine Stories where she works for Jake Gyllenhaal, reading screenplays.
“I am literally reading and analyzing screenplays all day, and then I tell Jake whether or not they are something he should read,” Barham said.
In her freetime, Barham enjoys putting together photoshoots for fun, where she can have full control of the scene.
“My shoots allow me to have creative freedom. It is really restful for me and also gives me a lot of energy,” Barham said. “My Instagram is mostly all models I’ve contacted and shoots I’ve put together. I choose the location, the model’s outfit, and a mood board.”
She is also a concert photographer for SoFar Sounds. A few nights a month she take photos and videos at gigs for the company.
“I always loved the music scene, but had no musical talent. I always wondered if I’d ever be able to get into the music industry. But now I am friends with a bunch of artists. It’s so cool to be let into a scene that I have no place in,” Barham said.
Recently Barham finished her largest project yet– a fashion film she directed. The entire cast was made up of Barham's friends. She contacted Beacon’s Closet and another boutique in Williamsburg who provided the costumes for the film.
“I pulled it all together, shot it in a day and I’ve been editing it for months. I like to always have a project on my plate. It gives me something to do because I get really antsy,” Barham said.
In the future Barham wants to stay in New York and direct movies. She could also see herself in fashion photography, working for a magazine or in short films.
“I want to be like Greta Gerwig and make Lady Bird, but not make Lady Bird because that has already been made,” Barham laughed.