We had the good fortune of connecting with Sophie Emma Wells and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sophie, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The single most important decision I made was to collaborate with others. For my whole life, I lived by the phrase “when you don’t have work, make work for yourself”, told to me by Alisha in the Lucky Diaz band. I interpreted that as doing all the work by myself. However, as I created more and more projects, I realized that there are people that specialize in things that I needed help with. So my freshman at UCLA, I decided to collaborate with others more. I worked with John Meinert to produce a new Spotify single Tell Me You Love Me. I worked with my Film and Photography Society club at UCLA to produce a podcast where we talk about all things film-related — I’m doing episodes on Claymation with Ella Player, Directors with Rohan Bansal, and Pixar with Julia Alanis! My best advice for those aspiring to do more work, don’t be afraid to ask others for help. Collaboration is the best thing you can do to improve yourself and create work you’re proud of.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
One of my big goals in life is to be a “Jack of All Trades”. But to become one, you have to surround yourself with people who are better than you; that way you can learn to improve your skills and gain more experience. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very hard to do that.
I was part of The High School Music Collaborative in 2016, recording in a studio in San Francisco, and performing with established bands. I did not continue to do this amazing opportunity the next year because I felt so untalented compared to everyone else in the band. However, in 2018 I started implementing my new policy of “surround yourself with people who are better than you”. I got back into recording music, even collaborating with people who I aspired to learn from. I became more interested in teamwork film projects, releasing that delegation is so important. I found that I was a born leader for collaboration projects and I still seek to constantly improve my skills.
I am very proud of my achievements this year:
~In 2020, I focused more on filmmaking. I organized the 2020 PUSD Film Festival with my team (Scott Padway, Sarah Landis, and Isabelle Morales), and we highlighted student filmmakers in my hometown! Check out the still running festival — www.pusdfilmfestival.net.
~I became a verified Spotify artist in 2020, creating two singles myself. However, I found it way more fun to write songs with others — keep monitoring my Spotify to see my new projects with my friends soon!
~I hosted multiple Virtual Open Mic Nights through @iartucla on Instagram Live. I had such a blast (emceeing being my secret calling), loving every second introducing a new talent to the live.
~In the Film and Photography Society at UCLA I have produced several short films this year, one titled Monster Zoom Call, directed by Rohan Bansal, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsuQKMqOuOA) which was submitted to the Campus Movie Fest festival, and the other titled AI-7, directed by Sabrina Y.
~I became Digital Co-Head of Shenanigans, UCLA’s comedy club. We have been hard at work creating our first musical comedy sketch “Zoom School Zoomsical the Zoomsical the Zoom”. This project has been such a pleasure to work with Jessica Block, Minu Choi, Matt Flynn, and Devin Bosley! Check out Shenanigans channel to see the video when it is released (https://www.youtube.com/c/shenaniganscomedy)2
For those who are aspiring to learn more of a certain skills, my greatest advice is find someone who is fantastic in said skill, learn from them, and eventually collaborate with them. Do not compare yourself to others, it’s like you’re an apple, comparing yourself to an orange. You are unique and have a certain set of skills that you can improve. With enough practice and collaboration with the orange, you can become an apple with the added skills of the orange. I have done it, so you can to!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Funny enough, my sister (who is my best friend) came down to visit me in LA. I had a friend drive me to pick my sister up from the airport. My sister, Issy, was wearing her Dipper hat that I gifted her for her birthday! We drove to UCLA and I gave her a tour of Westwood. The next day we went to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We fangirled over Reese Witherspoon and The Pointer Sisters. We laughed at John Wells’s star, as that was the name of our grandfather. We went out for a burrito and chips that night (our absolute favorite). The next morning my sister and I made Beignets, our favorite! We then drive out to Hollywood and hiked up to the Hollywood Sign (I may or may not have accidently got us lost). We eventually got to the top and took in the sight of LA. It truly is amazing. After a very hot hike, we went swimming in my friends pool. My sister treated all my friends to pizza afterwards. It truly was an amazing weekend and I am truly lucky to have such an amazing sister. Love you Issy Wissy Wells 🙂
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I know it’s overplayed; every Oscar winner always thanks their family for being their biggest support. That being said, it is 100% accurate. I want to give a massive thank you to my mum, dad, and sister for always being my number one fans. They have helped me through tough times, supported me when I desperately needed it, and gave me resources to be successful.