We had the good fortune of connecting with Yaelle Amar and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yaelle, how do you think about risk?
I have always been scared of taking risks in my career because I was afraid of failure. For a long time I had the misconceived idea that to reach what I wanted, the only obstacle on my journey would be hard work and that by working hard, I would follow a safe and steady path towards my goals. I still think hard work is a necessary factor, but I have come to realize that risk-taking is another factor. In order to follow the dreams that I have, I can’t stay safe and comfortable. If I did follow a safe career path, I would ultimately fall into a routine that doesn’t allow me creative freedom. Creative freedom for me means putting my art into the world as an expression of myself, without being afraid to try the weird and unique creative things that I imagine. To reach this creative freedom, I will need to jump into the unknown, jump into the risk. I think that taking risks means embracing the idea of failure and accepting that it could be an outcome. In doing so, failure doesn’t become an element of fear anymore, but it becomes part of the whole experience. I try every day, little by little, to work against my aversion for risk and to make myself uncomfortable. Sometimes it’s little things, just like writing this article. Accepting to take risks is a long journey for me, and I know that ultimately it will be essential to my growth as an artist. The more I take risks and fail, the less I’ll be afraid. The less I’m afraid, the more I’ll jump without holding myself back.
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.
The thing I like most about art is mystery. It’s the reason why I got into filmmaking. Movies brought into my life a sense of mystery, dream and suspense, which fascinated me. I try to recreate these feelings in the stories that I create, and in particular in the characters that I imagine. I love to write about characters who intrigue me, who I want to follow and whose minds are like a puzzle. My characters are a direct expression of myself, of my feelings and of the way I see the world. The things I am most proud of in my career are the short films I have directed, and in particular my latest one ‘Life on a Tropical Island’. My goal for this movie was to create mystery and confusion, and to get my audience to ask questions, guess and explore their imagination. I think I was able to achieve a bit of that in this short film, and it’s something I am proud of. Another thing which thrills me is working with actors. I had the opportunity to work with some amazing actors, and it enabled me to learn so much. They brought my scripts to life and they created deep and complex characters through their talent and imagination. I am passionate about working with actors and it’s something that I want to keep exploring and improving along my career.
An important challenge I had to overcome when I first started filmmaking, was the idea that everything I created had to be perfect. I thought that I shouldn’t allow myself to spend time creating something that wasn’t perfect. When I look back on my scripts and short films, I see so many things that didn’t come out the way I wanted and so many things that I could have done differently. But now I am glad for these imperfections, and I try to embrace them because they are the reason I learn. I think it’s important not to be afraid to put your art into the world even though it’s not perfect. It’s something I still struggle with, but I want to be able to create as much as possible and to share my imperfect art with others.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I only moved to Los Angeles a few years ago so there are still so many places I haven’t explored yet, but I did discover a few spots that I really love. The Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite spots in Los Angeles. When you enter, it feels like you just stepped outside of the city and entered a magical universe. The gardens are so big and they are many different museums to explore, you can easily spend an entire day there. I would also recommend exploring Little Tokyo, and walking around old town Pasadena which looks a little like a European city.
If you are in the mood for something unique and weird, spend an evening at the Lost Spirits Distillery. It’s a great tasting experience, and you will feel like Alice in Wonderland.
And if you’re hungry, two of my favorite places are DAMA Fashion District and Moun of Tunis.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate my shoutout to all my friends from Loyola Marymount University who helped me create my short films! The amazing cast and crew members of my short films are the reason my scripts came to life!
On set photography: Lynn Millspaugh Shots from my short film ‘Juliet’: Director of photography: Lance Liu Shots from my short film ‘Life on a Tropical island’: Director of Photography; Laura Jansen