We had the good fortune of connecting with Rana Ghiassi and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Rana, what’s the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
To be myself–and no not the cliché version of ‘be yourself, others are taken’, but really being unapologetically me. The times in my life when my family or friends validation didn’t matter or the scary heavy hovering thought of “what’s this person gonna think or what if no one likes what I’m putting out” didn’t stop me from putting the work out in ALL CAPS, and thereby I was 100 percent Rana about it, are the times I got the most validation, praise, and ironically acceptance.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art goes beyond the films I’ve made or I’m in the process of making–my art is collaborative therefore I can’t take full credit for anything I’ve done. I just start something and a gang of amazing people help me bring it to life. What sets me apart from others? I’d say the ability to attract the type of people I have in my life that truly honor and understand the concept of collaboration. My mom always says: “what you seek, is seeking you.” Well, I’ve been passionate about filmmaking and inspiring my generation to follow their dreams but this idea truly hit PLAY when I met the right community, my family: Free95. FREE95 as mentioned is a crew of kids in their 20s that want to make films but don’t have the budget for it. We independently write, then give our ALL to each story, from development to filming and all the way to final product of each film –whether it’s a short or a feature. We are currently stuck in isolation but it hasn’t stopped any of us from planning our next projects and writing nonstop. Free95 in my unbiased opinion is moments away from FLYING! Everyone in the crew is so insanely talented and hardworking. I feel so blessed to have met these kids that want the same thing as me in life and are actually going for it. The only way I’ve gotten to where I am professionally and no it wasn’t and still isn’t easy is I followed the great words of Nike: “Just do it” and just did it. You can’t think too much on whether or not it’s going to work or hit when you’re making a film you just have to find the story and attack it and drop your ego when it comes to putting it out. My advice to readers is: find what you love and more important than love what you’re GOOD at and only do that… I know people might hate me for saying this, but I have only tasted success when I lived by this theory. I don’t mean to stop any part time job or gig, I just mean give your attention to that thing like it’s your baby–take good care of it and the work you put will speak volumes. The only way I am overcoming the big bubble of doubts above my head is staying positive and giving it my absolute all. It won’t kill me if I try, but I will die if I don’t at least give it a chance. The lessons I’ve learned is the same ones you hear through the great speeches: you will fail and you will fall but if you don’t wipe the pride and fear to try to stand up again, you will never know what could’ve been waiting for you on the other side. In short: practice makes perfect and hashtag never give up because one thing you did didn’t work. I want the world to know this: world, I promise you, pinky promise even, that I will NOT let anything (past traumas, failures, judgments (self or from others)), get in the way of me telling my story– I have stories to share and I am doing my best to have you hear each one of them. ALSO world, Free95 is about to be bring you flicks you will look for, quote, love or hate (both are great for filmmakers) and hopefully want more of!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’d start us off with a picnic at the Getty Villa or picnic at any park in LA there are so many amazing ones I just would want them to be out and enjoy the nature. We could go to Beverly Hills for only the best window shopping ever. When the sun is setting we’d dance and prance at the Griffith Observatory like LALALANDERS… hmm for a drink I’d take us to the resident in DTLA. It’s so cute and vibey and there’s always great bands playing inside. If my friend is staying for a week, we’d go to see some comedy shows maybe at the Hollywood Improv or Laugh Factory. Places to eat? WOW… So many incredible places to eat. My favorite is probably miceli’s in Hollywood or any ITALIAN really 🙂 Every single night we’d go to either the Rhythm room or Dresden jazz club to get lost in some jazz.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Morgan Dwyer. He’s sort of my best friend but really a huge reason why I don’t change my career path as a filmmaker. He brought together a community of filmmakers and passionate artists and as a crew, we are pushing to build a production company called Free95.