Ella Fields is a 17-year-old filmmaker based in Los Angeles. With a beautiful and distinctive style, her short films (which she publishes on YouTube) tackle a variety of social issues and topics in immersive and innovative ways; from queer and gender identity to sexual assault and gun violence.
When she was only 13, her short “Stereo” – a film about reversed gender stereotypes – went viral and now has racked in just under 10 million views. In our interview with Ella, we talk about how that experience affected her and the mixed feelings of pressure and affirmation that came from it and how she has dealt with it all.
I think it’s [identity] important for me to discuss because these are things that I want to see when I’m going through my journey as a teenager, you know? And with [finding your] sexuality specifically is such a confusing time that so many go through at some point in their lives and to just have something that you can watch and characters that you can relate to – something feasible that you can interact with and react to… It makes you feel heard just to see yourself on a screen, like wow, that’s me! That is my situation!Ella Fields on the importance of exploring identities in films as young filmmakers.
When you receive as much recognition as Ella has, especially in such a young age where the approach wasn’t I want this to go viral, but I want to tell this story, you have to find ways to re-center yourself and come back to the reason why you love doing this so much.
In our conversation, Ella goes on to talk about connecting with herself as she was in middle school, and that joy she got out of shooting shorts as a way of self-exploration and experimentation. We also talk about the ways you can sense the child-like atmosphere in her work, and how it all comes together with the stories she tells.
You can listen to the full conversation now, wherever you get your podcast.