Was there a specific faculty member or peer who especially inspired you while at the School of the Arts? If so, who and how?
Jason Kliot - working as his TA during the same semester that I took his class (Film Finance), I was amazed at how he really considered each student in the classroom to be a peer. He shared with us a mastery of experience and knowledge regarding film finance, but also placed a real world context to it that made it tangible in regards to how we approached our own future projects. He was more than generous with all the resources he had available, including colleagues within the industry who would come in and add to the richness of the class. To this day, he is still ready and willing to reach out and provide guidance as well as answer any questions we might have. And I credit his class with giving me the financial confidence I now have as an investor in films.
How did attending the School of the Arts impact your work and career as an artist?
Story. Story. Story. For me, Columbia gave me the tools I needed to properly communicate with others the ideas that I have in my mind. As a producer, I am in the fascinating position where I not only have to contribute to the business end of the process, but also provide support on the creative side. Columbia gave me the tools to do both. And these are tools that I have found applicable not only to my filmmaking, but also to my work managing the marketing department at a startup in the city, where each day I am tasked with finding new and exciting ways to tell the company's story to the world. From filmmaking to marketing, its all about how you communicate the central themes of your idea, or your company, to others. With the solid foundation that Columbia provided me with, I have been able to reach new heights in my career, adding great perspective to the work I do now.
About Tiana Idoni-Matthews
Tiana currently serves as Director of Marketing at Uncharted Play, where she manages the company's branded content, marketing campaigns, retail partnerships, press, and social media. In addition to her work with Uncharted Play, Tiana also works as an independent film producer. Her credits include the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Grey Gardens, Maria My Love which premiered at the 2011 TriBeCa Film Festival and won best US Feature at the 2011 HBO NY Latino Film Festival, and The Warrior and the Savior, which premiered at the 2013 St. Tropez International Film Festival and the 2013 GenArt Film Festival. Tiana is a Founding Partner of Frame Switch, a film investment company based in NYC, whose credits include SXSW 2015 opening night film Hello, My Name Is Doris starring Academy Award Winner Sally Field. Tiana graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies, with a focus on documentary film. She received her MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University.