A girl with her head in the clouds in more ways than one. A Leader > A Follower. The Style and Presence of a New Yorker combined with the Calm cool of a Los Angelino. She’s Cooler than the Summer Breeze with the Passion to match it. Her Aura is Pure and her drive is substantial. She’s Out-talk you in your own expertise and teach you something new. She’ll shoot you….with her camera lens and tell your story to the world. Armed with that camera lens she’s been around the world and back. Africa and the Caribbean have taken notice, with the U.S. next in line. Educated in the mind and the heart, a future humanitarian she is!
What separates your work from others in your field and where do you see it progressing in the next few years?
Ashley: Right now it’s hard to say how I stand apart, because while I believe that I have my own perspective as an artist (every artist does on some level right?) I haven’t carved out a niche for myself yet. I would say that the one thing that is very clear is that my process is slow, perhaps unusually slow, but that’s deliberate. Admittedly I’m a perfectionist, but I also put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that on every level, I’m expressing exactly what I intend to. It’s been particularly challenging to work on non fiction films on relevant but also touchy subject matter. The first question for a filmmaker is always “who’s your audience?” – and that’s supposed to drive everything else. For me, that’s never been an easy question to answer, because I want to make films that could be for anyone. The City is making a documentary about post-earthquake Haiti for example. I want Americans to see it and take a certain message from it, but I also want people in Haiti to be able to watch it and think that I captured them in an accurate light. So I guess I have to say that I hope I progress in speed and accept the fact that all art is subjective, and that’s OK. I also plan to do more fiction film work.
Being that you have attended a world class, prestigious university and traveled throughout the world, how has that inspired you creatively and shaped your character?
Ashley: All of my experiences, whether it’s been attending USC (the wealthy, private university in the middle of the hood in sprawling Los Angeles with one of the highest percentages of international students in the country and the infamous “Trojan Network”) or living in rural Botswana have simply broadened my worldview and showed me what’s possible to achieve on Earth and what needs to change to make it better. My character has been shaped by both but my motivation is to affect change, which ultimately informs my creativity, because that’s the purpose of all of my work.
If you could go to any other planet in the solar system to make a film project which one would it be and why?
Ashley: It’s not a planet, but can I say The Sun? Then I’d really be proving that anything is possible AND maybe Pharrell would let me use N.E.R.D.’s Run To the Sun on the soundtrack. That would be cool.