This article was written by one of our Teen Correspondents and was originally published on VOX Atlanta Teen Communications. Thanks to Turner Voices, we’re able to collaborate with VOX Teen Communications to share the perspectives of the next generation of arts writers with our city’s cultural community.
Getting your name out there in the world of filmmaking can be difficult, and it is even harder to do so in the teen filmmaking community. However, Sierra Isley, a 16-year-old filmmaker who attends Decatur High School, has done just that, having written, directed and starred in several short films and web series. Her work, in particular, a four-part (so far) web series based on the Percy Jackson book series (but not attached in any way to the Percy Jackson author Rick Riordan), has garnered an immense following and loads of praise by both teen filmmakers and fans of the books.
I got a chance to be on set for the newest upcoming webisode of Isley’s Percy Jackson completely fan-made web series and interview her cast and crew at Decatur Square. There I was able to not only see an example of her brilliant directorial style but also witness the immense amount of love and compassion that was shared among these dedicated individuals, all of whom are teens. “She kinda brings out the best in us during her work,” says 12-year old actress Kelsey Deleshaw. “I think she does a really good job at doing that.” You can see all of Sierra’s work here.
“A lot of entertainment that people are watching these days has to do with teenagers,” Sierra said. “There are kids everywhere, but they’re either represented in a very Disney way … and then they’re represented in a very overdramatic way where they’re not taken seriously… So I think that bringing the actual mind of a teenager into the situation and letting people, like myself … write down the characters and write the stories, that’s what helps teenagers connect with TV shows and movies and entertainment.”