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From the Military to the New York Film Academy

From the Military to the New York Film Academy


My name is Paquita Hughes and I was born in
Puerto Rico and raised in Mississippi. I was born in Puerto Rico because my mother was
in the Navy and I eventually followed in her footsteps. I served in the Navy for about
eight years and within those eight years I did multiple jobs, but my main job was air traffic control, and it was one of the most stressful jobs in the Navy actually. And it’s
not very common for women to really hold that position but I did it and I excelled, and
because I excelled I figured “Hey, you know maybe I can try some other goals.” I had an epiphany when I was in the Navy and I thought to myself if I could succeed at serving my
country during a time of war, I could succeed at following my dreams at attending film school,
so I decided to get out and study film and I just graduated. My experience with the New York Film Academy was very hands-on, it was intensive but I learned to collaborate with
different types of individuals within different roles in the industry. I went to the one year
Filmmaking program last year and I graduated this past June. I’m a veteran too–8-year
Veteran–I was in the Navy. Air Force! Awesome! Where were you based? Hawaii, Sicily, Diego Garcia, San Diego. I was an air traffic controller, does anybody
know what that is? Well, I’m in a tower–a control tower–or in a radar station where
I talk to pilots, so as an enlisted person I was able to tell officers what to do. My 1-year thesis film is called “California Dreaming” and it’s about a girl who runs away
to follow her dreams, and the message I’m conveying is that you should strive to follow
your dreams no matter the odds stacked against you. One benefit of being a veteran in the film industry is now that I’m very connected to
a lot of great organizations, one being the VFT, which is Veterans in Film & Television.
It’s a network of all types of veterans from all parts of the Armed Forces and they have
a job in the industry whether it could be a military consultant or a producer, director
or actor. Good evening, my name is Paquita Hughes, I
was in the Navy for eight years, I was an air traffic controller, but now I’m a director
and photographer. I’m now enrolled in the one year Photography
program at the New York Film Academy and it’s really been great so far. It’s a huge passion
of mine, I’m excited to be exploring it. My future goals as a filmmaker and photographer
is to really just grow and learn, to really develop a style, and I’m really just anxious
to work with a lot of great people. I’m looking for mentors.


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