Carmen Vincent -- a member of BPW Virtual, Chesterton, IN
Carmen Vincent is a passionate freelance editor and documentary filmmaker from Northwest Indiana. She produces and edits all kinds of content including documentary and narrative films, commercial videos, promotional videos, educational content, compilations, fundraising campaign videos, social media videos, and more.
Along with freelance video editing, Carmen directs, produces, shoots, and edits documentary films that tell raw, often misunderstood stories to amplify and validate people’s experiences because she believes we all deserve to feel understood in our own skin. She uses her personal experience with invisible disability to help inform her storytelling.
Currently, Carmen is in the production phase of a documentary titled “Teacher of Patience,” about a small-town Indiana family’s effort to educate their community, especially first responders, about how to interact with individuals with Down syndrome. You can learn more at www.teacherofpatience.com.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in Digital Media from Valparaiso University and participates in numerous professional organizations such as FWD-Doc, D-Word, Women in Media, IDA, and others. Carmen is a Nikon Storytellers Scholar, a participant in Adobe's Creator Camp, and a proud recipient of the Best International Director award at the Georgia Documentary Film Festival.
You can view her work at www.carmenvincent.com.
Where did you attend school?
I graduated from Valparaiso University in May 2020 with a B.A. in Digital Media.
What are your career aspirations? What are you doing today to make them happen?
My ultimate goal is to own and run a documentary production company and employ fellow artists with disabilities to help me tell stories about individuals and topics that are often misunderstood.
Right now, I'm focused on learning as much as I can about my craft and my industry, fostering meaningful connections, and making content that I'm proud of so I can lay foundations for that company down the line.
While I always thought I'd head to Los Angeles right away, I've found great joy in helping cultivate the filmmaking community here in Northwest Indiana. It's definitely a challenge, but I see great value in planting roots here so someday I can help create opportunities for other filmmakers from the Midwest who can't afford to live in New York, Los Angeles, or even Chicago. There are stories in Indiana that need to be told, too! Yes, even in the midst of cornfields. :)
What brought you to this career path?
I originally wanted to write for sitcoms, as I'm a lover of comedy (and I secretly harbor a dream to one day be a comedian, but that will probably stay a distant dream). I also wanted to direct narrative films that include underrepresented voices in front of and behind the camera.
I decided to get a degree in Digital Media so I could learn all aspects of the content creation process and be able to do my own website, design my own graphics and marketing materials, and film and edit my own videos and short films. Essentially, I wanted to learn a little bit of everything so I could be a better director and writer.
During my freshman year, I earned a spot on a two-week video internship that took place in Bethlehem, Palestine. There, I witnessed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with my own eyes, untouched by media bias, and I was so deeply moved. I had a breakthrough moment where I realized that there were real stories that needed to be told. As soon as I got back to the States, I made my first short documentary about a young man's gender transition story and, since then, I've found my purpose in documentary filmmaking.
To me, there's nothing more empowering than capturing someone's real story and shaping it to impact an audience. I love every part of it, from filming, to directing, to producing, to editing. I love how flexible it is – you can make a documentary anywhere. I love how collaborative it is – you can craft a crew that has just as much passion for the subject as you do. Finally, I love the impact it can have, on the audience, on the subject, and on me. I can't tell you how much I've changed as a human being because of each film I've made and seeing the look on people's faces when they watch themselves on screen telling their story is priceless. And the process never ends when the film is "done," there are impact campaigns, screenings, discussions, and more for years later. I really appreciate that opportunity to immortalize a story by enriching our communities with it.
Can you tell us about an important lesson you've learned in your career so far?
I learned that it's NORMAL to feel imposter syndrome. Like, completely normal. And people decades into their careers feel it, too. Like, what??? This blew me away and, the more I asked people about it, the more I was met with mutual feelings and experiences of questioning oneself and one’s own abilities. It's kind of amazing that most of us feel this way at one point or another.
For someone with OCD, it's hard to accept that I can't be perfect all the time (or ever, for that matter). However, knowing that we all feel like an imposter at some point in our lives has taught me to acknowledge those feelings as valid, but not let them overpower the ambition I have.
Is there a particular person who helped get you to where you are today?
So. Many. People! It's hard to name just one, but this seems like an appropriate time to highlight a particular BPW member who has impacted my career. Ashley Maria originally inspired me with her film, Pioneers in Skirts. Pioneers in Skirts inspired me to stop questioning myself and finally believe in my abilities, my work ethic, and my dreams. Since then, Ashley has served as a mentor for me, providing me with opportunities to sharpen my craft, introducing me to a valuable network, and encouraging me to just do it!
How did you find BPW? What is one memorable experience you've had with the club so far?
I found BPW through the wonderful Ashley Maria! She was kind enough to bring me to help out with the BPW NGO CSW65 Pioneers in Skirts event for the United Nations. There, I got to meet BPW trailblazers who graciously invited me into the BPW community! That United Nations event was definitely a memorable experience. It was so cool seeing people engage with the film and collaborate to create real change in our communities.
How can the BPW club and its members help you on your career path? What do you wish we knew?
I'm so grateful for the BPW club network and all the resources it offers. I'm currently working on a documentary called “Teacher of Patience” about a small-town Indiana family's effort to educate first responders and the wider community about Down syndrome and disability at large. While I am 95% done with production and heading into post-production, I am still raising money to make it all happen.
I'm looking to foster some mutually beneficial sponsorship relationships among businesses, foundations, and organizations. Sponsors would help us finish the film and execute the impact campaign and, in return, we would offer meaningful exposure and other perks. It would be an honor to include BPW club businesses, foundations, and organizations in that pursuit. Please reach out to me if you'd like to get involved!
Learn more about the film and view a six-minute sample: www.teacherofpatience.com
Reach out: email@example.com
Would you like to share contact information?
View my work and collaborate with me: www.carmenvincent.com, Check out my latest documentary-in-progress: www.teacherofpatience.com!