We are in a battle ground of ideas and we are in a war over narrative power.
— Tracy Rector (Raven’s long-time mentor)
Raven Two Feathers is our second JDogg graduate! In spring 2018, Raven graduated Magna Cum Laude from Santa Fe University of Art and Design. After spending the summer in Seattle with family, Raven worked as Assistant Director (AD) with long time mentor, Tracy Rector, on her latest VR (virtual reality) film in late October. In November 2018, Raven became the inaugural fellow in Baobab Studio’s #GenIndigenous Youth Fellowship, a yearlong program culminating in a monthlong residency at Baobab. Raven also has several shorts in post-production and is continuing development on two new series.
Two Feathers hails from the Cherokee, Comanchee, Seneca and Cayuga tribes and identifies as Two Spirit, which is the third gender in Native culture, using the pronoun "they."
Raven’s biggest takeaways from college are: keep working at what you are doing at a safe and steady pace, and of course, be up front, honest, and quickly communicative.
“Film has made me the person I always wanted to be; confident, perseverant, and conscientious. It taught me how to convey my ideas, motivate people, and trust others that such a collaborative art form requires. I went from rarely putting ideas out to friends, to pitching ideas to clients. Seeing myself accomplish feats that seemed only for those I thought of as betters has lifted my self-worth immensely. Even better is seeing the relief and delight in friends after we all put 110% and sleepless nights into a film because we all love bringing stories to life, and the journey that bonds us together while making the production happen.”
Raven was most recently the AD fellow on Disclosure, a documentary on the evolution of trans lives as depicted in popular media. There they fine-tuned the speed of producing call sheets and learned what goes into the documentary side of AD work.
Through their connections at Santa Fe University, Raven snagged a volunteer position at the Sundance Directors’ Lab during the summer of 2017 where they were assistant to the production supervisor. They worked as a juicer and grip during most of their time at the lab, with some substitute script supervising. It was a fantastic networking opportunity and familial environment they hope to experience in the rest of their career.
Raven worked to make student voices and concerns heard during the closure of SFUAD, in both activism and documentary work after seeing the frustration and fear in fellow students when the school’s possible closure was first announced. Simply documenting led to concern about lack of communication leading to the formation of a collective, becoming the middleman for students to get the latest news and sharing information with one another via a Facebook group. The activism Raven has engaged in has helped teach them about the process and the commitment that truly goes into a cause.
On the production side, Raven has been fine tuning their directing in both documentary and narrative forms over the course of the previous year with pieces exploring gender and sexuality. Raven has continued to serve in a 1st AD role — one that is appealing more and more as a career choice — along with continuing producing and directing.
Raven Two Feathers was a 2014 graduate of Ballard High School. At Ballard, Raven was president of the Future Filmmakers Club, and producer of Just Plane Lucky in the 2014 NFFTY 48-hour Film-Off, which placed second overall. Raven has used their experiences of moving around the U.S. from the age of five to give them a fresh perspective of the world with the goal to tell stories that aren’t normally heard — stories about “the diversity that life has to offer.” In 2013 Raven, along with teens from around the country, participated in the SuperFly Filmmaking Experience workshop where they told the story of the Suquamish Tribe in the Kitsap Peninsula. The film, Live to Remember, which they produced with other participants, screened at the Seattle International Film Festival and was added to the collection at Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.