Delana Wilkinson is driven and all #girlboss. Inspired by Sarah Broshar and many of the late great creatives, she has been busy editing movies to magic since the formative age of seven years-old. The Hollywood-based editor and Paramount Pictures intern is currently churning out new projects through her freelance company Lonely Lock Films, as well as recently cleaning up in the Paramount Pictures Intern Video Contest. We asked Delana to share what inspires her work and what a dream collaboration scenario looks like.
Not surprisingly, Delana also shares our affinity for Coco Chanel -- style, substance and a classic soulpreneur woman. Coco Chanel inspires Delana to “gracefully speak her mind” and “pursue passions without any intention of stopping.” This fortitude shows in a blossoming career that is already adorned with certifications, industry street cred and over 16k followers on Instagram. Read on for Delana’s recommendations for throwing your heart and soul into worklife passion and standing out in a crowded industry.
We played Two Truths and a Lie with Delana! .....You probably know the rules, but here is a quick refresher--Below, Delana gave us two true fun facts, as well as one that's made up. See if you can guess which one is the lie! View the answer at the bottom of her interview.
I have a Harry Potter scar
I love the color yellow
I have hugged a tiger
Connect with Delana
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Post Production Intern at Paramount Pictures
When did you know this is what you wanted to do?
I've known that I wanted to be an editor since I was seven years-old. I started editing at a very young age -- making music videos of Disney's Virtual Magic Kingdom game to post on YouTube. As I grew older, I started to post music videos, starring myself, to express my thoughts. Throughout school, I was blessed to expand my training in video editing by gaining certifications in Adobe Premiere Pro, AVID Media Composer, and Final Cut Pro X. I feel so lucky that I knew exactly what I wanted to do from such a young age! I really fell in love with the numerous hours sitting in one spot, working late into the night because I'm way too excited about finishing a video.
What projects are you working on now?
Recently, I won first place in the Paramount Pictures Intern Video contest (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbLjtjpQHlg&t=5s)! That video is just a small snippet of how incredible this internship was. It was the best feeling walking through the Paramount Pictures gates every single morning and going to the Post Production building. Throughout the summer, I was freelancing and finishing some video projects with my side production company, Lonely Lock Films (https://www.lonelylockfilms.com/). My boyfriend, Jake Chivers, and I create various wedding videos, commercials, music videos, etc. together. It's been our baby and we are now working on rebranding the company and expanding our business to offer more advertising services. For what's next: I'm currently in Hollywood, CA, so I feel like being here will hopefully bring more opportunities!
What is your dream project? Or dream collaboration?
My dream project would be to be an editor on a horror film that is in partnership with Blumhouse. Don't even get me started about my passion for horror! I am extremely passionate about horror films that use fear to show different perspectives. I feel like making audiences fear for a character really opens the door for a greater understanding of the hardships that some people encounter. Some examples of this are how racism in shown in Get Out, and how the deaf community is represented in A Quiet Place. Also, I'm a huge fan of James Wan. Any collaboration with him would be a dream come true!
List three (3) accomplishments you are most proud of
- Being a Post Production Intern at Paramount Pictures and winning the contest!
- My editing certifications and business.
- Growing my social media presence!
Who is your favorite character from a movie?
I absolutely love Belle. I love how she sees the best in people and is intelligent. I think she's so headstrong and knows what she wants, which is admirable. I'm also obsessed with France!
Who is your favorite filmmaker/writer/director/producer/editor, etc?
My favorite editor is hands-down, Sarah Broshar. She is one of Speilberg's editors and has so many wonderful accomplishments under her belt. I genuinely admire her and her career path. I would love to meet her and pick her brain one day! My favorite filmmaker is Alfred Hitchcock. People may roll their eyes, but I think he's distinguished for a reason! The insane detail to mise-en-scène and allusions/metaphors throughout all of his films just stuns me. My favorite director is James Wan. He can make any horror so effortlessly scary! The Conjuring universe just keeps getting deeper and deeper. I love it.
Who do you admire and why? (this can be someone you know or a public figure)
Although Coco Chanel is not in the film industry, I have ALWAYS admired her and try to be as headstrong as she was. She inspires me every day, from my clothes to how I present myself. She is the definition of a #girlboss. I did my thesis paper on her years ago and just fell in love with how she never let anyone or anything get in front of her. She did the absolute best with the cards she was dealt. She was an orphan and lived in not-too-great circumstances at first, but found her passion and worked her way to the top, becoming a legend. She inspires me to gracefully speak my mind, pursue my passions without any intention of stopping, while also striving to be a classy young woman like she was.
What do you feel is the biggest hurdle for women and POC in the film industry?
As a woman, I think our biggest struggle in the film industry is being taken seriously. I am a girly girl, and sometimes I feel that people may underestimate me because of how I dress. I'm not unprofessional or anything, but I just love dressing nice and wearing chic clothes that make me feel confident (like Chanel... as mentioned, haha!). I've talked to other women who work in this industry and they have felt the same. Just because you're in the film industry doesn't mean that you have to fit this exact stereotype of fitting the look of an 'artist.' People can have different styles and work just as hard as everyone else, if not harder! However, I'm very lucky to say that I haven't had any AWFUL experiences. For the most part, I've been treated very fairly and I'm blessed for that. Just growing up, I've had some run-ins with other people in my industry that tended to treat me like I was dumb or less-than because I was a female, how I dress, my makeup, etc.
Did you know in 2016 women made up only 7% of all directors working on the 250 top grossing films?
I really feel like female directors need to be given more chances and representation. I personally have noticed that a majority of the highest paid directors are men, not women. I think and hope that the climate for women is getting better as the feminist movement progresses.
Do you know women who aspire to be film directors?
Yes, I have a few female friends from college that attended film school with me that want to direct. They are so talented! I think the main issue is that it's just really hard for ANYONE to become a big-time director. Our market can tend to be a bit overly saturated, so you really have to find a way to stand out and that can be difficult sometimes. I think that just really throwing your heart and soul into every project to make it the best it can be really creates a lot of potential.
What is one thing you wish you could tell your younger self? What is one wish you have for your future self?
I wish I could tell my younger self to only devote time to activities that will better my future. A wish that I have for my future self is to keep envisioning my end goal and consistently working to become a Hollywood film editor.
Would you ever be interested in taking over our Instagram and Snapchat for a day?
What's your favorite makeup item?
I currently have been adoring the Glossier perfecting skin tint. The Dior Show mascara is also a forever favorite!
Anything we forgot to ask about that you want to share?
Not sure -- if you have any other information you'd like to know, please let me know! I'm currently in the works of permanently moving to Los Angeles so I may have some updates soon.
Lie: I love the color yellow