Today we’d like to introduce you to Vandana A. Singh.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born in India and traveled to the United States at the age of five. As a young child, I was very excited to travel to Los Angeles, California and experience all the amazing things I saw in the movies. My love and passion for film started from the influence of my father. He is a professional cinematographer and would take me on to his sets and allow me to interact with all of the crew and talents. He worked on many Bollywood films, and he was also the head cameraman for a popular broadcasting channel. I was curious to know everything and anything about the film industry growing up.
At ten-years-old, I had the opportunity to attend a performing arts magnet school. I learned every aspect of film starting then. I continued to practice and study throughout school and also higher college studies. I focused mainly on cinematography because I wanted others to see the beautiful art I saw. I shot many music videos and short films to first start in my professional line of work, but then found a love for feature films. I was focusing on cinematography and producing. I wanted to challenge myself and decided also to try acting.
I was casted as the lead actress in the feature film Asgaya. I also came onto the project as the executive producer. The film is written and directed by Toni Morgan Haye, she is an absolute artist in producing a story that I was so connected to and could not be more thrilled and grateful to be a part of. I traveled out of the country for the first time in almost twenty years to shoot on the beautiful island of Jamaica. I could finally understand where all my hard work was leading me to. I felt as if my dreams were becoming a reality.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I don’t really believe in smooth roads. When an individual works really hard there will be many bumps and massive potholes in the road. When I first came to the United States, my family was torn apart by my aunt who no longer chose to help my family in settling and starting a home in California.
My family and I were only on a vacation trip to the United States. We didn’t have any intentions of staying, but my brother and I got sick and could not travel back. My father had no choice but to leave my mother and two young children behind to take care of his duties in India. That is when my aunt took advantage of my mother who didn’t speak any English at the time and kicked us out of her home.
My mother, brother, and I would sit at the local park and think of what we could possibly do. My mother who was ahead registered nurse in India now had nothing. She would do anything to protect us, she picked herself up and decided to get a job and learn English as she worked. She managed to get a very small apartment and got a job at the local ice cream parlor.
She was barely understanding the locals but managed to do her best and worked her hardest to make enough money just to pay rent. She worked every day, and my neighbor would watch over my brother and I. She was the sweetest Latina woman who managed to teach me Spanish due to her not speaking any English.
I was able to attend school right away, therefore, I had learned to fluently speak, read, and write in English and Spanish. My father soon made it back to us, he was now also in the same position with all of us. My mother was able to study hard and get her RN license back. I was watching both my parents work so hard in achieving to gain citizenship in the country of so-called opportunities.
As I got older, I had no excuse but to work harder than they did because they worked so hard for me. I feel successful every day even if it has nothing to do with work if I have a productive day that defines success for me. I hope to tell the full-length story of my upbringing and the depth of facing challenges as an immigrant one day, perhaps as a beautiful film.
Pop Down Studio – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
My production company, Pop Down Studio is a female-driven company that focuses on Independent Films. My team at Pop Down is also very diverse, we have crew from around the world. Pop Down is a worldwide company; therefore, we get to shed some light on unique films, and in many different languages.
There is so much talent around the world that deserves to be showcased. I am one of the owners and also the executive producer at Pop Down. I focus on all aspects of film. Currently, my team and I are distributing independent films and episodic series.
We are also in post-production and in development with some of our own productions. I am most proud of how quickly we are establishing the company by working as a team and bringing together the diverse cultures and art.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is something that can be achieved everyday. If you’re working hard everyday, then you are already successful in your journey. I see myself as an achiever, instead of a successful person. I always stay realistic and keep one big goal in mind.
- Website: www.popdownstudio.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @popdownstudio
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/popdownstudio
- Twitter: @popdownstudio