Amanda Young: Filmmaker

Amanda is a writer, director and producer based out of Nashville, TN. She studied screenwriting at Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where she was also the co-captain of the women's lacrosse team. Having always had an interest in country music from a young age, Amanda combined her love for filmmaking with her love for music when she moved to Nashville, Tennessee. She spent two years on the road as Taylor Swift’s documentarian for the Speak Now World Tour and the RED Promo tour. During this time, Amanda honed her skills as a camera operator, photographer and non-fiction storyteller. Amanda continued to work in the unscripted field throughout her career as an associate producer and camera operator before transitioning to writing and directing narratives.

Amanda loves to tell a true story. Her debut short film, “Love, Gwen”, was an adaptation of the story of her mother’s attempt to rescue her heroin addict sister from a sex trafficking motel. Most recently, Amanda directed the music video for Matt Stillwell’s single “Hot Minute” which is now airing on CMT. Amanda's work has been featured on CMT, and screened at the Nashville Film Festival, Maryland International Film Festival, Oasis Short Film Screening Series, at SXSW, and the Long Beach Independent Music and Arts Festival. When she is not writing or directing, she loves to be hiking and camping.

What do you love most about Your City?

Nashville is an incredibly friendly place. The filmmaking community is a very strong one, people are so willing to help one another and support one another. Second fave is that we have great food! Everywhere!

Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?

Marche. When I have guests in from out of town, Marche is on the must-visit list. The French-inspired spot changes their menu daily. Everything is fresh. They have a peach cake in the summer that puts all other desserts to shame. Their coffee is delicious and the natural lighting with large windows is heavenly. Great atmosphere.

What are you doing at:

6:00 AM – Still sleeping! I usually wake up between 6:30am and 7:30am, unless I've got to be on set earlier. I start the day with a cup of lemon water, meditation (4-10 minutes, however much I have time for), writing a gratitude list, then studying (a spiritual text, cinematography, a script or a novel), and drinking coffee. Quiet and alone is how I prefer my morning.

10:00 AM - Could be anything - coffee meeting, hiking, editing, emails. If I'm working from home, 10:00am is my must-start-time for emails - this is when I have to cut myself off from studying whatever I've been studying that morning and actually do work. I spend a ton of my time communicating via email, texts or phone calls about creative aspects of projects, pre-pro for projects, or planning meetings. So much coordination and communication. 10:00am is the latest possible start time for that work.

12:00 PM - Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?

I don't eat breakfast till late usually, so my lunch is usually late too. At noon, I'm still deep in my emails or creative research. Or traveling - I travel frequently so sometimes I'm on a plane at noon.

7:00 PM -  Finishing up at the gym, or going for a walk if the day's work has delayed me from getting to the gym or outside earlier. It's rare for me to have a day without some form of exercise. Exercise is my way of forcing myself to take a break and think about something other than work.

11:00 PM - Most of the time I'm asleep! I require lots of sleep. Sometimes catching up on a movie or TV I've been meaning to finish. If Shameless, Handmaid's Tale or something like The Fall is in season, I'm watching that.

What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?

Throughout the day I need 2 cups of coffee to get going in the morning and 1 in the late afternoon if I've got to stay on my toes. Beer or wine is my go-to for alcoholic beverage. If I'm still working in the evening, I'll switch to non-caffeinated hot tea and skip the beer or wine. High Garden in Nashville is the best spot for teas - I usually have a few of theirs on stock for evenings when I'm working late. And I've always got my water bottle on hand.

Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?

On Instagram my favorite accounts are @gilliana Gillian Anderson, @probstdp Chris Probst, plus of course @reedmorano. Gillian Anderson has been a long time inspiration to me from her days on the X-files to her current lifestyle, acting roles and philanthropic activity now. She's so completely herself and such a wonderful presence on screen. I respect her a great deal - so much so that I never want to meet her! You know they say never meet your heroes. Just kidding, of course I'd meet her. Chris Probst posts fascinating content. He's a cinematographer who is real and informative in his content. His work on Mindhunter was so good. He's done some collaboration with Arri's posts in the past, which has been very educational. Reed Morano is a force to be reckoned with right now. After the success of the Handmaid's Tale and her achievement on that show as a director and EP, I'm very interested to see where she'll go in the future with her artistic eye and her growth as a storyteller. Her confidence behind the lens is unrivaled, from what I can tell. And her style is so her. I look up to her in many ways and am so thankful she has done so many interviews about her work so that I can learn from her without ever having met her. Although of course I'd love to meet her, too!

What should everyone try at least once?

Going to a foreign country.

Where do you enjoy getting lost?

In a good show. Let me binge Handmaid's Tale or Shameless or 30 Rock. Getting lost in real life, I've found, is not so enjoyable.