Graduate art student draws inspiration from her ancestors

April 23, 2019

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of profiles for early spring 2019.

At 19, Krystina Owens started her own production studio while attending Arizona State University. Now the 21-year-old, who is a student at Barrett, The Honors College, manages 11 employees, is expanding her business into two divisions and is earning a bachelor’s degree in film and media production from the School of Film, Dance and Theater in May.

Krystina Owens graduates in May with a bachelor’s degree in film and media production.
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“The studio is called Innovelore Entertainment, Inc., and was founded by myself and my business partner on May 31, 2016 — my 19th birthday, funny enough,” she said. “I knew it would be difficult trying to start a business while I was still in school, but I had lots of ideas and passion for what I wanted to do as a filmmaker for my career. I wanted to enter the industry in a different and innovative way and I wanted to get started.

The company started out as a commissioned illustration company, but in 2017 Owens and his partner focused on animation and expanded the team to work on bigger projects, Owens said. With nine full-time employees and two part-time employees, both current ASU students, Innovelore is now divided into two divisions. Innovelore Entertainment, Inc. will focus solely on original content development, and the other division, Velorean Productions, will handle client work and publicity.

“I think ASU has taught me a lot about live production, which I hope to incorporate more into our studio’s capabilities as we continue to grow,” Owens said. “In addition, ASU has helped me gain the leadership skills I need to run a business and run a production.

“Hopefully with what I’ve learned in college and as a business owner over the past three years, I can lead my team to success, and with that, we can bring more of the film industry in Phoenix.”

Owens is also in the early stages of launching a television series based on his seminal film titled “The Author’s Daughter.”

The short film combines live action and stop motion animation similar to Robert Zemeckis’ “Who Frame Roger Rabbit”. In a time when fiction is illegal, a young girl accidentally brings magical creatures from the world of fiction to reality and must deal with the consequences.

“This film not only serves as a wrap film, but also as a concept film for a larger television series,” Owens said. “Hopefully we can find a cast for the series and produce it as the studio’s first original series.”

Jason Davids Scott, assistant director of film at the School of Film, Dance and Drama, called Owens a leader in his class of filmmakers and said his film was unprecedented for a capstone project.

“We’ve never had a student to take on a project of this size,” Scott said, “and the work is going to be truly amazing.”

Owens answered a few questions from ASU Now:

Question: What was your “aha” moment, when you realized you wanted to study the field you majored in?

To respond: I think my “aha” moment came in my freshman year of high school. Until then, I had always wanted to be a film actress, as I had been captivated by cinema and entertainment since the age of 2. But that year, instead of doing a play, I was lucky enough to be the student director of the school’s production of “Noise Off.” That’s when I realized that the real magic of storytelling, for me, was making them happen behind the scenes, and I knew I wanted to pursue filmmaking on the directing and directing side. production.

Q: What did you learn at ASU — in class or otherwise — that surprised you, that changed your perspective?

A: I believe my time at ASU really taught me how to be a strong leader, both in and out of the classroom. When I started ASU, I felt shaky in my self-confidence and unsure of my artistic talents. But in my four years at ASU, I learned how to do a group project, make a movie, and run a business. Thanks to my time at ASU and the encouragement and opportunities the school gave me to be a leader, today I have the confidence and experience to manage a studio of 11 employees on a day-to-day basis, and I can now say that I have made a major film. project that involved more than 100 people in its creative process. Without my time at ASU, I don’t know how long it would have taken me to change my perspective on what a student like me is capable of achieving.

Q: Why did you choose ASU?

A: I chose ASU because it allowed me to be close to my family, my home, and gave me the flexibility to take what I learned in my classes outside of school and apply it to the studio I was looking to start. And I felt, with ASU being the #1 school for innovation, that I might be able to apply some of the innovative principles I would learn during my studies to my career and filmmaking goals.

Q: Which teacher taught you the most important lesson at ASU?

A: I think Professor Janaki Cedanna and Professor Greg Maday taught me to tell the stories I really want to tell in my films and writing and not worry about what other people are doing or what might be the “typical standard rule”. Ultimately, they both encouraged me to blaze my own trail and create my own unique identity as a storyteller and filmmaker by letting me know that it was OK to do things differently and follow my instincts. ‘artist. Break the mold to find your own success.

Q: What is the best advice you would give to those still in school?

A: I would say the best advice I would give to anyone still in school is to be open to change in all aspects of your life. Before I started college, I had a very different picture of what I thought my life would be like when I graduated, and nothing worked out the way I planned. But I wouldn’t trade my life now or the last four years I’ve lived at ASU for anything. No matter how well you plan the path you’re going to take, sometimes life doesn’t turn out the way you think. But if you work hard, are open to change and other perspectives, and never give up on your goals, then things will work out eventually, and often in a better way than you ever would. could imagine it. They did it for me. Have a little faith.

Q: Where was your favorite place on campus, whether to study, meet friends or just think about life?

A: My favorite place on campus was always in the basement of the Hayden Library, where I often took to work in one of the quiet corners with the little gray chairs with desks attached. I’d grab an iced chai latte at Charlie’s Café and go downstairs to work on homework, projects for Innovelore, a new script, or sometimes meet my friends there for a quick catch-up session.

Q: What are your plans after graduation?

A: After graduation, I plan to continue to lead my studio, Innovelore Entertainment, Inc., and work with my team to create quality original entertainment content as well as work on building the new division of the studio, Velorean Productions, where we will take on client commission work and outsource animation and film projects. I will be wearing many hats in the business, acting as producer and story lead for the three original TV show concepts we have in development, as project director and production director, working directly with client relations and marketing in the other arm to help build the studio’s brand identity, and work globally on big projects to help continue to grow the studio. So I hope to take good care of myself!

Q: If someone gave you $40 million to solve a problem on our planet, what would you tackle?

A: If I had $40 million, I would try to solve some of the unemployment problems on our planet, and I hope that this first step will lead to solving other problems, such as working conditions, homelessness and hunger. With $40 million, I would approach my company to hire more employees in order to create more jobs. As with our current employees, I would make sure to provide a good living wage with good benefits to those who work in my company, to hopefully improve the quality of life for those employed and their families. As the company continues to grow, I hope to serve as an example to other companies on how to treat and compensate employees fairly, both domestically and internationally, to hopefully reduce poverty observed around the world and to create a better standard of living for the homeless, the hungry and the unemployed or employed with poor working conditions. This is one of my real goals with my business, and the $40 million would help me start providing good jobs for good, hard-working people.

Kayleen C. Rice